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England keeper recalls 1950 U.S. loss

  • AP, Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:38 PM

With the USA and England facing each other in their 2010 World Cup opener, recollections of their previous World Cup clash -- a shocking 1-0 U.S. win in 1950 -- continue to stream in. This time it's England goalkeeper Bert Williams, who is now 90 years old. "It's been 60 years," said Williams, who was beaten Joe Gaetjens. "It's taken a lot of forgetting as far as I am concerned."

''As soon as England played a good ball through, the whole American team retreated to the 18-yard line,'' said Williams. ''You could hardly see their goal. We hit the crossbar and the upright three times to my knowledge but we could not get the ball past this crowd of players.''

Williams, who played 24 times for England, said, ''We thought the score should have been 8-1, 10-1 even -- and I was virtually one of the spectators. ... I don't remember a great deal about the goal. I had the ball covered and it was a deflection off one of their players who was standing in front of me. I was going the right way. It just happened.''

England was eliminated after losing its next game to Spain, 1-0. ''I think what lost us the match against Spain was the utter dejection from losing 1-0 to the Americans," Williams said. "Our spirits were so low. I felt sorry for everyone who was on that tour."

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