Chile 1962 World Cup

Four years after Brazil’s first World Cup triumph, the tournament moved back to South America with Chile acting as hosts.  In May 1960, two years before the tournament was due to begin, disaster struck.  The host nation was struck by an earthquake that measured an astonishing 9.5 on the Richter scale, the largest recorded earthquake in the Twentieth Century.  Unsurprisingly, due to the power of the quake, an enormous amount of the country’s infrastructure was damaged.  Undeterred and determined to still host the competition, President of the organizing committee, Carlos Dittborn, rallied his fellow countrymen and all the required stadia and infrastructure was completed on time to allow the tournament to take place without any organizational hiccups.

The format of the competition remained the same as that of 1958 with sixteen teams qualifying and being divided into four groups.  Disappointingly for football fans everywhere, some of the bigger names failed to shine in the tournament, most notably Pele, who was injured in Brazil’s opening game and was forced to sit out the rest of the tournament.  Chile ’62 was not without its stars as Brazil saw the emergence of the young Amarildo and Garrincha and the host nation performed way beyond anyone’s expectations to finish third.  The competition was marred by overly defensive football and violent tactics.  This negative combination came to the forefront during “The Battle of Santiago” between hosts Chile and Italy were players deliberately set out to hurt each other and largely forgot about the ball.  The game was won 2 -0 by the hosts and the Italians needed a police escort to leave the field safely.

Brazil was drawn in group three with Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Spain.  A two nil victory over Latin American rivals Mexico gave Brazil the perfect start in the defence of their title.  Goals from Pele and Zagallo, who both scored in the ’58 final, were enough to see of the Mexicans.  This opening victory was followed by a scoreless draw with Czechoslovakia before a final match with Spain.  Spain took a first half lead with a goal from Adelardo and the European’s held onto the lead until late in the second half.  It appeared an upset was on the cards until Brazil newcomer Amarildo, who was drafted in for Pele, scored a brace in the final eighteen minutes to grant Brazil victory.

In the other groups, the USSR topped Group 1 after finishing undefeated in their opening three matches.  They were joined by fellow Europeans Yugoslavia despite suffering a two nil victory at the hands of the Russians.  West Germany finished first ahead of Chile who in turn created a surprise by beating two times champion Italy.  In the final Group, Hungary and England progressed at the expense of Argentina and Bulgaria.

Brazil were drawn to play England in the quarter finals where two goals and a man of the match performance from Garrincha gave the defending champions a victory by three goals to one to set up a semifinal clash with the host nation Chile, who had created an upset by knocking out European Champions the USSR in the previous round.  Czechoslovakia defeated Hungary in the battle of the eastern Europeans and they would face Yugoslavia who overcame previous winners West Germany one goal to nil.

Due to the surprise qualification of Chile, the semifinal venues were switched and a bumper crowd of 76, 000 saw Brazil emerge victorious by four goals to two.  Brazil superstar Garrincha was sent off along with Honorino Landa of Chile.  Before his sending off, the Brazilian had scored twice to give his country a 2 – 1 lead at halftime.  A second half brace from Vava was enough to keep Brazil in front as the held off their fellow South Americans to book their third World Cup Final where they would face their group opponents Czechoslovakia.  The Europeans had taken their place in the final as a result of victories over Hungary and Yugoslavia largely thanks to goalkeeper Viliam Schrojf. 

A crowd of 69 000 walked through the gates at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago and saw Brazil emerge victorious for the second successive tournament.  As in 1958, Brazil found them a goal down but recovered to equalize two minutes later with a mistake from Czech ‘keeper Schrojf.  Two goals in the second half from Zito and Vava, the third a result from another Schrojf mistake were enough to give Brazil the cushion they needed and a victory by three goals to one.  It was harsh on Schrojf, who had performed so well in the tournament to date, but Brazil were not to be denied their second crown having succeeded without the inspirational Pele.

Statistics:

Matches: 32
Goals: 89 (average 2.8 per match)
Attendance: 899 074 (average 28 096 per match
Golden Boot Winner: Florian Albert (Hungary), Valentin Ivanov (URS), Drazen Jerkovic (Yug), Leonel Sanchez (Chi), Vava & Garrincha (Bra) 4 goals.

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