• Friday, March 06, 2015

Uruguay 1930

Where it all began

And seventeen days after it all started, on the 30th July, the hosts were in the final, waiting to take on their South American counterparts Argentina at the colossal Centenario stadium. Both Uruguay and Argentina had crossed their semifinal barriers with flying colours with identical 6-1 wins over Yugoslavia and USA respectively.
At half-time, Uruguay were down 2-1, but fought back bravely and put three second half goals passed the stunned Argentines, ending the game with a 4-2 victory.
If FIFA needed any assurance about the decision to bring the tournament to Uruguay, they got it just before the final. Argentine player Luis Monti received a death threat.
Belgian referee John Langenus demanded guarantees of protection and planned a quick escape route to his ship. He later admitted to feeling genuine fear. On the day of the final, he was put under extra pressure, both camps wanting to use a ball manufactured in their own country. Langenus ordered each half to be played with a different ball. Dressed in his usual cap and plus fours, he went out to play the part of gamekeeper.
Naturally the day of the final was declared a national holiday. Someone died in the celebrations, a mob stoned the Uruguayan embassy in Buenos Aires, and the two FAs broke off relations. It really did matter. Even the Europeans were about to believe it.

Facts & Figures
Winner: Uruguay
Runner-up: Argentina
Teams: 13
Matches: 18
Goals: 70
Leading Scorer: Guillermo Stabile (ARG)--8
Attendance: 434,500

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, May 04, 2014

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