Today in history: Italy beat Czechoslovakia to win first World Cup title
On 10 June 1934, hosts Italy won the first of their four World Cup trophies, beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in extra time before a crowd of 45,000 at Rome's Stadio Nazionale PNF.
Unlike the first World Cup, the 1934 second edition did not include a group stage. Instead, the 16 qualified teams started directly with knockout rounds. Italy opened the tournament with an easy win over the United States (7-1), then overcame Spain (in a replay, 1-0), and Austria (1-0) to reach the Final. Czechoslovakia, meanwhile, advanced with victories over Romania (2-1), Switzerland (3-2), and Germany (3-1). Czech striker OldÅ™ich NejedlÃ½ scored in every match - and recorded a hat-trick against Germany - to enter the Final as the Cup's top scorer with goals.
In the Final, the Italians kept NejedlÃ½ in check to keep the match scoreless at halftime, but the Czechs went ahead in the 76th minute with a goal from forward AntonÃn PuÄ. Their lead lasted only five minutes, as Italy's Raimundo Orsi equalized in the 81st minute. The two sides remained even at 1-1, taking the match into extra time. There, striker Angelo Schiavio scored his fourth goal of the tournament, a 95th-minute shot that proved to be the Cup winner.
Italy repeated as champions in 1938 and won again in 1982 and 2006.