Monday, September 29, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 20: Football World Cup 1950-54

The Football World Cup was not held in 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War. Even in 1950, many countries were reluctant to take part in the event. Europe was devastated and was still rebuilding. Political differences had also arisen, with the Eastern European countries joining the Soviet camp. The tournament went to South America, to its largest country, Brazil. However, Argentina pulled out due to differences with the Brazilian Football Association and some other countries withdrew due to financial issues and other problems. Only 13 countries ultimately turned up.

In 1954, the tournament was back in Europe, in the small European country of Switzerland. Not ravaged by war, Switzerland was the ideal place to stage the tournament. It saw some novelties in football and some rough games as well.
Huge crowds at the Maracana were to be shocked that day in 1950

1. The 1950 World Cup had only one debutant to the tournament. It was a strange debutant, given the history of the game of football. However, as it was, this country had not played in any of the three tournaments before. Strangely enough, this team made an unceremonious exit from the tournament after going down 0-1 against the United States which was composed mainly of amateur players. However, within 20 years, this country had even won a World Cup. What is this country?

2. The 1950 tournament was the only World Cup without a final game. A final group of four countries was selected and the winner of this group was to be given the World Cup. This system had not been used in any tournament before, or afterwards. Nevertheless, the final game of the final group effectively became a final. In the still unfinished Maracana Stadium, an estimated crowd of 200,000 people watched Uruguay face the hosts Brazil. Uruguay had to win the game and Brazil only had to ensure that the game was drawn. But, even with the immense crown support, Brazil was defeated by Uruguay, with a score of 1-2. Maracana Stadium has been renovated and today can accommodate a much less crowd. It will host the 2014 World Cup final as well. In which city is the stadium located?

3. The 1954 tournament saw the advent of the “Aranycsapat” or the Golden Team from Hungary, which was the favorite team to win the tournament. It was led by a legendary footballer, a striker named Ferenc Puskas. In the quarterfinals, they met a South American team and their game is famous not for the gamesmanship but the rough playing by both sides. Indeed, the game was dubbed, “the Battle of Berne.” Hungary won it 4-2. Which country was defeated in this game?

4. Hungary faced the much less fancied West Germany in Berne in the final. In Germany, this game is known as “the Miracle of Berne.” Earlier in the tournament, Hungary had dispatched West Germany by 8-3. But, the German coach, a far thinking man, had not played his best team, knowing that they would lose even if he had. By the time the final came, Hungary was weakened from injuries as Puskas himself was injured. Therefore, the West Germans exploited this weakness to make a miracle on that day, July 4, 1954. The final score was 3-2 to Germany. Who was the West German coach in this tournament?

5. The 1954 tournament remains the World Cup tournament where the highest number of goals per match was scored. In 26 matches, a staggering 140 goals were scored with an average of 5.38 per game. The quarterfinal between the hosts Switzerland and another neighboring country saw 12 goals scored. The hosts lost the game 5-7. Which country defeated them in this game?

Answers to Quiz 19: Mehmed II the Conqueror

1. Leo III
2. Constantine XI
3. Murad II
4. Janissaries
5. Dracula

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