This Day in History: 2023-01-10

Nr. 379


The infamous Battle of Santiago, fought between Italy and Chile on 2 June in a group game at the 1962 World Cup, was always likely to be a combustible affair once the Italian press had published an article in the build-up to the game depicting Chiile as a backward and poverty-stricken country.
The Chileans were desperate to exact their revenge on the field and got stuck into the Italians from the start. After only seven minutes Giorgio Ferrini had been dismissed for retaliating to a brutal tackle from Honorino Landa. The Italian refused to leave the field and the game was held up for ten minutes as police shepherded him to the sideline.
Just before half-time Leonel Sanchez punched Mario David right in front of a linesman, but no action was taken. David responded by kicking Sanchez in the neck and was sent off. Sanchez, the son of a boxer, used his fists to lash out at Humberto Maschio and broke his nose. The game saw several other outbreaks of violence and the English referee Ken Aston would later admit that it was «uncontrollable».
Down to nine men, Italy held out until late in the game, but finally succumbed to two goals, the first scored with a header by Jaime Ramirez after 74 minutes, the second by Jorge Toro, who shot from 25 yards, the ball flying past Carlo Mattrel in the Italian goal, just two minutes from the final whistle. Only days later the Italians were stoned by a
group of Chileans at their training base.
Referee Ken Aston argues with ltaly’s Enzo Robotti and Mario David whilst Leonel Sanchez of Chile lies dazed on the ground.