It was July 16, 1950, before a crowd of over 200,000 spectators; in the brand new Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil the favorites, host Uruguay in the World Cup final that would go down in history as Brazil’s most heartbreaking loss.
In the group stage Brazil proved to be a force to be reckoned with, beating Mexico 4x1, tying Switzerland 2x2, and beating Yugoslavia 2x0.
In the final stage Brazil beat Sweden 7x1, then Spain 6x1, putting on a show for the fans.
In the mean time Uruguay struggled to get through to the final tying Spain 2x2 and beating Sweden 3x2.
Brazil is the heavy favorite over Uruguay to win their first world cup title. Rio de Janeiro was a sea of green and yellow, with 173,850 paying spectators, although it is believed that well over 200,000 people actually watched the match inside the stadium and many more surrounded the outside of the stadium.
The first half of the game showed a nervous Brazil, not finding Uruguay as fragile as some of their previous opponents.
Uruguay showed a good tough defense led by Matias Gonzalez. Uruguay had an organized defense and everyone helped marking players and running down balls, specially team captain Obdulio Varela.
Brazil had two very good chances to open the score, but the best chance came in the 38 minute for Uruguay when Minguez tried a shot from outside the area beating goalie Barbosa, but the ball hit the left post.
The second half brought a more determined Brazil. In the 47 minute Ademir in a great pass to Friaca who beats the defender and opens the score…Brazil 1 x 0 Uruguay. The fans went crazy, not only in the stands but across the country. Brazil’s first world cup title was in sight.
Brazil playing for a tie, had only to hold on, but Urugay did not give up. Under leadership of team captain Obdulio Varela, they fought their way back. The more the fans in the stands yelled the harder they played.
The team that could not be beaten was holding on for dear life, and before long came the equalizer. Varela plays the ball on the right to Ghigia who once again leaves Bigode for dead in his wake, just before he runs off the pitch he manages to crosse finding Schiafino who one times it, Barbosa has no chance…The score is tied!
Brazilian pride would be their undoing. The tie would have been sufficient for the title, but only victory would satisfy the thousands of fans that were watching the game.
Brazil moved forward, but not in an organized fashion. Their nervousness was evident by all their mistakes. Ghigia who had been getting the best of Bigode the whole game, once again left him in his wake and headed down the field, only this time instead of crossing the risked the shot catching the players and the goalie Barbosa by surprise. Barbose pounced like a cat and got a touch on the ball but it was not enough…Brazil 1x2 Uruguay. There was only 11 minutes left!
The crowd was silent as the referee signaled the end of the game.
Brazil’s first world cup title would not come until 1958, and even though Brazil has more than made up for that heartbreaking loss in 1950, the fans still hunger for Brazil to have the opportunity to win soccer’s highest honors in their own country.
Can Brazil do it? Who will be next Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Romario, Pele, Kaka, Cafu, Roberto Carlos? Who will emerge to lead Brazil to the Title when they host the world cup? We will have to wait and see.
Brazil: Barbosa, Augusto, Juvenal, Bauer, Danilo, Bigode, Friaca, Zizinho, Ademir, Jair e Chico, Coach: Flavio Rodrigues Costa.
Uruguay: Mapolli, Matias Gonzalez, Tejera, Gambeta, Obdulio Varela, Rodriguez, Andrade, Ghigia, Julio Perez, Minguez, Schiafino and Moran. Coach: Juan Lopez