Top 20 World Cup moments: Eusebio to the rescue for Portugal – No. 16



As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 16.

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 16. Trailing 3-0, Eusebio scores four in wild Portuguese comeback in 1966

Trailing 3-0 to surprise package North Korea at Goodison Park in a World Cup quarterfinal, Portugal knew they needed something pretty special to make it to the final four for the first time during their first-ever appearance in a World Cup finals tournament.

Step forward, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira.

Eusebio, known as ‘The Black Panther’ to the people of Portugal, sprang into action and single-handedly dragged his nation back into the match. 3-0 down after just 25 minutes, Portugal had a mountain to climb but Eusebio scored twice before half time to make it 3-2. He then smashed in an unstoppable shot after the break to make it 3-3 and complete his hat trick in front of a stunned Merseyside crowd.

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The man born in Mozambique wasn’t finished, oh no. Eusebio then showed off his gazelle-like speed by picking the ball up just inside his own half and then running at North Korea’s terrified defense. One scything tackle then came in on Eusebio, who carried on towards goal but he was then taken out by another hefty challenge and the referee pointed to the spot. Remarkably Eusebio was still in one piece as he dusted himself off and slotted in his, and Portugal’s, fourth of the match to put them ahead for the first time.

Portugal added a fifth late on, as they made it through to the semifinals where they lost to eventual champions England 2-1. Eusebio finished as the top scorer in the 1966 tournament with nine goals and he scored 41 goals in 64 appearances for Portugal.

The legendary Benfica forward passed away in 2014 as the soccer community lost a true hero. His legacy lives on throughout the globe and this stunning display back in ’66 remains one of his finest moments.