Brazil v Portugal – 1966 (via @NYTimesGoal)

June 25, 2010 — by Suman

Eusebio conquers Pele

Just came across this history lesson and video via the NYT Goal blog’s entry for this morning’s highly anticipated intra-lusophonal match:

And now, a history lesson. The Seleção and Selecção never played each other until 1956, but since then they have met 18 times. Brazil emerged the winner 12 times, with 2 draws, though most of the games were played in Brazil. Yet how often do you think these sister nations have clashed in anger? Answer: only once, at the 1966 World Cup … and Portugal won, 3-1.

That match at a packed Goodison Park in Liverpool — the meeting of the all-time greats Eusébio and Pelé — was the group finale for both teams, and it eliminated Brazil while sending Portugal on a path to the semifinals in their first World Cup appearance. Eusébio scored twice, but many remember the game for its hard fouls, especially the one from defender João Morais against Pelé:


Germany v England: A Primer

June 24, 2010 — by Sean10

England and Germany have played one another for more than a century, but it was only after WWII that the tensions really showed. The origins of the bad blood do in fact reach back before the conflict, to the rise of the Nazi party and a friendly played in Berlin before 100,000 fans. The English squad were given commands to perform a Nazi salute before the game, which they did, at the time not particularly caring one way or another. Looking back, it’s a sure sore spot. By the by, that 1938 matchup ended in a win for the lions.

War and interim friendlies aside, we come to the World Cup final of 1966, played in Wembley between England and the newish West Germany.

Group SummariesVideo

Group C Summary – England/USA/Algeria/Slovenia

June 23, 2010 — by Suman

Scenario Analysis:

Here’s who advances in each of the 9 possible outcomes of this morning’s 2 matches:

USA win USA draw USA loss
ENG draw USA & SVN SVN & ? SVN & ENG

(?: if both games end as draws, both USA & ENG will finish with 3 points.  The tiebreaker is total GF, so USA has the advantage, having scored 3 so far to ENG’s 1.  It’s possible but unlikely that ENG could advance in this scenario–if they & SVN play to a high-scoring draw, e.g. 3-3, while USA plays to a low-scoring draw, e.g. 0-0.)

Group C fixtures & results:

  • Sat June 12 (Day 2): England 1, USA 1
  • Sun June 13 (Day 3): Slovenia 1, Algeria 0
  • Fri June 18 (Day 8): USA 2, Slovenia 2
  • Fri June 18 (Day 8): England 0, Algeria 0
  • Wed June 23 (Day 13): Slovenia v England
  • Wed June 23 (Day 13): USA v Algeria


Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
SloveniaSlovenia 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
USAUSA 2 0 2 0 3 3 2
EnglandEngland 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
AlgeriaAlgeria 2 0 1 1 0 1 1

Video highlights below.


Dispatch from Cape Town: Rowan Flad on FanFest, USA-SLV, ENG-ALG

June 23, 2010 — by Suman

We just received via email a dispatch from South Africa: friend, former teammate, and archaeologist Rowan Flad on watching the US-Slovenia game last Friday at the FanFest in Cape Town, followed by watching England-Algeria live:

Today [Friday, June 18] we (me and my wife In Paik) attended our first live match of WC2010 – England v. Algeria.  We spent the day exploring Cape Town a little more, after having done Table Mountain and some other sites yesterday, first going to a sweet little coffee shop in Observatory (Obz), the part of town where we are staying, called “Queen of Tarts,” and then heading into the City Bowl area where we had a lunch of African tapas at a joint called “Africa Café.”  We then headed to the District Six museum, which was only a few blocks from “Fanfest” – the designated viewing area where a huge screen had been set up outside city hall for people to watch games.


The Big E.A.S.Y. (via @johnglally)

June 21, 2010 — by Suman

Via an Englishman in New York, @johnglally (whom we hope will soon shift (or at least crosspost) his commentary from Twitter to CultFootball):

“I wonder why England players might suffer from complacency and overconfidence…”

Dateline = December 2009, when the group draw was announced.