The all-time World Cup

April 29th 2005
Madrid, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
4-1 (2-0)

      GOALS                   20'  1-0  Sandor Kocsis
                              36'  2-0  Ferenc Puskas
                              51'  3-0  Zoltan Czibor
                              59'  4-0  Sandor Kocsis
                              88'  4-1  Marius Lacatus

      REFEREE                 Maurice Guigue (France)

      ATTENDANCE              83,000

      YELLOW CARDS            Lantos (HUN) - Nunweiler, Petrescu, Bodola (ROM)

      HUNGARY (Coach: Gustav Sebes, system 4-2-4)

       1 Gyula Grosics
       2 Jenö Buzansky
       5 Kalman Meszoly
      13 Laszlo Balint
      16 Mihaly Lantos
       6 Jozsef Bozsik
      15 Tibor Nyilasi             (-71)
      14 Ladislao Kubala
       8 Sandor Kocsis             (-64)
      10 Ferenc Puskas (captain)
      11 Zoltan Czibor             (-71)

      19 Alfred Schaffer           (+64)
       9 Nandor Hidegkuti          (+71)
      12 Gyorgy Sarosi             (+71)

      ROMANIA (Coach: Emerich Jenei, system 4-4-2)
      16 Helmuth Ducadam
       2 Dan Petrescu
       6 Cornel Dinu
       4 Gheorghe Popescu
      21 Ludovic Satmareanu
      12 Anghel Iordanescu         (-83)
      15 Radu Nunweiler
       8 Ladislau Bölöni           (-65)
      10 Gheorghe Hagi (captain)
      13 Marius Lacatus
       9 Dudu Georgescu            (-60)

      20 Iuliu Bodola              (+60)
       7 Ilie Balaci               (+65)
      18 Ion Dumitru               (+83)


    The match of truth for both teams, aiming for the second spot in the group behind unreachable Italy. Hungary would only need a draw because of their superiour goaldifference, Romania therefore needed a win. Hungarian coach Sebes wasn't so satisfied about his defence and left both Lorant and Biro out, this time giving sweeper Balint and back Lantos the chance to show their qualities. In the Romanian team there were some changes, too. Popescu played in central defence again in place of Belodedici who was on the bench. Nunweiler, who had done so well against Paraguay and Italy as a substitute, was in the starting line-up now, Satmareanu played left back and Lacatus was brought into team. Coach Jenei hoped for his speed and direct approach to goal.

    But this match was never a real match. Romania showed too much respect and Hungary were far too strong. They took control of the match from the very beginning. This time Czibor was their best man who created danger time and again. Petrescu, his direct opponent, was in pain from the start during those first minutes, Czibor outplayed him a couple of times, but Kocsis headed straight into Ducadam's hands and Kubala just failed to get on the end of the second cross. But they were not left too long to rue their missed chances, the 1-0 was already on its way. Again it was Czibor who whizzed down the left and this time Kocsis arrived at the right spot to beat Ducadam with another header: 1-0 after 20 minutes.

    Romania never got back into the match. The 1-0 was the start of the end and they were close to scoring in that first half just once. Lacatus anticipated better to a long Bölöni pass than Lantos and stormed into the box. Grosics however narrowed the angle and Lacatus couldn't find the gap. But that was it and Hungary were gone and away. Puskas struck the crossbar and later in the first half Ducadam showed his qualities on efforts from Kubala and Czibor. Then 9 minutes before the break Bozsik delivered a great pass to Kocsis who served Puskas. From the edge of the box, Puskas needed only inches of space to beat Ducadam fair and square with another beautiful shot that went it just under the bar: 2-0.

    Now Hungary's defence were not known for their unbeatability, but it was clear that Romania would never score three goals against these Mighty Magyars. Hagi was invisible and the other midfielders were busy holding their opponents at bay rather than being able of supporting the strikers. There was no munition whatsoever for Lacatus and Georgescu, who were left on an island and simply controlled by Meszoly, Lantos and Balint. Within 15 minutes of the second half Hungary even doubled their lead. First Puskas sent Czibor deep and the outside left controlled it perfectly before beating Ducadam for a third time. And just before the 60 minute mark, Kocsis scored his second from another brilliant Czibor moment, to level with Eusebio for 4 goals at the top of the scoringslist. Sebes then took some stars off and Schaffer, Hidegkuti and Sarosi entered the pitch. Hungary now were satisfied and did nothing more to increase the score, the Romanians mentally were already on their plane back home. This tournament had showed them the difference between good and superb. Romania were nothing more than just good. But not against the better teams.

    Lacatus gave them a fairwell and saved the honours just before the last whistle from referee Guigue. Substitute Balaci took the ball out of the air, his shot touched Balint and fell to Lacatus' feet. Grosics had no chance this time, but could live with 4-1. Hungary were used to goals against them, but always had the intention to score more than the opponents. And apart from the great match they played against Italy and lost unfortunately, they had succeeded in doing so very much with spectacular football. Fabulous Four Kubala, Puskas, Kocsis and Czibor had entertained the whole world and the world on their turn hoped that this team would get far; a real outsider for the title of All Time World Champion! They would now meet Yugoslavia, a team tough to beat. But Hungary had gained confidence that they could go the whole way.

    Next Tuesday group E comes to an end. Like group B, a very tight group. Sweden visit England in the Wembley Stadium. To be sure of qualifying, Sweden need a win. England will be happy with a draw. Both teams have all their players available. Interesting to see is, which strikers Ramsey chooses. And will he put Finney in the team or will Bryan Robson regain his place? Sweden's coach Raynor is not expected to change much, though his team lost surprisingly to Austria. In the other match Denmark and Austria meet. The Austrians are slightly favourites, but Denmark must win and even in that case remain dependent on the result in the England-Sweden match. A 2-0 Danish win and a 1-0 win for Sweden would put Denmark and England exactly level on points and goals, and that would mean a decisive match. But let's wait what happens next week. It will be close, very close...


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