Melbourne Olympic Park, Australia - Uruguay
0 : 0
The first of the two internationals against the former World
Champion Uruguay was in front of 22,000 people at the Olympic Park. Australia dominated
for 70 minutes and had a lot scoring chances. The frustrated South Americans resorted to
rough play and two of there players were lucky not to be send of.
Curran was the best Socceroo and he had
more shots at goal than most of the forwards. Jack Reilly, the new keeper for Jimmy
Fraser, was brilliant. Australia did not score because it lacked the numbers in attack and
because of some great defending.
The match was rough. Each of the two teams had lost a key player through injury. Schaefer
was out for the return battle. Rasic said about the Uruguayan's play, " they did not
play rough or hard, but dirty."
Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia -
Uruguay 2 : 0
rematch was scheduled for three days later in Sydney at the SCG in front of 25,708 people.
The packed crowd was there to cheer on the Socceroos and celebrate their departure to
The atmosphere was carnival like. However, the Uruguayans had other ideas.
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was there to meet the players
before the match. The Socceroos again played it hard and tight and the
Uruguayans got frustrated and rough. Australia played brilliant football, but Morena had
the biggest chance early.
Rooney was the greatest of the Socceroos, closely
followed by Mackay, Wilson, Richards, Curran and Baartz. The Uruguayans kicked, punched
and cursed, they hit everything they could reach.
After 25 minutes Ray Baartz jumps for a header, a Uruguay defender strikes Ray on
side of the neck with a karate chop type blow (Goes unnoticed by officials).
He collapsed on the ground unable to breath, and it required the medical attention
team doctor, Brian Corrigan to revive him.
During half time break Corrigan checked him
again and Baartz declared himself fully recovered and able to continue. "The game got
quite nasty and vicious," Baartz said after the game.
"I was running and got hit across the throat. I went down and couldn't
breathe. It was behind the play and no-one saw the incident. The blow struck an artery
that became swollen and closed, with the reaction later being diagnosed as equivalent to
One hour into the game, with the score locked
at 0-0, Baartz sent the crowd in raptures by shooting Australia into the lead. He
contolled a pass from Rooney 25 metres from the Uruguayan goal, turned and shot. The ball
hit the back of the net like a ground-to-air missile. It was later described by coach
Rasic as one of the best goals ever scored by an Australian.
From that point on, Baartz was a marked man (Bullet Boot Baartz, who could hit a
fly on the fly with a soccer ball from 40 metres).
He was attacked again later in the game by another player, Louis Garisto, who
received a red card for a punch.
"We got a corner and Garisto was arguing so I told him to shut up and have a look at
the scoreboard," Baartz said. "He turned around and punched me on the chin. It
was the first one (the earlier karate-chop) that did me damage but Garisto probably didn't
do me any good."
The Uruguayans went crazy because of the red
card. Garisto was hit in the face by his own team-mate and they showed the resultant
bloody nose to referee Don Campbell and told him it came from a Baartz punch. With
officials running on the field, the Uruguayan players argued heatedly with the referee.
The South American coach tried to calm his team. Campbell was
forced to call an interpreter to advise the Uruguayans that he might abandon the match.
When play resumed, Morena slammed the ball into the
Australian net after using both hands to bring it down. Campbell disallowed the goal,
which whipped the Uruguayans into an even greater frenzy.
In that dramatic second half, Uruguay was forced to
attack to try and secure at least an equaliser. Desperate to score, every Uruguayan except
goalkeeper Gustavo Fernandez pushed up into the Australian half.
six minutes remaining, and Australia still 1-0 up, Baartz seized a loose ball deep in his
own half and with clinical precision found unmarked striker, Peter Ollerton, just inside
his own half.
Ollerton set off towards goal with only Fernandez in front of
him. Fernandez could either wait for Ollerton to arrive or go out to meet him.
He chose the latter and the crowd was treated to the bizarre
sight of Ollerton dribbling around Fernandez a good 40 metres from goal, running the rest
of the distance followed by all the Uruguayans and slipping the ball into the net.
That goal broke the backbone of the twice World
Champion Uruguay. For the remainder of the game, the Socceroos kept possession of the
ball, and the long awaited final whistle followed.
The Australians were overjoyed. "Uruguay thought
they were coming here to play amateur kangaroos and we beat them 2-0. They didn't like it,
of course," said coach Rale Rasic.
The world press was shocked by the result.
In the dressing room, Baartz felt fine, but at a
dinner party later that night he began to feel unwell. With his extremely pregnant wife,
Baartz returned home and went to bed. During the night he awoke to find he was unable to
move his left arm or leg. Baartz suspected a pinched nerve and he rang Dr Corrigan.
In fact, the karate chop that Baartz had received in the first half had connected with his
carotid artery, causing it to swell. The cartoid is the main artery that supplies blood to
the brain. As he lay in bed that night Baartz had suffered a stroke.
was admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital and began a 24 hour battle for his life.
Finally, he awoke to the news that he would recover but he would never play football
So shortly before the World Cup finals in Germany, Australia lost one of the greatest
strikers the country had ever produced and certainly the best with both feet.
"We lost a talent who would have been recognised
forever after the 1974 World Cup," Rasic said. "I would like to make sure that
the Baartz tragedy is always remembered. A career lost - a life saved." It took two
years for Baartz to fully recover.
In 1970 in a game against New Caledonia, Marconi full
back John Roche was at the centre of a similar incident. He was hit on the neck by a
karate chop from New Caledonian skipper Gerad Delmas who was consequently sent off.
However, the referee reversed his decision after Caledonia's coach Guy Elmour had argued
with him. But the karate chop did not end Roche's career as Baartz's had been.
team that made history against Uruguay. Photo signed by all the players (Andrés
from the game
Australia - Uruguay 2:0
left to right:
Peter Wilson, Jack Reilly, Peter Ollerton, Ray Baartz, Ray Richards, Doug
Utjesenovic, Jim Mackay, Atti Abonyi, Dave Harding, Col Curran and Jimmy
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