June 25, 1950: United States shockingly defeats England in the World Cup
When it comes to the World Cup, many insane moments have been recorded in the annal of sports history. From Zinedine’s harsh headbutt to Manuel Negrete’s glorious scissor kick, it’s a thrill to be a soccer fan. While many upsets have occurred, the United States brought the biggest one of them all.
Getting some new blood
The 1950 World Cup was the first tournament since the 1938 installment due to World War II. With a 12 year wait, many players were ready to showcase their skills to a wide audience. One country that was ready to perform was England. With the title of Kings of Football, it wasn’t hard to see why. The team held 23 wins since the ending of the war, and many teams were shook. On the other side was the United States. Unfortunately, their soccer team took a major blow because of the war. In a short time before the tournament started, the team scrambled to obtain a new slew of players. Much like the infamous 2012 NFL referee lockout, these amateur players all had normal jobs at home. Some were mailmen while others held it down as dishwashers.
Battle in Brazil
On June 29, 1950, the U.S. faced off against England in Brazil. With 13,000 screaming fans present, this was easily giving the U.S. players nerves. Much to their surprise, the Brazilian crowd was aggressively cheering for the U.S. team. “We didn’t realize why until after. They [were] hoping we would beat England and that Brazil would not have to play England in the final game,” team captain Walter Bahr told ESPN. In the first half, Brazil was close to their wish as the U.S. team led 1-0. Shocked by the sudden goal, England brought their A-game for the second half. England player Jimmy Mullen tried tying things before goalkeeper Frank Borghi denied him at the goal line. When it was all said and done, the U.S. stunned everyone with a 1-0 win over England.
Miracles do come true
Known as the Miracle Match, this game saw zero press from U.S. and England publications at the time. “When we came back, there was very little hoopla that went along with it. One piece in the local papers and not much more in the big papers,” Bahr told ESPN. Despite the original lukewarm response, soccer enthusiasts consider this to be the most shocking upset ever. For one day, 11 hopeful players got to create soccer history.