Match No. 257 - Thursday, 29th June 1950, 6:00pm
England 0 - 1 USA
World Cup Finals (World Cup 1950) Pool 2 Game 2
- Joe Gaetjens, 38'
- Match Report: Although the game was played almost exclusively in the American half, the English contrived, through frustration, awful shooting, questionable refereeing decisions, hot weather, a poor pitch, but mostly due to the outstanding saves of Borghi and the woodwork (which was struck no less than 11 times!) to lose the match. Joe Gaetjen's (in)famous goal came from the USA's only real chance of the match and then it was a deflection off the back of his head!
Inexplicably the FA had asked their best player, Stanley Matthews, to go on a "goodwill tour" of Canada during the start of the tournament and he only arrived just before this match. With Matthews available, the sole FA Selection Committee member present, Mr. Arthur Drewry from Grimsby, decided against selecting him because he didn't want to change the winning team that had beaten Chile 2-0 in the opening match.
Probably the most infamous and humiliating defeat by an English side. A by-product of the still persisting arrogance of the English and the FA that the English team was still superior to "foreign" opposition and their luke-warm attitude to the World Cup in 1950.
Despite all those factors, never had England played so badly, and to make matters worse, never had they had such bad luck.
- England - The Quest for the World Cup - A Complete Record by Clive Leatherdale (Two Heads Publishing 1994)
- England: The Complete Post-War Record by Mike Payne (Breedon Books Publishing Company 1993)
- Official FIFA report
- The Anatomy of England by Jonathan Wilson (Orion 2010)