CLASSIC UFWC TITLE MATCH:
AUSTRIA 5-0 SCOTLAND, 16 May 1931
Friendly, Hohe Warte, Vienna
Scorers: Zischek (2), Sindelar, Schall, Vogel
Hungary, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands had all tried and failed to release the British Isles’ grip on the UFWC title. Austria had made two failed attempts, but were hoping to make it third time lucky against current champions Scotland.
The Scottish team was selected by committee, with scant regard for coaching or management. The Austrian team was a somewhat different proposition.
New Austrian coach Dr Hugo Meisl was a bona fide football pioneer, and perhaps the first great football manager. The son of a Jewish banker, Meisl abandoned a promising career in finance to travel around Europe learning everything he could about the game of football. Using his amassed great knowledge of the game, he became a successful club coach, and then began to shape the Austrian national side into his ‘Wunderteam’.
But Meisl didn’t work alone. His head coach was an Englishman who had learnt everything he knew about football from Scottish professionals.
Jimmy Hogan had been a distinctly average inside-right for the likes of Burnley and Fulham, where he learnt the finer points of football tactics from his Scottish teammates, before making his name as a coach on the continent. The Scots played a highly effective ‘scientific’ passing game that relied upon steady, patient play. Hogan was recruited by Meisl to teach the Austrians how to play in the same way.
The style of play Hogan instilled in the Austrians became known as the Vienna School of Football. And what better way to test the Wunderteam’s passing game than against the country that had invented it?
Scotland, captained by Clyde’s Daniel Blair, arrived in Vienna without their contingent of Rangers and Celtic players. They were promptly battered. With Meisl and Hogan orchestrating matters from the sidelines, the Wunderteam passed the Scots to death.
Karl Zischek scored two goals, the great Matthias Sindelar added a third, and Anton Schall and Adolf Vogel completed the turnover. The UFWC trophy left the British Isles for the very first time, as Austria became the first non-British side to win the UFWC title after 59 years of UFWC title matches. Scotland were beaten at their very own game.
As for Jimmy Hogan, he later coached in Hungary, and laid the foundations for that country’s ‘Magnificent Maygars’ side of the 1950s. Sometimes regarded as a traitor in his homeland for taking his football knowledge to the continent, Hogan died in Burnley in 1974 aged 91. Tributes called him a founding father of the modern game.