1966 World Cup

The World Cup of 1966 will not just be remembered as the year of England's greatest triumph. On Teesside it will also be remembered as the year North Korea re-wrote the history books by beating Italy in the one of the World Cup's biggest ever shocks.

Bobby Moore lifts the World Cup for England

Ayresome Park was chosen ahead of St. James' Park due to a dispute regarding the lease of the ground, between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle United. Boro took advantage of the situation to improve parts of the ground, adding seats to the East End and the North and South Terraces. Boro could now boast almost 13,000 seats, which made Ayresome Park one of the best grounds in the country. Ayresome Park played host to three games in group four which was made up of  USSR, North Korea, Chile and Italy. The other group games were played at Roker Park, Sunderland.

At Ayresome Park, in the opening game of the group, USSR beat North Korea 3-0 in front of 23,006 fans. Two goals in a minute, with half an hour gone, were enough to kill off the plucky Koreans. USSR added a third in the dying minutes. Up the road Italy beat Chile 2-0 at Roker Park.

In the second round of matches Ayresome Park hosted the North Korean's against Chile. The South Americans dominated the first half and took a deserved lead, after 26 minutes, from the penalty spot. However, the Korean's were to stage a fight back and earned a draw with a goal in the dying minutes, from Pak Seung-zin. The following night, at Roker Park, the Soviet Union booked their place in the quarter finals with a 1-0 win over Italy. A draw for Italy in their final game would see them safely through to the next round.
No substitutes were allowed in the tournament, so the Italian's had to manage with just ten men, when Bulgarelli was stretchered off after 30 minutes, following a knee injury. The 18,829 fans inside Ayresome Park, including more than 3,000 Italian's, sensed that there could be an upset and their belief was confirmed when Pak Doo-ik put the Korean's ahead just before half-time

Pak Doo-ik puts North Korea ahead against Italy

Italy had 45 minutes to save themselves but they failed to make their possession count against a resolute Korean defence. The Boro crowd had taken the Korean's to their hearts and gave them a tremendous send-off when the final whistle blew.

The Korean's had to wait for the result of the final match in the group between Chile and USSR. Chile could pip the Korean's if they won, but even a weakened USSR side ran-out 2-1 winners at Roker Park. Disappointingly the attendances at Ayresome Park were the lowest of all the World Cup venues, but then Boro had just been relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history.

The North Korean's celebrate their historic victory against Italy
Group 4 Results at Ayresome Park
Date: 12th July 1966 USSR 3
North Korea 0
Att: 23,006

USSR: Kavasashvili, Ponomarev, Shesterniev, Khurtsilava, Ostrovski, Sabo, Sichinava, Chislenko, Malafeev, Banishevski, Khusainov

Scorers: Malafeev (2), Banishevski

North Korea: Chan-myong, Li-sup, Yung-kyoo, Zoong-sun, Bong-chil, Seung-zin, Seung-hwi, Bong-jin, Doo-ik, Ryong-woon, Seung-il

Date: 15th July 1966 North Korea 1
Chile 1
Att: 13,792

North Korea: Chan-myong, Li-sup, Yung-kyoo, Zoong-sun, Yoon-kyung, Seung-zin, Seung-hwi, Bong-jin, Doo-ik, Dong-woon, Seung-il

Scorer: Seung-zin

Chile: Olivares, Valentini, Cruz, Figueroa, Villanueva, Prieto, Marcos, Fouilloux, Landa, Araya, Sanchez

Scorer: Marcos (pen)
Date: 19th July 1966 North Korea 1
Italy 0
Att: 17,829

North Korea: Chan-myhung,  Zoong-sun, Yung-kyoo, Yung-won, Yoon-kyung, Seung-hwi, Bong-jin, Doo-ik, Seung-zin, Bong-hwan, Sung-kook

Scorer: Doo-ik

Itlay: Albertosi, Landini, Faccheti, Guarneri, Janich, Fogli, Perani, Bulgarelli, Mazzola, Rivera, Barison

Group 4 Results at Roker Park
Date: 13th July 1966 Italy 2
Chile 0
Att: 27,199
Date: 16th July 1966 Soviet Union 1
Italy 0
Att: 27,793
Date: 20th July 1966 Soviet Union 2
Chile 1
Att: 16,027
Final Group 4 Table
P W D L F A Pts
USSR 3 3 0 0 6 1 6
North Korea 3 1 1 1 2 4 3
Italy 3 1 0 2 2 2 2
Chile 3 0 1 2 2 5 1

USSR played Hungary in the quarter-finals at Roker Park and ran out 2-1 winners, but their world cup campaign ended at Goodison Park in the semi-finals, when they were beaten 2-1 by West Germany.

North Korea went on to play Portugal in the quarter-finals and almost pulled off another upset. They shocked the Portuguese by taking a 3-0 lead at Goodison Park, only for the great Eusebio to score four, as Portugal fought back to win 5-3. 

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