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World Cup History – fascinating facts – 1934 in ITALY

26th May 2014
The second World Cup tournament took place in Europe and the participants increased from 13 to 32. Unfortunately, Uruguay the holders were still bitter about being snubbed by the top European teams four years earlier and declined to defend their trophy.

The Home Nations stayed away again, being far more obsessed with their own internal Championship. This time the tournament was on a straight knockout basis and both the South American sides, Argentina and Brazil were beaten in the first round by Sweden and Spain respectively.

The semi finals were contested between Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria and hosts Italy. With Czechoslovakia overcoming Germany 3-1, the Italians sneaked past Austria 1-0 to ensure the hosts yet again made it to the final.

The final itself saw Italy fall behind the Czechs, but the hosts equalised with a swerving shot by left winger Raimundo Orsi (an Argentine by birth) with less than 10 minutes to play. The match moved to extra time and the Italians ensured two consecutive victories by the host nations with a winning strike in the first period of extra time.
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