On this day (2nd June): England begin their World Cup defence

Posted on Jun 2 2015 - 10:04pm by Tom Burford

On this day in 1970, England began their defence as champions of the world as they played their first group game at the World Cup in Mexico.

England won that game against Romania, Geoff Hurst scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.

In those days, you only got 2 points for a win so England qualified for the next round in 2nd place with 4 points after a 1-0 defeat to Brazil and a 1-0 victory over Czechoslovakia.

England were knocked out in the quarter final stages by West Germany, who famously came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in extra time. Peter Bonetti deputised for the injured Gordon Banks and was largely to blame for the defeat.

Highlights of this tournament for England included a world class save in the Brazil game by Banks from Pele’s effort. The Brazilian striker fired a vicious header down into the bottom corner of the goal only for Banks to miraculously tip it over the bar.

Brazil eventually went on to win the tournament, beating Italy 4-1 in the final.

Birthdays:  Freddy Adu – 1989 (26), Sebastian Schemmel – 1975 (40), Sergio Aguero – 1988 (27),