In the 1920s, soccer had become popular throughout Europe, but Britain still dominated the sport. Thus when English teams toured the Continent every summer, they expected victory over the local teams played. One rare exception came in 1923, as Ronen Dorfan writes:
West Ham United, [a leading English team], traveled to Austria, where a local league surprised spectators with a one-one tie. The league was called Hakoaḥ Vienna, [its name meaning “the strength” in Hebrew]. The Hakoaḥ members told their English counterparts at a joint meal that, as a Jewish league, they had to be tough. They faced a violent game from their opponents and referees rarely made calls in their favor. The English gentlemen invited them to a return match.
The match took place several months later in the Upton Park stadium in East London, and the result was a sensation. Hakoaḥ became the first non-English league to beat England on British soil. The league not only won, but swept England’s eminent league with a score of 5:0. . . .
Hakoaḥ was in fact a Zionist league. The club’s prevailing spirit was shaped by its founder, Ignaz Kerner, a dentist who drafted many of the league’s players from Europe’s four corners. . . . Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka were among the league’s fans. Austria paid little attention to the fact that this was a Jewish league [once it won fame]. The chancellor himself went to meet the train that carried the league home from London, and its victory in London was considered a major triumph for Austria.