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 10.
PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 10: United States shock England in 1950
It was the day a hearse-driving goalkeeper put England’s World Cup hopes in the ground.
They weren’t supposed to be there in so many different ways. There was the aforementioned hearse driver (Frank Borghi) and a high school teacher (Walter Bahr). There was a player who couldn’t get off of work to play. Heck, some of the players representing the United States that day in Brazil weren’t even formally American.
But this ragtag bunch of part-time players, a group their coach called “sheep ready to be slaughtered”, beat the World Cup debutant English 1-0 on a goal from a Haitian immigrant named Joe Gaetjens. His skimmed header of a Bahr shot gave the US a first-half lead it would not relinquish by the time the Italian referee whistled a final time.
Borghi was phenomenal in holding England at bay. Part of his eventual reward? Gerard Butler would play him in a movie directed by the man who filmed “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.”
And despite the US’ 1W-oD-2L finish in the group, the tournament is arguably more celebrated that the Yanks’ third-place finish in the 1936 World Cup.