July 9 – The FIFA World Cup is a wildly popular international event in which the United States Men’s National Team, uncharacteristically, is a perpetual also-ran.
However, as much as Americans are usually viewed as casually interested in the World Cup, it’s worth noting that the highest ever average attendance for the event came in 1994 when the United States hosted the world. More than 3.5 million packed stadiums across the country that year to watch the world’s best soccer players for an average of 68,991 fans per match.
On July 9, 1994, the World Cup bracket play came to Texas as Brazil faced The Netherlands at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. That match drew 63,500 spectators.
Branco, whose actual name is Claudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal, scored in the 81st minute to lift Brazil to a 3-2 victory. The Brazilians went on to win their fourth World Cup title.
This day in Texas sports history is a daily feature by Trib staff writer Chad Conine, paraphrased from his book “Texas Sports: Unforgettable Stories for Every Day of the Year” (University of Texas Press, 2017).
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