Germany 4 – The Allies 4

Believe it or not, yesterday’s thrilling 4-4 draw between Chelsea and Liverpool is not the most dramatic 4-4 draw ever played in the sport of soccer. Even Everton’s famous 4-4 draw with Liverpool in a 1991 FA Cup replay cannot claim that honor. Rather, the most dramatic ever 4-4 draw was played sometime in the early to mid-1940s when a team of Allied POWs took on the German national team. Here, via the soccer site Teamtalk, is an account of the match:

With Sly Stallone in goal, Michael Caine’s men were always going to concede but with the talent they had further forward a high-scoring encounter was nailed on.

With Bobby Moore at the back, Ossie Ardiles and Mike Summerbee pulling the strings in midfield and Pele causing havoc in the hole it should have been a walk in the park for the Allies, but a combination of unbelievably biased refereeing and some joke goalkeeping from Rambo meant the goodies were 4-1 down to the baddies – and with a tunnel to escape through and, more importantly, Pele nursing a shoulder injury due to German brutality the game was surely up. Not so.

The Allies, to their credit, opted to finish the match – and with Pele in a sling scoring an astonishing overhead kick (replayed 26 times by the movie’s director) and Rocky saving a penalty late on, they did a runner as the 1940s crowd, dressed in 1970s clothes (note to director), carried them to freedom.

Here is Pele’s wonder goal (watch also for Bobby Moore (#6), captain of the England team that defeated West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, and one of the best defenders of all time, and Ossie Ardiles (#8), a hero of Argentina’s 1978 World Cup winners, and a personal favorite of mine):

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