Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 September 1945 - Sweden Manages To Be In Two Places At Once

On 30 September 1945, Sweden played - and won - two separate matches. One was against Denmark in Solna and the other was against Finland in Helsinki.

At the time, Sweden was a rising power in football, having finished fourth at the 1938 World Cup. Unfortunately for the Swedes, however, all of their official competitions had been postponed due to the outbreak of World War II, so they had little opportunity to capitalize on the strength of their side, led by their prolific forward pairing of Gunnar Nordahl (43 goals in 33 appearances between 1942 and 1948) and Gunnar Gren (32 goals in 57 appearances between 1939 and 1958).

In place of the canceled competitions, Sweden played several friendlies during the war years. For some reason, they overbooked for 30 September 1945 and had to send full squads to both matches. As a sign of their dominance, Sweden won the two of them in convincing fashion, beating Denmark 4-1 and Finland 1-6.

Sweden continued their run of success once official competitions resumed after the war, taking the gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics, then finishing third at the 1950 World Cup.

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