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World Cup Wanderers: Argentina 1978

4 June 2018

Ahead of this summer's competition in Russia, bwfc.co.uk gets in the mood by reviewing all former editions of the biggest tournament in football and the World Cup Wanderers who were in action!

As the start of the 2018 World Cup nears closer, our preview series takes us back to Argentina 1978 in our latest edition.

BRUCE RIOCH
Scotland
Appearances: 
2
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Group-stages

ASA HARTFORD
Scotland
Appearances: 
3
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Group-stages

With England once again failing to qualify for the World Cup, Scotland were the sole British representatives in Argentina in 1978.

Captained by future Wanderers manager Bruce Rioch, the Tartan Army also included future Whites midfielder Asa Hartford in their squad for the tournament in South America.

Topping their qualifying group ahead of Czechoslovakia and Wales, with Hartford on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win over the former, the Scots travelled to Argentina in high spirits with European Cup-winning pair Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness in their ranks, but it would prove to be an ill-fated summer for Ally MacLeod's side.

Opening the tournament against Peru, Rioch and Hartford both started as Joe Jordan fired Scotland ahead inside the opening 15 minutes.

However, that was as good as it got as Cesar Cueto equalised shortly before the interval before a Teofilo Cubillas brace late on ensured the Scots opened to a miserable 3-1 defeat, with captain Rioch withdrawn 15 minutes from time.

Against Iran for their second outing, Hartford again started while Rioch was left unused as Scotland again took the lead through an Andranik Eskandarian own goal just before the break, only to be pegged back by Iraj Danaeifard's equaliser as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Needing to win by three clear goals to progress heading into their final group game against the Netherlands, Scotland recalled captain Rioch, for what would prove to be his final international appearance, while Hartford retained his place in midfield.

Starting brightly, Rioch hit the crossbar early on before Tom Forsyth and Dalglish both saw goals chalked off.

Rob Rensenbrink fired the Dutch ahead from the penalty spot against the run of play shortly after the half-hour mark to seemingly seal Scotland's fate.

However, Dalglish equalised moments before the interval before Archie Gemmill scored a penalty of his own minutes after the restart to turn the game on its head and give Scotland hope.

Gemmill then produced one of the World Cup's finest ever individual goals to leave MacLeod's side needing just one further goal to reach the knockout stages with over 20 minutes left on the clock.

But Johnny Rep reduced the deficit back to one goal soon after to end Scotland's chances as they exited the competition at the group-stages with an infamous 3-2 victory over the eventual runners-up.


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