Reunions between the two teams at the World Cup

Reunions between the two teams at the World Cup

Prior to 1962, such events were not uncommon due to the peculiarities of the drawing system. For example, at the 1934 and 1938 tournaments there were no group stage matches. Games were played according to the Olympic system – the loser drops out. But in soccer there are also draws. In that case the teams had to play overtime. If the score was tied after 120 minutes of play, the game had to be replayed.

In 1934 it was necessary once, in the quarterfinals between Italy and Spain, but the game had to be played the next day. Of the 22 players who played in the first match, the second went only 11: the Spaniards were missing seven because of injury, including goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora with two broken ribs, the Italians because of injuries “lost” Mario Pizziolo and Angelo Schiavio, but released four fresh players. The first game didn’t look like much soccer, it was a real brawl. And the replay was brutal.

It should be noted that in the two matches of World Cup 34 extra time was enough to determine the winner of the match. So in the first leg of the game France – Austria after 90 minutes the score was 1-1. But in overtime, the teams scored three goals, two goals in a row first scored by the Austrians. They advanced to the quarterfinals. And the final match between Italy and Czechoslovakia itself required, for the first time in history, extra time. On 95 minutes Italian Raimundo Orsi scored the winning goal.

At the 1938 tournament, the system of draws remained the same. The rudeness on the field remained the same. The only thing that was tweaked was the replay day. In the first round, the re-match was played in four to five days, and in the quarterfinals in a couple of days. In six of the matches, extra time was scheduled. In three cases it did not come to a replay, all three matches were in the first phase. In one game, two goals were scored in overtime, but the score was tied, and Cuba and Romania again found out the strongest in a replay in which the Cubans sensationally defeated the Romanians 2-1. In the first leg Switzerland-Germany and Brazil-Czechoslovakia were 1-1 down in the quarter-finals. In the repeat matches, the Swiss and Brazilians scored twice as much as their opponents and won 4-2 and 2-1, respectively.

The 1954 World Cup had an equally exotic draw system, although the group stage appeared. “Exoticism” was that only two rounds were played in a group of four teams: since there were two “seeded” and two “unseeded” teams in the group, only the “seeded” played with the “unseeded.” The two teams with the most points from each group would advance to the next round (goal difference was not taken into account). One of the strongest in all groups was easily defined. But the second had to be determined by regulation. By the way, in case of a draw in the matches in the group extra time was scheduled. If the teams ranked second and third in the group were tied on points, an extra match was scheduled between them.

Incidentally, the future world champions in 1954, the German national team was much inferior to rival Turkey in terms of goal difference, but in a face-to-face meeting, Germany was 4-1. And yet, “thanks” to the regulations, they had to play an extra match, in which the Germans defeated the Turks 7:2. The situation was also paradoxical in another group at the 54th World Cup, where Switzerland and Italy played. The Swiss won the first game against the Italians, but after two rounds shared the points with them equally, and were inferior on goal difference. It took an extra match, which Switzerland won against the two-time world champions with a more convincing score of 4-1.

A rather intricate system for determining which teams would advance from the group to the playoffs was used in the 1958 tournament. In the group of 4 teams – this provision is unshakable for the preliminary stage to this day. All teams play each other, i.e. finally there are three rounds, three games each team minimum can play in the tournament. Ties are also legalized, without any overtime. Goal difference was almost legalized, but only for the case when the first two teams in the group will have the same number of points – who will play a certain opponent in the quarterfinals? But for the second and third place teams, the goal difference was not taken into account when the score was tied. For them, there was an extra match. Only if the extra match was tied (after overtime), only then would the goal difference for these teams “play”. If it does not help, then the draw. In three groups of 4, an extra match was needed. So, Northern Ireland – Czechoslovakia (1:0 and 2:1), Wales – Hungary (1:1 and 2:1) and USSR – England (2:2 and 1:0) played two matches each. The teams listed first in the pairing won the repeat match and advanced to the quarterfinals. By the way, the Northern Irish scored the winning goal in overtime.

And although we took 1962 for the milestone, when extra matches fell into oblivion, the 1954 World Cup saw a re-match between the two teams at different stages of the tournament. Such matches are the true purpose of our review. There aren’t many, so let’s compile them into a table.

Since the 1982 World Cup, teams need to play 7 matches to win a major title or compete for bronze medals. Before the 2006 tournament, the playoff schedule was constructed in such a way that teams that were in playoffs from the same group could meet in the 6th game of the tournament, i.e. in the semifinals. This was also true for the 1982 championship, where there were no 1/8 or ¼ finals. Instead, 4 groups of 3 teams were formed, the winners of these groups met in the semifinals according to a predetermined scheme. The last 4 World Championships were held in a slightly different grid: Two teams from the same group could now only meet in the 7th game, i.e. either in the final or in the match for 3rd place.

All repeat matches prior to 2018 were the sixth game for teams in the tournament. In 1954 and 1962, the maximum possible number of matches for medalists was 6. In 1954, however, the Hungarian team was playing its fifth championship match in the final, while the German team was already in its sixth.

In the table everything is so clear and beautiful, it is a pity that they even changed the grid in 2006. Look at the championship solitaire, a digital idyll: Germany won the world championship for the first time in 1954, Brazil for the second time in 1962, Italy for the third time in 1982, Brazil for the fourth time in 1994 and for the fifth time in 2002! This chain could not continue indefinitely. The harmony of numbers was broken, the “beauty” was suddenly cut short. But who knows, maybe in 40 years an inquisitive statistician will discover another relationship, which will also amaze with its beauty.

The story of each pair of teams will be postponed until later. Let us note the first time the “cap-zakidatelskaya” mood of the Hungarians was aroused in the 1954 final. By 8 minutes of the final Hungarians were leading 2-0. In the first match Hungarians also led 3-0 by 21 minutes. Only in the final, by that minute the Germans had already tied the score. There are no two identical matches in sport, even if the opponent is the same.

It is quite obvious that such repeated matches can now happen only at the finish of the tournament. Let’s wait for new finals and new winners!


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