“Good evening. The game you are about to see is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.”
– David Coleman, 1962
And so ‘the Battle of Santiago’, the most violent game in the history of the World Cup, was introduced to the British television watching public.
Hosts Chile faced Italy on 2 June 1962 in what should have been a fairly ordinary group match, but with tensions were already running high between the two countries following disparaging remarks about Santiago published in the Italian press, the game quickly descended into a grudge match of epic proportions.
The first tackle took place 12 seconds into the tie, and the first red card followed after 8 minutes, with the Italian player having to be dragged off the pitch by the police. After a series of flying kicks and left hooks- a further two red cards were to follow in a match won 2-0 by Chile, which referee Ken Aston described thus: “I wasn’t reffing a football match, I was acting as an umpire in military manoeuvres.”
In honour of the Battle of Santiago (and as Chile are playing tonight), I am making Chilean ‘Milcaos’ which are simple potato pancakes, served with salsa, sour cream and jalapenos.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- 1 lbs potatoes
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion grated
- salsa, sour cream, jalepenos for serving
- Peel and boil half the potatoes until tender. (about 40 minutes)
- Mash the potatoes with the butter and salt.
- Peel the remaining potatoes and finely grate them.
- Put the grated potatoes in a kitchen cloth and squeeze out excess liquid.
- Combine the mashed and grated potatoes and knead them into a dough.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
- Saute onions in olive oil over a medium low heat until they start to brown.
- Form the potato dough into 4 equal balls.
- Hollow out the balls and fill the holes with a teaspoon of onion mixture, and pinch the top closed when done.
- Flatten balls into patties.
- Fry the patties in a frying pan with 2 tbsps of olive oil until golden.
- Place all the milcaos on a baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes flipping halfway through.
Serve with fresh salsa, sour cream and jalepenos.