POLAND 2 ENGLAND 0 1974 World Cup Qualifier Slaski Stadium, Chorzow 6th June 1973

Bobby Moore endured a horrific afternoon as England‘s World Cup hopes took a severe battering as Poland clinched a famous victory.

The man who had lifted the Jules Rimet trophy on that glorious afternoon at Wembley 7 years earlier was culpable for both of Poland’s goals as England’s first tilt at the new FIFA World Cup looked to have ended before the finals began. Moore turned a free kick into his own goal after just seven minutes, before he was caught in possession at the start of the second half by Lubanski who raced away to fire past Peter Shilton.

Moore under pressure, as he was all day, from the Polish attack – Picture from Amazon.com

The game was broadcast live by the BBC with David Coleman in the commentator’s seat. England again wore the unfamiliar Yellow shirts which debuted against Czechoslovakia in the previous game. Sir Alf Ramsey made two changes from the side which drew in Prague. Emlyn Hughes returned to the side at left back, with Peter Storey moving into midfield to replace Mick Channon. However, Ramsey again showed his fallibility with substitutions, making no changes to chase the game, despite having 43 minutes after falling 2-0 behind.

England also suffered the indignity of seeing Alan Ball sent off by Austrian referee Paul Schiller following a clash with Leslaw Cmikiewicz. Ball had taken exception to a challenge on Martin Peters and took the law into his own hands to manhandle the Polish player.

Sir Alf Ramsey was defiant at the final whistle saying: We are all disappointed, but I was also very proud of the team and the way they played. I do not think they could have played better, but I think we could and should have beaten the Poles.” He would need to beat them in the decisive qualifier at Wembley in October if England were to make the finals in West Germany.

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