Friday, March 11, 2011

11 March 1934 - A Pair Of Nines

On 11 March 1934, both Spain and Germany opened their World Cup qualification campaigns with dominant wins over their neighbors, scoring 9 goals each.

The day represented the first involvement in the tournament for both of the future winners, neither of whom had participated in the 1930 World Cup. Unlike that first one, which had only 13 countries competing, the 1934 edition had so many interested teams that FIFA instituted a qualification process. Spain went into a two-team qualification group with Portugal, while Germany joined France and Luxembourg in a group of three.

Spain enjoyed the biggest win of qualification, beating Portugal 9-0 in Madrid. They scored their first goal after only three minutes and never looked back, going up 3-0 by the break. The 9-0 final score included five goals from Real Oviedo striker Isidro Lángara (pictured).

Germany also scored their first goal after only three minutes with a goal from Vfl Benrath forward Josef Rasselnberg. Playing at Luxembourg's Stade Municipal, Germany were up 0-3 when the hosts scored in the 27th minute, then extended their lead to 1-5 before halftime. Rasselnberg added three more goals to the final score of 1-9.

Both Spain and Germany qualified easily--Spain beat Portugal again, 1-2, while Germany did not need another match. In their group's next game, France beat Luxembourg 1-6, so both France and Germany advanced without having to play their group's final scheduled match. In the tournament proper, Spain fell to eventual winners Italy in the quarterfinals, while Germany lost to eventual runners-up Czechoslovakia in the semifinals.

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