1930 World Cup - Uruguay

1930 World Cup - Uruguay

Hosts: Uruguay
Final: Uruguay 4 – 2 Argentina
Top Scorer: Guillermo Stabile (Arg – 8)
Teams/Matches: 13/18

Facts and Figures:

* This was the only World Cup finals without a qualification round.

* Two months before the tournament was due to begin, no European teams were willing to make the long and expensive trip to South America. Eventually, four of them – France, Romania, Belgium and Yugoslavia - on the journey after an offer from FIFA president Jules Rimet to pay their expenses.

* The 13 teams were divided into one group of 4 and 3 groups of 3, with the group winners going through to the semi finals.

* The first two matches were played simultaneously: France beat Mexico 4-1, and USA beat Belgium 3-0. Frenchman Lucien Laurent scored the first goal in World Cup history. Teams were awarded 2 points for a win in the group stage.

* The semi finals paired Uruguay and Argentina against Yugoslavia and the USA respectively, with the latter two teams both thrashed 6-1. There wasn’t a third-place match.

* Brazil lost 2-1 to Yugoslavia in the group stage and were eliminated in the first round. It only happened to the Seleção twice more, in 1934 and in 1966.

* Peru's captain, Placido Galindo, was the first player to be sent off.

* All games were played in the capital city of Montevideo. Approximately 93,000 people watched the final game in the Estadio Centenario. Only 300 watched the group stage match between Romania and Peru (3-1), a World Cup low.

* Argentinean striker Francisco Varallo celebrated his 100th birthday in February 2010. He scored one goal in the 1930 tournament.

The Final

Uruguay and Argentina were regarded at the time as the top two teams in the world, after meeting two years earlier in the 1928 Olympic Final (Uruguay won 2-1 after a replay). The rivalry therefore was huge and is today still considered one of the greatest football rivalries.

The two teams couldn’t decide on the match ball, as both used to play with different kinds of balls. FIFA ruled that each half will be played with a different ball.

Argentina led 2-1 at half time, with their chosen ball, through goals by Peucelle (20) and Stabile (39), after Dorado (12) scored first for the home team. Uruguay made a thrilling comeback with their ball in the second half, scoring three times - Cea (57), Iriarte (68) and Castro (89) - to cement their place in World Cup history.

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