Semi final (half time score in brackets):
Czechoslovakia 3 (1) Germany 1 (1)
Attendance 10,000

The Czechoslovaks initially walked all over Germany, their half-time lead of just one goal not being anywhere near justice in terms of their superiority. Unfortunately, complacency set in at the start of the second half, which enabled Germany to score a freakish equaliser. Germany then very nearly scored again, which finally awoke the Czechoslovaks from their torpor. Nejedly scoring twice more, in addition to his first half strike, for the Czechoslovaks to achieve a score line that more accurately reflected the margin of their superiority. The Czechoslovaks were also aided by their players greater familiarity, the team being drawn from only two clubs: Sparta and Slavia.

Final (half time score in brackets):

Italy 2 (0) Czechoslovakia 1 (0) after extra time.
Attendance 55,000

Teams:

Italy: Combi, Monzeglio, Allemandi, Ferraris IV, Monti, Bertolini, Guaita, Meazza, Schiavio, Ferrari, Orsi.

Czechoslovakia: Planicka, Zenisek, Ctyroky, Kostalek, Cambal, Krcil, Junek, Svoboda, Sobotka, Nejedly, Puc.

On 10 June 1934, a crowd of fifty-five thousand witnessed the host nation Italy take the field against the more skilful players of Czechoslovakia. Would Mussolini achieve his propaganda coup with a pliant referee and a partisan crowd? At first it did not look so as the Czechoslovaks withstood juddering stops and crunching tackles to impose a short passing game. Nonetheless, the pretty patterns on the pitch did not translate into goals, not until more than twenty-five minutes had elapsed in the second half. At which point the Italians started to assert themselves. After eighty-one minutes Orsi, yet another of the Argentine “Italians”, scored a freakish goal, feinting with his left and scoring with his right; a goal which he was unable to reproduce before expectant journalists the following day despite twenty attempts! The match went into extra time, which greatly favoured the physically more robust Italians. Finally the non-Argentine Schiavio scored.

© 2006 World Cup Years Ltd.