Groups of Death in World Cup History

1958 | Group 4 | Brazil/USSR/England/Austria
Text: James Carlton/SI.com
Photo: Staff/AFP/Getty Images

1958 | Group 4 | Brazil/USSR/England/Austria

The 1958 World Cup in Sweden witnessed the first true Group of Death, with three traditional soccer powers competing and the USSR and England needing a one-game playoff to decide who would advance. Brazil progressed from Group 4 -- and ultimately won the Cup -- behind the deft dribbling of Garrincha and the precocious Pelé, who made his debut as a 17-year-old prodigy in Brazil's third group match against the Soviets, who also moved on by beating England in a playoff. Austria, overmatched by the three titans of the group, managed just a 2-2 tie against an England side weakened by the death of star Duncan Edwards in the Munich Air Disaster.

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