From Uruguay to Russia

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 May 2018 11:00:50


ITALY hosted the second World Cup in 1934 from May 27 to June 10. The political situation in Europe had become more and more tense, with fascism, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler in Germany, taking a hold. Italy too was under the spell, with Benito Mussolini hoping to use the 1934 World Cup to further the glory of his own fascist regime. Sixteen teams — 12 from Europe, three South Americans (though not the holders Uruguay) and one African nation, Egypt — lined up for the finals, which were this time conducted purely on a knock-out basis. All eight quarter-finalists were European, meaning that the South Americans travelled 8,000 miles for the dubious pleasure of playing and losing one game.

For the second successive time, the host country took the spoils. Under the approving gaze of Mussolini, the Italians saw off Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final, though only after extra time.The Czechs silenced the partisan 50,000 crowd when Antonin Puc scored with just 20 minutes of the match remaining. They almost added a second when the ball struck a post before Argentine-born Raimundo Orsi scored a late equaliser for Italy with a brilliant goal.Italy clinched their first World Cup title when Angelo Schiavo scored the match-winner in the seventh minute of extra time.

Germany finished third by beating Austria 1-0 in the match played for the third place.As many as 70 goals were scored in 17 matches at an average of 4.12 goals per match. Italy’s Angelo Schiavio, Czechoslovakia’s Oldrich Nejedly and Germany’s Edmund Cohen shared the top spot with four goals each.
—Faisel Features