On this day: Uruguay stunned Brazil at the Maracana in 1950

Let’s return back in time to 1950 and remember the FIFA World Cup decider between Brazil and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

FIFA World Cup 1950 was the fourth edition of the competition, where Brazil hosted 15 national teams who competed for the ultimate goal – to become football champions of the World.

The format was a bit different as the teams were drawn in three groups of four and one group of three, and each winner of the groups qualified for the final stage – another group of the four group-winners from the previous stage. The team which won the final group was crowned World Champion.

Hosts Brazil started out with a 4-0 win against Mexico, followed by a 2-2 draw with Switzerland and another victory, 2-0 vs Yugoslavia, which was enough for them to qualify for the next round.

Uruguay, who had already won the World Cup in its inaugural edition, were drawn in Group 4 with France and Bolivia. However, France withdrew from the competition, so La Celeste played only against Bolivia for a place in the next stage, trashing them 8-0, with Oscar Miguez netting a hat-trick.

European sides Spain and Sweden won the other two groups, so the final stage of the tournament was ready to go.

Of course, Brazil as hosts were considered to be the favorites to win their first and so long-awaited World Cup in front of their home crowd.

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The Selecao started out the final stage in fantastic fashion netting seven past Sweden in the first round. A 6-1 victory over Spain followed and it was all to be decided in the game against Uruguay, who had three points from the games against the European nations.

To be more clear, a win was awarded two points back at the time, which meant La Celeste had won one game (3-2 against Sweden, producing a late comeback) and drawn one (2-2 vs Spain).

Estadio do Maracana hosted the World Cup decider between the South American rivals, a game played on this day exactly 69 years ago.

A point was enough for Brazil to finally lift the title and everything went well for them in the first half, as it finished in a 0-0 draw.

Friaca gave the Selecao the lead two minutes after the break, but Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalized for Uruguay midway through the second half.

The shocker came 11 minutes from time, with Alcides Ghiggia netting the winner for Uruguay, silencing the almost 200.000 people who attended the game at the Maracana stadium.

La Celeste won their second, and still final, World Cup crown, producing one of the biggest upsets in football history. The term Maracanazo became synonymous with the match, roughly translated as the “The Agony of Maracana”, after the name of the stadium.

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