Tuesday, June 16, 2015

16 June 1954 - A Sign Of Things To Come

On 16 June 1954, Brazil opened the World Cup with a 5-0 demolition of Mexico before a crowd of 13,000 at Geneva's Charmille Stadium. Four of the goals came in the first half.

The match paired the top two qualifying teams from the Americas, with both sides going undefeated to win their groups (Brazil over Paraguay, Chile, and Peru and Mexico over the United States and Haiti). While Mexico had never advanced beyond the first round, the Brazilians were looking to rebound after losing the previous Cup to Uruguay.

They did so in convincing fashion. Striker Oswaldo da Silva, better known as Baltazar, put the South Americans up 1-0 in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot from the top of the box. Central midfielder Didi then stretched the lead to 2-0 with a 30th-minute free-kick that beat the wall from 20 yards out. Pinga, Brazil's number 10, added a quick brace to close the half (34', 43'). The final goal was scored in the 69th minute by Julinho, who found the back of the net after a weaving run through the Mexican defense that would later come to be a Brazilian trademark.

Despite the impressive nature of the win, it was Brazil's only victory of the tournament. They drew 1-1 with Yugoslavia in their only other group stage match, then lost 4-2 to Hungary in the first knockout round. Four years later, however, Brazil would win their first World Cup trophy in Sweden.

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