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  Champion Uruguay Uruguay's Fernandez, Cea and Scarone celebrate winning the 1930 final. HULTON/Allsport



Thirteen countries entered. The European nations -- Belgium, Romania, Yugoslavia and France -- all traveled to Uruguay on the same ship and during their two-week voyage called in at Rio de Janeiro to courteously pick up the Brazilians.

France met Mexico in the opening match and duly won 4-1, but the first final was contested by the hosts and their neighbor Argentina.

After trailing 2-1 at the interval, Uruguay won the Cup, which had been designed by French sculptor Abel Leafleaur, 4-2.

Uruguay began play July 18 by defeating Peru 1-0 in the inaugural match for the Centenario Stadium, going on to advance with a 4-0 win over Romania three days later. In the semifinals, the home side trounced Yugoslavia 6-1.

In the all-South American final at the Centenario Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay took the lead after 10 minutes on a goal by Pablo Dorado before Peucelle and Guillermo Stabile gave Argentina a 2-1 lead going into intermission. In the second half, Uruguay dazzled the 80,000 spectators with goals from Pedro Cea, Santos Iriarte and Manco Castroto to defeat Argentina 4-2 and win the first-ever World Cup. Celebrations in Montevideo went on for several days and nights and the day after the famous victory, July 31, was proclaimed a national holiday.

Squad: Enrique Ballestero, Jose Nasazzi, Ernesto Mascheroni, Jose Leandro Andrade, Lorenzo Fernandez, Alvaro Gestido, Pablo Dorado, Hector Scarone, Hector Castro, Pedro Cea, Santos Iriarte, Peregrino Anselmo, Pedro Petrone, Domingo Tejera, Urdinaran. Director: Alberto Suppicci.


The 13 teams entered by invitation and the final draw was not made until the teams arrived in Uruguay. The teams were divided into four groups for round-robin play, with Argentina, Brazil, the United States and Uruguay chosen as the seeded teams. One team qualified for the semifinals from each of the four groups.

The reason's cited for Uruguay's selection as host for the first World Cup were its status as two-time defending Olympic champion, and the nation's centenary celebrations in 1930. However, construction was not started until the year of the tournament on the 80,000-seat Centenario Stadium, and the ambitious recession-era project wasn't ready for the opening match. European nations objected heavily after being overlooked as hosts and none of its main powers entered. The entire tournament took place in a single city, Montevideo, and its three stadiums (Centenario, Pocitos and Parque Central).

Group 1: Argentina, Chile, France, Mexico
Group 2: Yugoslavia, Brazil, Bolivia
Group 3: Romania, Peru, Uruguay
Group 4: Belgium, United States, Paraguay

Seventy goals were scored in 18 matches.

Opening round: Argentina won Group 1, followed by Chile, France and then Mexico. Yugoslavia topped Group 2, followed by Brazil and Bolivia. In Group 3, Uruguay came out on top, with Romania the runner-up and Peru in third. The U.S. won Group 4, followed by Paraguay and Belgium.

In the most infamous match, Argentina led crowd-favorite France 1-0 when the Brazilian referee ended the match after only 84 minutes. After conceding his error, the pitch was cleared of invading fans and players called back out, only for the match to end with the same scoreline.

Semifinals: Argentina 6, United States 1; Uruguay 6, Yugoslavia 1.

Final: Uruguay 4, Argentina 2

Full Results


Guillermo Stabile of Argentina was the tournament's leading scorer with eight goals, followed by Uruguay's Pedro Cea with five.

Luis Monti was a versatile and rugged midfielder for Argentina who would go on to play for Italy and feature in two finals for different countries, a unique achievement in World Cup history.

Defender Jose Nasazzi would become known as Uruguay's greatest-ever player, not so much for his impressive abilities as a rightback as for the leadership qualities which earned him the nickname "The Marshal." As captain, Nasazzi had already won Olympic gold in 1924 and 1928 and the Copa America in 1923, 1924 and 1926.

U.S. forward Bert Patenaude was a prolific goalscorer and -- though it remains a source of debate -- the first player to score a hat trick in a World Cup game against Paraguay at the Parque Central Stadium on July 17.

Uruguay's Hector Scarone was called "The Magician" because he pulled goals out of a hat. He was famous for his ability to improvise and particularly for his heading ability. Despite his short stature, Scarone seemed able to jump earlier and hang in the air longer than opponents.


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  • CNNSI.com wire services contributed to this report.

     


     
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