England’s build-up towards the ‘58 World Cup included a win on this day.
England beat Portugal 2-1 in a Wembley friendly on this day in 1958.
Walter Winterbottom’s side was in good shape going into this fixture a month before the World Cup began in Sweden. In their previous two internationals England had achieved 4-0 victories against France and Scotland, with a 20-year-old Bobby Charlton making a scoring debut at Hampden Park.
Portugal provided the kind of tough opposition that England needed at this stage in their preparations, with the visitors wanting to show the 65,000 Wembley crowd that they were unlucky not to have qualified for the World Cup.
But it was England who went ahead on 25 minutes, Charlton bringing the crowd to its feet as he rifled home a 20-yarder despite being knocked off balance by Torres.
The impressive Portuguese could easily have been in front at half-time and they did fashion an equaliser through Porto winger Duarte early in the second period.
But Charlton made it 2-1 with another brilliant shot from a Bryan Douglas cross and there was nearly a third goal to cheer after Tom Finney had been upended inside the box. Unfortunately, left-back Jim Langley’s spot-kick struck a post and was cleared.
England didn’t do so well in their next friendly four days later, going down 5-0 in the heat of Belgrade.