June 20 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
There could be no more fitting visitors to Wembley than Brazil for the first game of the Football Association’s 150th year.
But whilst the Samba stars may be the most attractive team, their dominance over England in competitive games means they are not amongst what could be regarded as their most significant fixtures.
Here, we trawl through the history books for 10 matches to remember - or forget.
England 0 USA 1 (Belo Horizonte, June 29, 1950)
Having finally deigned to enter a World Cup, England swaggered into Brazil expecting to emphasise their superiority. Instead they got total humiliation. While it was obvious other countries were advancing fast, USA were seemingly languishing far behind. So, when Joe Gaetjens scored in the first-half, it sealed one of the most astounding results of all time.
England 3 Hungary 6 (Wembley, November 25, 1953)
The day England finally discovered the brutal truth. Ferenc Puskas’ ‘Magnificent Magyars’ were so good, this was not even close. They might have levelled Nandor Hidegkuti’s early effort but the Three Lions were soon sliced apart repeatedly. It condemned them to their first home defeat beyond the ‘Home Nations’ and showed England up for the second-rate side they actually were.
England 4 West Germany 2 (Wembley, July 30, 1966)
The greatest day in English football history. Sir Alf Ramsey’s team recovered from an early deficit thanks to goals from Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, only to be denied victory in the last minute of normal time when Wolfgang Weber pounced. Controversy still rages over whether Hurst’s shot 11 minutes into extra-time act actually crossed the line, but when the West Ham striker became the first - and so far only - player to score a hat-trick in a final, England were top of the world.
England 2 West Germany 3 (Leon, June 14 1970)
England seemed to be on their way to a semi-final meeting with Italy as they cruised into a two-goal lead thanks to Alan Mullery and Martin Peters. But within the space of a minute, Franz Beckenbauer pulled one back and Bobby Charlton was replaced by Colin Bell. The momentum of the game swung. Uwe Seeler sent the match into extra-time and Gerd Muller won it.
England 5 Scotland 1 (Wembley, May 24 1975)
In the middle of a dark period which included failure to qualify for successive World Cup finals, England hammered a team that did. Gerry Francis and Kevin Beattie scored inside the first 10 minutes. Colin Bell added another before the break, then Francis and David Johnson responded after Bruce Rioch had pulled one back.
England 3 France 1 (Bilbao, June 16 1982)
England’s first World Cup finals match in 12 years couldn’t have got off to a better start as Bryan Robson scored after just 27 seconds. Although France equalised, England had the edge, with Robson and Paul Mariner sealing victory after half-time. Not for the last time though, their beaten opponents got further in the competition.
England 1 Germany 1 (Milan, July 4, 1990)
Much like their tournament as a whole, England recovered from a dodgy start to gain momentum as they strove for a place in the World Cup final. Gary Lineker’s goal took the game into extra-time when Paul Gascoigne’s tears captivated a nation and Chris Waddle’s shot hitting the post in extra-time left them in agony. Deadly German accuracy from the penalty spot left everyone crying, after Waddle and Stuart Pearce missed from 12 yards.
England 4 Holland 1 (Wembley, June 18 1996)
Possibly the finest all-round tournament performance England has ever produced. Holland might not have been quite the force of old but they were still a respected opponent. Two goals each from Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham ensured they never had a chance as Terry Venables’ men strode into the knock-out phase.
Germany 1 England 5 (Munich, September 1 2001)
A few scores were settled on this night as Sven-Goran Eriksson earned himself a place in English folklore. When Carsten Jancker scored early, a hammering was on the cards. Little did anyone expect it to be Germany getting stuffed. Michael Owen got a hat-trick, Steven Gerrard scored and, as if to emphasise what a ridiculous day it was, so did Emile Heskey. It didn’t stop Germany reaching the World Cup final mind, but hey, so what.
England 1 Argentina 0 (Sapporo, June 7 2002)
If there is an opponent that rival Germany in the ‘demand to beat’ stakes, it is Argentina. And as David Beckham was sent off against them in 1998, he wanted to win this one more than most. So there was quite a bit of venom in the penalty he blasted home a minute before the break. England have not won a World Cup match of equal significance since.