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Football World Cup 1954

Football World Cup 1954:

1954 saw the 50th anniversary of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and as their headquarters were based in Switzerland it seemed like a good idea for football's premier competition to be played in the home of its governing body.

For the first time there was Television coverage, and also special coins issued to mark the event.

There was also a new seeding system involved in the group stage, where the two teams ranked highest in the world standings in each group would not have to play each other.

As usual the two teams finishing at the top of their group in the group stage would go through to the Quarter Final, but strangely there would be extra time played in the group stages for any game ending in a draw. As a result of this Switzerland went to a replay, where they beat Italy 4-1, while West Germany saw off Turkish opposition 7-2.

Sixteen nations qualified for the first group stage, and of those sixteen the following eight made it through to the Quarter Finals:

West Germany

Those that joined Turkey and Italy in their dismissal included:

South Korea

The Quarter Finals saw the favourites Hungary beat Brazil 4-2. While the World Cup Holders Uruguay sent England out of the tournament by the same score line.

Also in the Quarter Finals were West Germany who dispatched Yugoslavia 2-0 and Austria, who managed to beat the host nation Switzerland in the game that saw the most goals in any Football World Cup 7-5.

Although the Semi Finals produced a score line of 6-1 between West Germany and Austria (with West Germany winning) the most exciting game saw Hungary go into the Second Half leading 1-0, only for the game to be taken to extra time with a score of 2-2. The deadlock was broken by Kocsis with two late goals to take Hungary through to the Final, beating a team that had not previously lost a World Cup game.

Uruguay then went on to be beaten for a second time by Austria as they secured Third Place.

The Wankdorf Stadion in Berne saw 60,000 people cram inside to watch the Final between West Germany and Hungary, with the legendary Puskas playing even though he was not fully fit. Despite this he put his team ahead after only 6 minutes, and with Czibor adding another two minutes later it seemed destined that the pre-tournament favourites would take the title.

However with a goal from Morlock and Rahn before half time the tide began to turn.

The second half saw telling misses from the Hungarian team, a second goal from Rahn, and a disallowed goal from Puskas with 2 minutes left on the clock. The distraught Hungarians were ushered away by the referee and with a final blow of the whistle West Germany were handed both the Jules Rimet trophy and the title of World Cup Winners.

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