Flashback: 1953 – Haiti mishandled by the Austrian champion in Port-au-Prince

📸Photos courtesy Guy Lallemand, Benjamin Martineau, Gilbert Gabaud, Stephane Dragon, Lucien Armand, Réginald Lohier, Jean-Holtène Tanisma & Carlo Boncy.

By Mythsouka Jean-Philippe

In July 1953, the Stade Paul Eugène Magloire in Port-au-Prince was the scene of a major football event as Haiti hosted the formidable FK Austria Vienna, Austrian champions. This friendly clash was of particular importance for the Haitian Grenadiers, led by French coach Paul Baron, who were preparing for the 1954 World Cup qualifiers.

However, hopes of preparation were quickly dampened by the fierce performance of the Austrians, led by Austrian football legend Ernst Stefan Stojaspal. The Austrian team, under the management of Heinrich “Wudi” Müller, also boasted notable talents such as Ernst Ocwirk, who would go on to captain the Austrian team at the 1954 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. -finals and being named to the standard team of the tournament.

Despite the efforts of the Haitian Grenadiers, they were overwhelmed by the quality and experience of their Austrian opponents, suffering a severe 13–0 defeat. This defeat undoubtedly served as a rude awakening for the Haitian team, highlighting the gaps that need to be filled before the World Cup qualifiers. However, it also highlighted the gap between emerging teams and world football’s powerhouses, highlighting the road ahead to compete with the best footballing nations.

On July 19, the Grenadiers were beaten 8-0 by the Mexican football team in their first outing for the World Cup qualifiers. It was undoubtedly one of the worst moments of the Haitian selection at the time with so many beatings recorded.

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