The 1912 United States World Cup of Football – Group StageNow, it was time for the World Cup in America! For the first time, pots were used instead of a random draw. The United States were seeded to Group 1, while the rest were ordered in their pots by their performance in the previous World Cup, qualifiers and regional strength. National teams from all over the world made the trip to the Eastern Coast of the United States. The groups were to all play their games in a certain city: Group 1 played their games in New York City, Group 2 played their games in Philadelphia, Group 3 played their games in Boston, Group 4 played their games in Washington DC, Group 5 played their games in Baltimore and Group 6 played their games in Pittsburgh.
These were the pots used in the draw:
And these were the results of the draw:
- Group 1: United States, Basque Country, São Paulo, Styria
- Group 2: Denmark, Scotland, Wales, China
- Group 3: Argentina, Uruguay, Austria, Natalia
- Group 4: Romania, Netherlands, Bohemia, New England
- Group 5: England, France, Canada, Finland
- Group 6: Cornwall, Sweden, Bahia, New Zealand
Group 1United States 2-1 Styria
São Paulo 0-0 Basque Country
United States 3-3 São Paulo
Basque Country 4-1 Styria
Basque Country 2-1 United States
São Paulo 1-0 Styria
The Basque Country and São Paulo went unbeaten, as hosts the United States scraped by with a win and a draw, and Styria was eliminated.
Group 2Denmark 5-2 China
Scotland 3-0 Wales
Denmark 8-1 Wales
China 2-1 Scotland
Denmark 5-1 Scotland
China 4-0 Wales
The little-known China national team surprised everyone by defeating Scotland and Wales, while Denmark comfortably advanced at the top of the group. Scotland barely managed to edge out a spot in the knockout stages.
Group 3Argentina 3-0 Natalia
Uruguay 2-1 Austria
Argentina 2-0 Austria
Uruguay 6-0 Natalia
Argentina 5-3 Uruguay
Natalia 0-0 Austria
Argentina and Uruguay faced each other once again accompanied by Austria. The South Americans dominated the group as Austria and Natalia only managed a draw between the two of them.
Group 4Romania 1-0 New England
Netherlands 4-1 Bohemia
Romania 3-0 Bohemia
New England 2-0 Netherlands
Netherlands 1-0 Romania
New England 1-0 Bohemia
Romania, New England and the Netherlands all advanced with 2 victories and 1 loss each, at the expense of Bohemia.
Group 5England 3-1 Finland
Canada 0-0 France
England 2-2 Canada
Finland 1-0 France
England 5-0 France
Canada 2-1 Finland
This group showed France slipping back into mediocrity, as Canada advanced over them and Finland, an improvement from their performance in the previous World Cup. England topped the group.
Group 6New Zealand 1-1 Cornwall
Sweden 2-0 Bahia
Cornwall 3-2 Bahia
New Zealand 1-0 Sweden
Sweden 3-1 Cornwall
Bahia 2-0 New Zealand
The Oceanians impressed by making it through the group stage on roughly equal footing with Cornwall and with only one loss against Bahia, even triumphing against group winners Sweden.
The World Cup was kicking into gear, and many Americans in the host cities went to watch the matches, filling the relatively small stadia to their absolute limit. The tournament began to inspire many young people across the country to create their own football clubs.
Now, it was time for the knockout rounds, featuring the brand new Round of 16.