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What happened the last time England's World Cup campaign started with a loss?

What does history have to say for England's chances?

England may have taken heart from a positive performance against Italy, but they will know now that qualifying for the next round has become all the more difficult.

But what does history have to say about their chances in this tournament? How did they fare in the past having lost their opening game?


Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of god’ goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup

First game:

England 0, Portugal 1
Second game: England 0, Morocco 0
Reached: Quarter-finals

Things got worse before they got better. Having lost a desultory game to the Portuguese an unchanged England were down to ten men by half-time in the second. Bryan Robson departed when his injury-prone shoulder dislocated, a minute later his replacement as skipper, Ray Wilkins, followed after throwing the ball at the referee. However, Morocco failed to force home their advantage and England then came good against Poland, Gary Lineker scoring a hat-trick. They progressed to the last eight, where they met Diego Maradona.



During England's quarter-final with Brazil at the 1962 World Cup there was a pitch invasion of the canine variety

First game: England 1, Hungary 2
Second game: England 3, Argentina 1
Reached: Quarter-finals

Beaten by an impressive Hungarian side England rallied to beat Argentina, matching them for physicality and outclassing them at football. Ahead through Ron Flowers’ penalty – after debutant, and only team change, Alan Peacock had a header handled on the line – they eased to victory. Bobby Charlton starred and, along with Jimmy Greaves, scored. However, the opening day defeat meant a second-place finish,and a quarter-final with holders Brazil. Pele was injured, but Garrincha scored twice as England went out.