Czechoslovakia national football team

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Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Association Czechoslovak Football Association
Confederation EFU
FIFA ranking 15 Steady (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 8 (1934)
Lowest FIFA ranking 46 (1959)
First international  Czechoslovakia 5–0  Yugoslavia
(Antwerp, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
World Cup appearances 5 (First in 1922)
Best result Third, 1930
European Nations Cup appearances 1 (First in 1960)
Best result Runners-Up (1960)

The Czechoslovakia national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Czechoslovakia in international competition and is controlled by the Československá fotbalová reprezentac.

Czechoslovakia has qualified for five FIFA World Cups since their debut at the 1922 FIFA World Cup with their best result being a third place finish at the 1930 FIFA World Cup. They also have played in one European Nations Cup with the best performance of a runner-up placing at the 1960 edition held at home.

History[edit | edit source]

The beginnings[edit | edit source]

The first instance of an Czechoslovakia team took place at the 1920 Summer Olympics where they won their first match against Yugoslavia 5-0 in the opening match before losing to Norway in the quarter-finals. The following tournament, they competed in the 1922 FIFA World Cup and after they defeated Luxembourg 4-1 in the opening round which featured a double from Jan Dvořáček. Czechoslovakia though would lose 3-0 to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

After being eliminated by Uruguay in the opening round of the 1924 Summer Olympics, Czechoslovakia finished in second place in their qualifying group which featured Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland. After qualifying through automatically after the Philippines withdraw, the national team was put in Group C with Austria, Italy and Finland. After initially getting a 0-0 draw against Austria, they lost to Italy 2-0 in the second match of the group as the national team would be eliminated in the group stage despite a 2-1 win over Finland in the final match of the group.

Skipping the following Olympics, Czechoslovakia qualified through to the 1930 FIFA World Cup after finishing top of the qualifying group which featured Greece, Turkey and Poland with Josef Silný scoring five goals during the qualifying campaign. This meant that they had qualified through to the World Cup where they competed in Group D with Switzerland, Norway and Paraguay. After losing the opening match from August Lehmann hat-trick, Czechoslovakia record victories over Norway and Paraguay to book a spot into the knockout stage. In the quarter-finals, Antonin Hojer scored a double to book Czechoslovakia a spot in the semis where they would lose to the Netherlands 3-0. Hojer eventually finished as the leading goal-scorer of the tournament with another double in the third place playoff against Switzerland to give Czechoslovakia third place.

Qualifying through to the 1934 FIFA World Cup as top of the group, the national team was put in Group D with rivals Yugoslavia, Germany and Bulgaria. Oldřich Nejedlý scored four goals in the opening match against Bulgaria as they recorded their biggest victory in the World Cup with a 7-0 result. A shock result against Germany was than countered with a 3-0 win over to Yugoslavia as they finished top of the group ahead of their opponents with Germany missing out by goal average. Though their tournament would end in the quarter-finals as they lost to Wales 2-1 at Rome.

Disappointment[edit | edit source]

Skipping the Olympics which was held in Germany, Czechoslovakia was placed in Group 4 of qualifying for the 1938 FIFA World Cup which was held in Argentina. After defeating Greece in the opening match, 4-1, they fell behind early in the match against Bulgaria as they conceded two goals in the first half. But goals to Antonín Puč and Vlastimil Kopecký brought the match to two all but it wasn't enough as they had to go to a play-off against Romania which they would lose 3-2 in extra time with Gyula Prassler scoring the winning goal for Romania and knocking Czechoslovakia out.

Being eliminated to Romania in qualifying for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, Czechoslovakia once again just missed out on qualifying for the 1954 FIFA World Cup which was held in Chile. After drawing with Spain in the opening match, they would take home a victory over the Netherlands with a second half goal from Otto Hemele. But this time they would be eliminated by goal difference with Spain's 3-1 victory over the Netherlands booking Spain's spot in the World Cup.

In 1955, Czechoslovakia competed in qualifying for the first edition of the European Nations Cup. Dispatching Luxembourg and Denmark in the opening two rounds, they took on Turkey in the quarter-finals with the winner to book a spot into the finals tournament. After Tomáš Pospíchal scored a late equalizer in the opening leg at Istanbul, the second leg was held in Prague. Opening the account, Jiří Feureisl gave Czechoslovakia the early lead in the 15th minute before Turkey scored two goals in the space of six minutes to put Turkey in front in not just the match but also the tie. Trailing 2-1 in the half, Arnošt Pazdera gave Czechoslovakia hope as the match was level at 2-2. As the game went into extra time, Czechoslovakia spot at the European Championships ended with Lefter Küçükandonyadis scoring his second of the qualifying campaign and the winner for Turkey.

Runner-up in Europe[edit | edit source]

After again falling short in qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, this time to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia next focus as on the 1960 European Nations' Cup which would be later held at home. After defeating their three opponents in the qualifiers by a single goal, they took on France in the semi finals. With support from co top goalscorer in Vlastimil Bubník, they defeated the French before losing against the Soviet Union in extra time. After the European championships, the good form continued on in the qualification for the 1962 FIFA World Cup as they finished top of their group to go through to the World Cup.

At the World Cup, Czechoslovakia were drawn in Group C with Great Britain, Italy and Argentina. Despite being the lowest seeded of the four teams, they would go to finish top of the group with a solid two goals wins over Italy, Argentina with the match against Great Britain ending in a draw. This meant that they qualified through to the quarter-finals against the Netherlands where they would be solid for around 80 minutes before conceding to Piet van der Kuil as the Dutch knocked the Czechs from the tournament.

Competitive record[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Exist
England 1914
Netherlands 1922 Quarter Finalist 5th 2 1 0 1 6 1
Spain 1926 Group Stage 10th 3 1 1 1 2 3
Uruguay 1930 Semi Finalist 3rd 6 4 0 2 9 8
Italy 1934 Quarter Finalist 7th 4 2 0 2 12 4
Argentina 1938 Did Not Qualify
Sweden 1950
Chile 1954
Switzerland 1958
Mexico 1962 Quarter Finals 6th 4 2 1 1 6 3
Total Semi Finalist 5/12 19 10 2 7 35 19

European Nations Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

European Nations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1956 Did Not Qualify
Czechoslovakia 1960 Runner-Up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 2
Total Runner-Up 1/2 2 1 0 1 4 2

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Football in Czechoslovakia