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Mineiro wants to stage US-England rematch

Renovation works are currently underway at the Mineiro stadium.

Renovation works are currently underway at the Mineiro stadium.

The United States and England are to be invited to stage a re-match of one of the most famous upsets in World Cup history next year, the Mayor of Belo Horizonte told reporters yesterday.

“I am hopeful the match can take place and although we know there are problems we have to overcome first, it would be ideal if we could stage the match here at the Mineiro next year,” Marcio Lacerda said.

The match would be part of the celebrations marking the re-opening of the refurbished 68,000-seater Mineiro Stadium, which has cost 654 million Brazilian Real ($310m) and will stage its first match with a friendly between the city’s two main rivals Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro on December 21.

Neither the United States or the England FA have confirmed an approach for the match to be staged, but Tiago Lacerda, the secretary of state for the World Cup in Minas Gerais, confirmed discussions had taken place.

“We had the idea of making this friendly match, a repeat of the historic game of 1950, happen. This week we spoke to two or three people to have a friendly here as soon as possible, and the best idea is the US vs England.”

The game between the then part-time American team and England ended in a shock 1-0 win for the United States in the group stages of the 1950 World Cup and took place at the city’s Independencia Stadium, before the Mineiro was built.

The Independencia has also been refurbished for the World Cup and will be used as a training ground during the finals in 2014.

The huge and impressive Mineiro is scheduled to stage six matches including a World Cup semi-final and before its renovation once held 132,000 for a league match in 1997 between Cruzeiro and Villa Nova.

England are due to play Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 2 next year and one date on their two-match visit to South America has yet to be filled.

Even if the United States-England match does not take place, a prized exhibit from the 1950 game will be housed in the stadium’s new football museum... the ball that Haitian-born player Joe Gaetjens put in the back of the England net for the only goal of the game.

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