May 30, 1962
For the first time since Italy 1934, the FIFA World Cup kicked off in the month of May as four matches took place to start the 1962 tournament in Chile.
After back-to-back competitions in Europe (Switzerland 1954 and Sweden 1958), the FIFA World Cup returned to South America as Chile served as host of the event.
The 16-team tournament opened with four matches (one from each group) on May 30, in four venues across Chile.
Two-time World Cup champions Uruguay opened group play against first-timers Colombia at the Carlos Dittborn Stadium in Arica. After Colombia suprisingly took an early lead, Uruguay rebounded, posting back-to-back tallies in the second half for the 2:1 victory.
The hosts began tournament play with a 3:1 win over Switzerland at the Nacional Stadium in Santiago. After falling behind 1:0 in the first six minutes of the match, Chile recovered and leveled the score at 1:1 with a tally by forward Leonel Sanchez just before the half. Sanchez notched his second goal of the game early in the second half to give Chile a 2:1 advantage. Chile closed out the scoring in the 55th minute with a goal by midfielder Jaime Ramirez for the 3:1 victory.
Defending Champion Brazil opened group play with a 2:0 blanking of Mexico at the Sausalito Stadium in Viña del Mar. Midfielder Mario Zagallo, who would go on to coach Brazil at the World Cups in Mexico 1970 and France 1998, gave Brazil a 1:0 lead in the 56th minute. Forward Pele, who led Brazil to their first World Cup Title four years earlier in Sweden 1958, closed out the scoring in the 73rd minute. Despite the defeat, Mexico had a small bright spot as goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal was making his four straight appearance on the field at a World Cup competition (Brazil 1950, Switzerland 1954, Sweden 1958, Chile 1962), which was at the time and still is today, the most by any goalkeeper.
Another team making their first appearance in a World Cup was Bulgaria, who fell 1:0 to Argentina at the Braden Cooper Stadium in Rancagua.