Scores were (half time scores in brackets):
Italy 2(0) - Brazil 1 (0)
Attendance 35, 000
For the semi-final against Italy, Brazil inexplicably
left out Leonidas, their one truly top drawer striker.
As night followed day it was inevitable that Leonidas’s
replacement Peracio would miss the only two genuine
chances that fell to him. Italy were more ruthless,
scoring twice; Brazil’s consolation goal coming
with just three minutes left on the clock.
World Cup Final played on 19 June 1938
Italy 4 (3) - Hungary 2 (1)
Attendance 55, 000.
Italy: Olivieri, Foni, Rava, Serantoni, Andreoli,
Locatelli, Biavati, Meazza, Piola, Ferrari, Colaussi.
Hungary : Szabo, Polgar, Biro, Szaly, Szucs, Lazar,
Saz, Vincze, Sarosi, Zsengeller, Titkos.
The 1938 World Cup final was between a Mediterranean
country and a Central European one, a contest between
a physically robust side and a skilful one. The
bullying tactics of the Italians set the tone from
the outset; Colaussi the Italian winger swept in
after only five minutes to put his team one up.
Hungary managed to retaliate almost straight away
as an unmarked Titkos charged in to equalise. Yet
this merely made the Italians tighten their grip,
Piola scoring just over a third of the way into
the first half, to be followed by Colaussi again
with little more than ten minutes to half time.
The game was over as a contest, the Italians presenting
a most formidable defensive unit, a reputation that
has been maintained ever since. It’s true that fortune
gifted the Hungarians a second goal after a defensive
mix-up; yet this simply provoked the Italians into
scoring the best goal of the match, Piola and Biavati
combining some delicious one-twos including a back-heel,
which Piola thumped home. The Hungarians had less
than ten minutes to make good the two goal deficit,
it proved impossible.