Wednesday, March 25, 2009

25 March 1876 - Scottish Footballers Give Bad Birthday Presents

On 25 March 1876, Wales played its first competitive football match, against Scotland in Glasgow. Scotland won the match 4-0, with goals from John Ferguson, James Lang, Billy MacKinnon, and Henry McNeil.

With that match, the Welsh team, nicknamed the Dragons, became the third oldest international football team, after England and Scotland. Though it is part of the United Kingdom, Wales has continued to field its own independent football team for all competitions except the Olympics, which recognizes only a unified UK team.

Wales has qualified for the World Cup only once, in 1958, when it finished second in its qualifying group among Hungary, Mexico, and host nation Sweden. Wales was eliminated in the first knockout round by Brazil, when Pele scored the only goal of the match in the 66th minute. Brazil went on to win the tournament, claiming their first World Cup title.

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