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376 vs. Uruguay
Saturday, 26 June 1954
The Championnat du Monde de Football Finals Second Phase Quarter-Finals match one/two

Uruguay 4 England 2 [2-1]
Sankt Jakob Stadium, Sankt Jakob, Basel, Switzerland
Kick-off (CEST & BST): 5.00pm
Attendance: 35,000 (FIFA state 28,000);
Uruguay kicked off Billy Wright won the toss
[1-0] Carlos Borges 5
 5-yard right-footed drive on the turn from an Abbadie mis-hit
[2-1] Obdulio Varela 39

 20-yard drive from a José Santamaría free-kick into the top corner

[1-1] Nat Lofthouse
12-yard placed shot wide of Máspoli from a Dennis Wilshaw short thro' ball
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World Cup Football
Evening Service 7.45 Weather 7.50 Guess My Story
[3-1] Juan Schiaffino 46
 15-yard strike low to Merrick's right

[4-2] Javier Ambrois 84

 low drive from edge of penalty area into far post

Tom Finney 67
scrambled in from 6 yards after Máspoli failed to hold onto a Lofthouse strike
This week's Music Charts
second half live - Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme
Officials Uruguay Party FIFA ruling on substitutes England Party
Referee (black)
Carl Erich Steiner
34 (9 May 1920), Wien, Austria
Vasa Stefanović
Vincenzo Angelo Giovanni Orlandini
43 (30 August 1910), Roma, Italy
Uruguay Team
Current World Champions Colours: Sky blue v-necked jerseys with white collar/cuffs, black shorts, black socks with white tops.
Rank: No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 5th to 4th
Capt: Obdulio Varela Manager: Juan López Fontana, 46 (15 March 1908), also coach at CA Peñarol, appointed 1949.
oldest opposing WCF captain so far
Uruguay Lineup (only the goalkeeper wore a badge)
1 Máspoli Arbelvide, Roque G. 36
257 days
12 October 1917 G CA Peñarol 33 0
oldest opposing WCF gk so far
Santamaría Iglesias, José E. 24
330 days
31 July 1929 RB Club Nacional de Football 7 0
3 Martínez Carreras, Wílliam R. 26
164 days
13 January 1928 LB Rampla Juniors FC 14 0
4 Rodríguez Andrade, Víctor P. 27
55 days
2 May 1927 RHB CA Peñarol 25 0
Muiños Varela, Obdulio J. 36
279 days
20 September 1917 CHB CA Peñarol 45 9
oldest opposing WCF player so far final app 1939-54
17 Cruz, Luis A. 29
59 days
28 April 1925 LHB Club Nacional de Football 11 0
7 Abbadíe Gismero, Julio C. 23
292 days
7 September 1930 OR CA Peñarol 12 8
Ambrois, Javier 22
48 days
9 May 1932 IR Club Nacional de Football 10 4
9 Míguez Antón, Omar Óscar 26
203 days
5 December 1927 CF CA Peñarol 20 18
Schiaffino, Juan A. 28
333 days
28 July 1925 IL CA Peñarol 19 8
Borges, Carlos A. 22
163 days
14 January 1932 OL CA Peñarol 5 5
reserves: not permitted
World Cup Champions notes: Uruguay beat Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on 16 July 1950 to become the reigning World Champions, there are five surviving members of that team in this fixture, Andrade, Máspoli, Míguez, Schiaffino and Varela.
2-3-5 Máspoli -
Santamaría, Martínez -
Rodríguez Andrade, Varela, Cruz -
Abbadie, Ambrois, Míguez, Schiaffino, Borges.
Averages: Age 27 years 267 days Appearances/Goals 18.3 4.4
oldest opposing WCF team so far
England Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th to 7th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared short-sleeved jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
42nd, W 22 - D 10 - L 10 - F 110 - A 74.⁴³
Capt: Billy Wright³
46th W 26 - D 9 - L 11 - F 113 - A 74.⁹⁰
Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
64th match, W 39 - D 13 - L 12 - F 187 - A 95, one abandoned.¹³⁹
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Team chosen by the Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Friday, 25 June.
England Lineup
  two changes to the previous match (Matthews & Lofthouse>Mullen & Taylor) FINAL league positions (FL1 26 April, FL2 29 April)
  Merrick, Gilbert H.
151 days
26 January 1922 G
Birmingham City FC (FL2 10th)
23 45ᵍᵃ
oldest WCF goalkeeper so far first to 45ᵍᵃ
  final app 1951-54
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30
74 days
13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 3rd) 6 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 24
291 days
8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC (FL 4th) 6 0
14 McGarry, William H. 23
16 days
10 June 1927 RHB Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 3rd) 2 0
4 Wright, William A. 30
140 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 61 3
most apps 1952-54
6 Dickinson, James W. 29
63 days
24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC (FL 14th) 38 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 39
145 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 6th) 38 9
oldest outfield player
8 Broadis, Ivan A. 31
190 days
18 December 1922 IR Newcastle United FC (FL 15th) 14 8
final app 1951-54
Lofthouse, Nathaniel 28
303 days
27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 5th) 21 23
Wilshaw, Dennis J. 28
107 days
11 March 1926 IL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 3 3
Finney, Thomas 32
82 days
5 April 1922 OL Preston North End FC (FL 11th) 54 24
oldest WCF goalscorer so far
reserves: not permitted
records: Predominantly because of the World Cup Finals, England have played ten matches in a season for just the second time. The first time they have lost four matches in a single season.
This is also the first time that England have conceded thirty goals in a single season.
England's sixth fixture against the World Cup Champions, W 3 - D 1 - L 2 - F 14 - A 10.
goalscoring records: Nat Lofthouse equals Stan Mortensen's record (1947-50) of being England's top goalscorer for three consecutive seasons. Lofthouse ended this season scoring six goals in six matches.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Wright, McGarry, Dickinson -
Matthews, Broadis, Lofthouse, Wilshaw, Finney
Averages: Age 30 years 145 days Appearances/Goals 24.2 6.2
oldest post war & WCF team so far
              Match Report by Mike Payne

England finally made their exit from the 1954 World Cup when they lost to the current holders of the trophy, Uruguay, in the sweltering heat of the St. Jakob Stadium in Basle. Ironically, though, the crowd witnessed England's best performance of the tournament by far and the players could leave Switzerland with their heads held high.
Courage and determination has never been a characteristic lacking in an Englishman and the players had to draw on their experience to do battle against the intimidating South Americans. Led by their captain, Billy Wright, England pushed forward at every opportunity, feeding the mercurial Stanley Matthews as often as possible. The winger was used in a roving role and always seemed available when his fierce-tackling defenders fed the ball out of defence.

The histrionics of the Uruguayans quickly turned the crowd against them, so England enjoyed valuable support, but there was no disputing Uruguay's skill and after only five minutes they took the lead.

Superb interpassing between Abbadie, Schiaffino and Borges ended with the latter brilliantly shooting past Gil Merrick. At that moment visions of Uruguay's 7-0 thrashing of Scotland earlier in the tournament came flooding back. But England were made of sterner stuff and they quickly got back into the game.

Fifteen minutes had gone when Matthews picked the ball up in midfield and brilliantly sent Dennis Wilshaw clear. In turn, the inside-left gave Nat Lofthouse the perfect pass and the Bolton player did the rest. From then on the game boiled up into a frenzy as the excitement reached fever pitch. Lofthouse was denied only by the fingertips of Mespoli as the goalkeeper produced a dazzling save following a good pass by Ivor Broadis.

Wright then sent Wilshaw away again and when Lofthouse received
another pass from the number-ten he was once more thwarted by Mespoli. This time the ball ran loose though and Wilshaw followed up to flick it agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

Ironically, after all those narrow escapes, it was Uruguay who stole the lead again with six minutes of the half remaining. Roger Byrne, who had a torrid time throughout, up-ended Abbadie and from the free-kick by Santamaria, Varela hit a tremendous a 25-yarder wide of Merrick's right hand. The 'keeper might have done better but there was no denying the power of the shot. By half-time Uruguay had Varela, Abbadie and Andrade all struggling with injuries.

The last thing England wanted straight after the break was an early goal against them. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened. Yet another foul by Byrne, one of many by him, gave Uruguay a free-kick. The ball was quickly moved between Ambrois and Miguez before the superb Schiaffino came through a gap to shoot past Merrick, who again was slow to react.

The goal stunned England but they refused to surrender. Urged on by Wright, Matthews, Dickinson, Staniforth and Wilshaw, they tried everything they knew to break down the clever defending by the Uruguayans. Ever-watchful of the danger of the breakaway, Ambrois once hit the bar from such an attack, they pushed forward relentlessly. With 25 minutes remaining, the game was once more put into the melting pot.

Yet another purposeful attack again saw Lofthouse shoot at goal. This time, when the ball bounced out, Tom Finney was on the spot to push it over the line. Suddenly it was 3-2 and everything to play for.

England gave everything n those last minutes and twice came within a whisker of equalizing, once when his shot struck the back stanchion and again when Mespoli produced another excellent save.

With the crowd willing for an equaliser. Uruguay then did what was least expected of them by breaking away and scoring a fourth, killer, goal. Lovely passing between
Martínez and Miguez set up the chance for Ambrois to fire a diagonal shot from the right beating Merrick again, although this time the goalkeeper may have been unsighted.

The goal came ten minutes from the end and was a cruel blow and poor reward for England's sterling efforts. The end of England's World Cup campaign had at least given them a share of respect from all who saw the game.


              Match Report by Norman Giller

Two mistakes by goalkeeper Gil Merrick let defending world champions Uruguay in for goals that turned this quarter-final match in their favour after Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney had each scored to give England hope of causing an upset. Shuffling Stanley Matthews, the undisputed man of the match, hit a post and had a shot pushed off target before Uruguay clinched victory with their fourth goal in the eighty-fourth minute when Merrick failed to save a speculative shot from Ambrois. It was shell-shocked Merrick's final match for England. He had let in thirty goals in his last ten games after conceding only fifteen in his first thirteen internationals. The Uruguayans had beaten Scotland 7-0 in a qualifying round match, but were never allowed to show that sort of superiority by an England team that performed with pride and purpose.

              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
FIFA match report
The Complete Book of the British Charts
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
British Pathé