England won the World Cup in 1966 on the 30th of July. They had created history and etched their name in the history books by landing the World Cup on their home soil. Besides Moore, The England team boasted stars like Roger Hunt, Bobby Charlton, Geoffrey Hurst and the list must go on and on.
The World Cup was a hot topic from the beginning with the African countries boycotting the tournament in protest of them not being qualified on the based of their merit by qualifying the zonal qualifiers but then would have to participate against the Asian teams in the playoff. This was the first time after the Second World War where any war-ravaged nation did host the World Cup.
The Group Stage
England was in group A and which was a tricky one as England were drawn with France, Uruguay and Mexico. It was not an easy business for any of them. England had been backed by the home crowd from the very beginning. England had opened their World Cup encounter against two-time champion Uruguay and it ended in a goalless draw which made the English supporters anxious about their team’s chances.
The next match was very crucial against Mexico in the Wembley stadium. The English team was quickly off their guards and secured a comfortable 2-0 victory against the North Americans. Hunt and Charlton were in the scoresheet for the English. Next up, it was a gritty France team who looked to topple their English counterpart but were unsuccessful as they were shoved aside by the English as Hunt scored a brace. England topped the group and qualified to the next round along with Uruguay.
England won the World Cup in 1966: The Knockouts
The Quarters: Tricky test with the Albicelestes
England was now facing an unpredictable Argentina side in the Quarter Final at the Wembley Stadium. The knock out stage had begun and tension was mounting for the home side. It was goalless in the first half and the second half was also following the same pattern. With 12 minutes left, Hurst broke the deadlock for the English. The clock ticked slowly and 12 agonizing minutes separated the English from their victory. England had passed the tricky test and were now qualified to the semi-final and now the crowd was slowly believing that they can become the World Champions.
Semi-Final: The tough affair with Eusebio’s Portugal
England was in the semi-final and they faced the tournament favourites Portugal with the best player in the world in their disposal. Eusebio was on his conquest to win the World Cup. As the match proceeded, England took control of the game. Except of few attacks here and there, Moore and his defence were mounting an insurmountable wall against the Portuguese. Charlton scored a brace and England was on the driving seat to reach the final. Eusebio came to the rescue and pulled one goal back which was a mere consolation. As time ticked, Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup. It was a heartbreak for Eusebio and It was just one game for England to win the World Cup in 1966.
The Final Showdown with West Germany
England was on the verge of their glory and the only team which stood in their way was World War foes West Germany. Over 100,000 people were present in the Wembley stadium to witness the extravaganza. It was a battle of nerves as Germans took the lead through Haller, but was immediately equalized by Hurst. With 12 minutes left, English took the lead again but it was crossed out by Weber‘s goal in the 89th minute. The feeling of losing it was slowly gripping Wembley. Extra time was being played out. Then the unthinkable happened Hurst scores two goals in 31 minutes completing his hattrick. The final whistle blew and England were now the World Champions.
England won the World Cup in 1966: The one and only time
The significance of this World Cup victory still looms large in the country where years have passed on, but this is the solitary World Cup the Land of Hope and Glory have won. The folklore about this team will inspire the future generations to emulate the same feat. Years have passed on, but Moore and his team would remain immortal in the history of the English Football.
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