The 1906 Scotland World Cup of Football – Knockout Stage
The United States had been particular favourites of the local Scottish crowds for embarrassing the English, but now it was time for them to face off on the pitch. The Scottish rocked the Americans, showing dominance all throughout the game and beating them 3-0. The Netherlands, despite their group stage success, could not replicate that greatness against the Argentines, falling 3-0 by half-time and 5-1 by full-time.
Sweden and Hungary had the most equal match-up of the quarter-finals, with both teams duking it out in an extremely close match, but a last-minute finisher from Sweden buried Hungary’s chances of advancing. Uruguay continued their unbeaten streak against Switzerland, which found itself hopeless after going down 4-0 in the first half. One lonely goal at the beginning of the second half brought them a glimmer of hope, but they couldn’t build from it and they fell to the Orientals.
The World Cup was already considered a success at this point by FIFA, with a great attendance record and news of the results of the tournament reaching the people of the participating countries, leading to hundreds more making the trip to go see the matches in Scotland. Then, only 4 remained.
The Scotland and Argentina match would go down in infamy as the first of the World Cup’s many “Battles”. The Battle of Glasgow, as it became known, ended in multiple dismissals for both sides and injuries for most of the defenders. Due to things like cards and suspensions not existing at the time, there weren’t any significant consequences for this, and a few of the dismissed players were controversially allowed back into the game after a couple of minutes. Finally, after a long, drawn out and exhausting game, Scotland managed a goal in on the 80th minute and Argentina failed to equalize. The local crowd roared, as the hosts got closer and closer to the title of World Champions.
The second semi-final match would be nowhere close to this level as Uruguay took the Swedes for a spin, battering them both figuratively and literally. Another four goals for Uruguay as the Swedes couldn’t manage to get a single one in. Onto the final.
There was supposed to be a 3rd place match in Edinburgh between Argentina and Sweden, but Argentina withdrew due to the exhaustion of their players and issues they had with the officiating of the previous match. Sweden were promptly given their bronze medals right as they were preparing to head back home.
It was time for the grand final, to crown the best national team as World Champions. Tensions were high, as the local Scottish fans were expecting a victory over the little-supported Uruguayans. They had the hearts of the English crowds who wished for Scotland’s loss, however. Before the match, the Uruguayan players received death threats from Scottish fans standing outside the hotel they were residing in, which resulted in police involvement and multiple arrests due to fights breaking out between said fans.
On the 3rd of June, at Hampden Park, the home of Queen’s Park FC, the first World Cup final kicked off. Almost immediately, the Uruguayan defence broke down and allowed in a goal at the 2nd minute of the game. They had a tough time trying to get past Scotland, and the aggressive atmosphere towards them in the stadium didn’t help at all. What made matters worse was a second Scottish goal in the 28th minute mark. The hosts, emboldened by their home advantage, played an incredibly offensive game as the Uruguayans struggled to catch up. A third goal came in the 40th minute, and the first half ended soon after.
The Uruguayan contingent was hopeless. They had soared high for the past 5 matches, with an average of 4 goals per game, but now reality was hitting them like a truck. Still, they came out onto the field after the break was over and scored a goal incredibly quickly against an overconfident Scottish defence, putting them at 1-3. The hosts would widen the gap again by counter-attacking in the very next play, and they would steal the ball after Uruguay’s kick-off to score yet another goal. The exact time between this goal and the previous one is unknown, but most sources say there were roughly 70 seconds of space between each of these goals. 5-1.
The Orientals would scratch and crawl for their comeback, managing to score another goal in the 65th minute. Scotland was unable to widen the gap, and a botched goalkeeper save left them open to another Uruguay goal. The score was 5-3 with 10 minutes left on the clock. Uruguay scored another goal just 3 minutes before the end of the match, as the Scottish crowd was getting rowdier and rowdier. However, there was no saving the Uruguayans. The equalizer never came.
Scotland are World Champions!