Friday, 2 April 2010


See yesterday's post for questions.

Spain. They beat the USA 3-1, Chile 2-0 and England 1-0. That saw them comfortably through to the Final Group of four sides, where a heavy loss to Brazil (6-1) and defeat against Sweden (3-1) left them with a fourth place finish.

France beat Mexico 4-1 in the first ever World Cup Finals match. It was played on July 13 1930, kicking off at 3pm at the Pocitos stadium in Montevideo.

The current format has been used since 1998. From 1982 to 1994 there were 24 participating nations at the Finals. Prior to that there was always 16 teams, with the exception of 1930 and 1950 (curiously both tournaments were won by Uruguay) where just 13 nations took part.

The USA. The format of the World Cup that year was straight knock-out, so that one bad night in Rome meant the end of the road for the Americans.

1966, England v Uruguay; 1970 Mexico v Soviet Union; 1974 Brazil v Yugoslavia; 1978 West Germany v Poland - they all finished 0-0.

Denmark (1986, 1998 and 2002) and Ireland (1990, 1994, 2002). Both nations have reached the quarter-finals once; the Danes in 1998 when they were beaten 3-2 by Brazil and the Irish in 1990, when they lost by a single goal to the host nation Italy.

Four teams won their groups with 100% records. Hosts Germany (Group A) beat Costa Rica 4-2, Poland 1-0 and Ecuardor 3-0. Portugal (Group D) beat Angola 1-0, Iran 2-0 and Mexico 2-1. Brazil (Group F) saw off Croatia 1-0, Australia 2-0 and Japan 4-1. And Spain (Group H )defeated Ukraine 4-0, Tunisia 3-1 and Saudi Arabia 1-0.

Austria and Brazil finished on level points and goal difference in Group 3, but the European side took first place by virtue of having scored one goal more.

The unfortunate nation was South Korea, who were beaten 9-0 by eventual finalists Hungary and 7-0 by Turkey.

Jamaica beat Japan 2-1. France 98 was their first and - to date - only appearance at the World Cup Finals. Both sides went into this final group game having already lost their other two games. Jamaica's win therefore saw them finish third in the group, with Japan fourth.

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