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Top 20 World Cup moments: US shocks England in 1950 — No. 10

Jun 2, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 10. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 10: United States shock England in 1950

It was the day a hearse-driving goalkeeper put England’s World Cup hopes in the ground.

They weren’t supposed to be there in so many different ways. There was the aforementioned hearse driver (Frank Borghi) and a high school teacher (Walter Bahr). There was a player who couldn’t get off of work to play. Heck, some of the players representing the United States that day in Brazil weren’t even formally American.

But this ragtag bunch of part-time players, a group their coach called “sheep ready to be slaughtered”, beat the World Cup debutant English 1-0 on a goal from a Haitian immigrant named Joe Gaetjens. His skimmed header of a Bahr shot gave the US a first-half lead it would not relinquish by the time the Italian referee whistled a final time.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

Borghi was phenomenal in holding England at bay. Part of his eventual reward? Gerard Butler would play him in a movie directed by the man who filmed “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.”

And despite the US’ 1W-oD-2L finish in the group, the tournament is arguably more celebrated that the Yanks’ third-place finish in the 1936 World Cup.

  1. jucam1 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Seriously?… The Donovan goal and this make your top 20?… We get it, you love the US and it’s a sight focused on the US, but it’s hard for me to balance some of the great articles you guys put up sone times with your Unbelievable “homer-ism” and US “is the greatest team” ones. You realize this wouldn’t rank in the top 100 moments on a more globally focused sight even if it was an upset. I know you got yo do what you do for the US audience, but could you tone down the homer meter like 5 or 6 good notches?… You’re EPL and Non-US team based stories are great!

    • Nicholas Mendola - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      No. 62. Appreciate your comment, though.

      • timkvfp - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Oh snap…

  2. mannyfrommoosejaw - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Take a hike jucam1 if you don’t like it make your own top 20

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