By 90Min
February 07, 2018

Fascism - an ideology that subjugates society's individuals in order to have them all singing collectively off the government's metaphorical hymn sheet, unbeknown to those affected due to the fact that everybody appears to all be pulling in the same direction blindly. 

Those orchestrating said subjugation - Benito Mussolini in this instance - saw football as an effective influence in conveying propaganda across to the masses such was, and still is, the huge popularity of the beautiful game. 

(You may also be interested in 'World Cup Countdown: 19 Weeks to Go - The 1930's Austrian 'Wunderteam' & the Banker's Son') 

Mussolini and other figures such as Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler wanted to use the World Cup to show everybody just what their respective nations were about, and set about using manipulation and corruption to get their way. 

Mussolini and his fascist party wanted Italy to be at the forefront of the peoples' game, even creating the Italian league (Serie A) in order to instil a sense of nationalism ahead of the biggest tournament in football, which many of the country's best footballers bought into as they had become fully brainwashed by the 'Mussolini way'. 

Il Duce - as Mussolini was often referred to - had already seen his ego and regime suffer slightly when he attempted to have the very first World Cup in 1930 held in Italy, only to lose out to Uruguay. The founder of the fascist regime reacted by withdrawing Gli Azzurri from the competition and eventually got his wish next time round in 1934. 

Uruguay duly returned the favour, pulling out of the second edition of the World Cup, whilst Argentina sent a weakened side in fear of the Italians cherry picking their best players as a result of the 'oriundi' policy - those who carry another nation's heritage could be taken to play for their alternative country. 

This didn't affect the Italians, as they made it all the way to the final where they would face Czechoslovakia at Rome’s Stadio Nazionale del Partito Nazionale Fascista.

To begin with, Mussolini and Hitler's attempts to stage an Italy vs. Germany final had been foiled by the Czechoslovakians at the semi final stage, where they dispatched of the Germans by three goals to two to upset the fascist regime's propaganda plans. The gatecrashing finalists would almost upset the odds even further...

Italy's side featured several players originally from south America, including two Argentinians in the form of Luis Monti and Raimundo Orsi, both of whom would go on to play pivotal roles in the final for Gli Azzurri. 

The intense pressure on the Italian national team to win the game for Mussolini was intensified by the 40ºC heat beating down on the players; however this would not deter both sides from putting on an entertaining spectacle. The Italians started brightly, but just simply could not find a way past Frantisek Planicka in goal. 

The Czechs stayed resilient against the favourites and, with just 19 minutes left on the clock, stunned the 55,000 capacity within the ground when Antonin Puc - Czechoslovakia's top scorer to this day - smashed the ball past Giampiero Combi from a tight angle to leave Mussolini and  the home crowd sitting nervously. 

The host nation were rattled by the opening goal, failing to recover any sliver of defensive organisation and almost allowing Czechoslovakia to establish a cushion, only for the visitors' wasteful finishing allowing the Italians a glimmer of hope. 


That aforementioned glimmer of hope soon turned into an equaliser for the Italians just as soon as the crowd became discontented, as the Argentina-born Orsi fired the ball past Planicka to restore parity between the two sides. 


Karel Petru's Czechoslovakia weathered an Italian storm for the remaining 14 minutes to force extra time as they attempted to manage the game professionally, but their respite was short lived. 

Just five minutes after the restart, the Italians had taken the lead through Angelo Schiavio and in doing so turned the game on it's head to win the World Cup for the host nation and boss Vittorio Pozzo, while also keeping the fascist regime and Mussolini content. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)