Saturday, December 7, 2013

7 December 1932 - England Wows The Wunderteam

On 7 December 1932, England ended the Austrian Wunderteam's 14-game unbeaten streak with a 4-3 win at Stamford Bridge.

Led by manager Hugo Meisl and assisted by Jimmy Hogan, the Austrian side used a fast-moving flowing attack built on quick passing that saw them become one of the most prominent and successful teams in Europe. Starting in April 1931, they rattled off a string of fourteen unbeaten matches, including dominant wins over Germany (6-0, 5-0), Scotland (5-0), and Hungary (8-1).

England were on a seven-game unbeaten streak of their own, including a 7-1 win over Spain at Highbury in December 1931.

They met for a friendly at Stamford Bridge, drawing a crowd of 42,000. There, England took a 2-0 lead with goals from Samuel Crooks (5') and Jimmy Hampson (pictured) (27'), but Austria's Karl Zischek halved the deficit with a 58th-minute strike. Unfazed, England restored the margin to 3-1 with a goal from Eric Houghton (77'), giving the appearance that the game was all but over.

The scoring was not done, however. Austrian star Matthias Sindelar scored in the 80th minute, followed by another England goal from Hampson two minutes later. Zischek found the net again in the 87th minute to set up a wild finish, but the hosts weathered the storm and held on for the 4-3 win.

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