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Argentina '78
ITV World Cup Studio 1978Argentina had been expected to stage the 1978 tournament from as early as October 1964, a month that saw the country become the last remaining major footballing power in the America's yet to be chosen to host a World Cup after Mexico defeated them in a vote to stage the finals in 1970. In light of threats to expel Argentina from the 1970 qualifiers following the behaviour of both players and officials during the 1966 Quarter-final v England*, a British newspaper went one step further and called for FIFA to deny Argentina the 1978 championships, but they were confirmed as hosts at a meeting in October 1968. Yet, as a new decade unfolded, there were growing doubts as to whether Argentina would be a suitable venue. By the mid-1970's it was a country wracked by political violence and apparently on the brink of civil war, on 24th March 1976 the Argentine armed forces overthrew the government and replaced it with a military junta and the football world now had good reason to fear a lack of security. Belgium and the Netherlands (following an offer to joint-host the tournament) made threats to withdraw, there were also worrying financial concerns and another major stumbling block was the country's lack of colour television. General Omar Actis, chairman of the local World Cup arrangements committee, planned to speak out against a FIFA sponsored plan to build a new stadium at Mar del Plata and install a new colour television system, arguing that it was merely to ensure that Coca Cola and Gillette adverts would look good on European television sets, but before he could give his speech Actis was murdered, his death was blamed on the Montoneros rebels - thirty of whose supporters were found mutilated in a Buenos Aires suburb the next day. It seemed only a matter of time before FIFA switched the venue, probably to Brazil, but the Junta assured FIFA that no violence would take place during the championships and the new stadium was built and the colour television facilities were installed (PAL 625-line colour, the UK standard). Two of football's biggest international stars, Paul Breitner (West Germany) and Johan Cruijff (Netherlands) pulled out of the finals** but come June 1978 all 15 qualifying nations arrived in Argentina ready for play. The leading urban guerrilla group, the Montoneros, had declared a truce for the World Cup saying that they would not endanger visiting players and journalists, although a few days before the tournament began a bomb was discovered in the Buenos Aires press centre which exploded and killed two policemen. Further attacks on homes and buildings failed to raise much press coverage and the tournament itself passed without incident.

*Ironically, the English FA had voted for Argentina to stage the 1970 finals (due to concerns for Mexico's altitude problem).
**Johan Cruijff later claimed that the real reason he refused to travel to Argentina was because he and his family had been subjected to a kidnap attempt at his home in Barcelona.

ITV World Cup 1978


"How the World Cup reaches you"
From the "ITV World Cup 78" magazine
1978 ITV World Cup team"In the stadium itself the commentary team will be positioned in one of the 150 special booths designed to accommodate commentators from all over the world. For television each booth will have a monitor to see the action replay shots provided by the cameras. All the pictures taken by the Argentine television service will be shared by the world and back in London, the hopes are that they will be as good as those provided by ITV at home. The pictures themselves will be relayed by radio links or underground cable to a transmitting station at Barcarce on the east coast of Argentina. From there a a dish shaped aerial sends them towards the INTELSAT IVA satellite 22,300 miles above the Atlantic Ocean. The INTELSAT orbits the Earth at the same speed as the Earth rotates and thus keeps a stationary position over the Equator. The Satellite in turn amplifies and transmits the signals across the World, North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. About one third of the globe can receive the pictures at the same time.
In detail, the pictures from one or both matches are received via the European Broadcast Union network, at one or both of the European Earth stations in Spain and Germany. In the case of Madrid, they are responsible for converting and supplying the pictures via another satellite to those countries in North and South America receiving on a different picture standard. From Germany, at Raisting, the German Post Office is responsible for passing on the signal, not only to the Eastern European countries and the Far East, but also to Britain where the signal is received from the EBU network, finally reaching ITV studios in London via the Post Office Tower. It is then distributed to all stations throughout the ITV network.
For the commentators, Hugh Johns, Gerald Sinstadt, Martin Tyler, Gerry Harrison and Arthur Montford in Argentina and Brian Moore as the host back in London, the live transmissions will bring them together with thousands of miles between them. And the live programmes only tell half the story. The highlights of the other games need to be edited down in time for all the other transmissions that go out during the series. Even when the programmes are off the air the studios will be continually in action, co-ordinating the output from the team of reporters in Argentina headed by Jack Charlton and Ian St. John who will both be working to send back up to the minute information.
It all adds up to a giant size headache for ITV's World Cup Team, but they have already spent over two years preparing for the World Cup, and that is more than some of the teams taking part. So settle down and enjoy the best of the action on your ITV screens, we're sure you'll enjoy it."

ITV's World Cup 1978 theme tune / Panel
Composed, arranged and conducted by Alan Tew and performed by The South Bank Team, "Action Argentina" accompanied ITV's 1978 World Cup title sequence which showed a mixture of the participating nation's flags with various action clips. The music was similar in style to that of the 1974 ITV theme, a fast paced upbeat trumpet-led number with absolutely no hint of a Latin American (or Scottish) influence, but the 3:03 minute 1978 tune did include a modern sounding synthesizer passage. The theme was released on the 'Weekend' label featuring LWT's logo (Cat no. DJS 10867, b-side "Nanaskin").
Members of ITV's studio panel in London this year included Kevin Keegan, Paddy Crerand, Brian Clough, Andy Gray, Emlyn Hughes and Peter Taylor. Johan Cruijff was involved for the Scotland v Holland game and the final. The studio set was based on the ITV Sport logo.
 
 

BBC coverage
The BBC's World Cup theme tune was very much in the spirit of the host nation, "Argentine Melody (Cancion De Argentina)" was performed by "San José featuring Rodriguez Argentina" although it was in fact written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed by British musicians. Lloyd Webber had no doubt been asked to compose the tune on the strength of his writing the music to "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" which had been a massive hit for Julie Covington some 18 months earlier. The BBC theme was issued as a single by MCA in May 1978 (Cat no. MCA 369, b-side "Strung") and it reached no.14 on the singles chart.
The BBC's commentary team was David Coleman, Barry Davies, John Motson and Alan Weeks. Bobby Charlton was a co-commentator, Archie McPherson commentated for BBC Scotland. Presentation in London was handled by Frank Bough and Jimmy Hill, studio summarisers included Lawrie McMenenmy, Jock Stein, Billy Bremner, John Bond and the 1974 World Cup final referee Jack Taylor.


(Left) TV commercial for the World Cup edition of the TVTimes dated 27th May 1978 which included an 8 page pull out.
(Right) Promo for ITV's "World Cup Plus", a branding for prime-time non-football films and programmes shown during the tournament.

Qualification
The qualifying draw was made in Guatemala on 20th November 1975. There were nine European pools - Group's 1-4 included four teams, groups 5-9 had just three. Only the winners of each group would progress to the finals with the exception of Group 9 who's winners would have to play-off with South America's 3rd placed team. England were not seeded but Scotland were, the other European seeds being Bulgaria, East Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Soviet Union, Sweden and Yugoslavia. Five of the nine seeds ultimately made it to the finals.
England were drawn in Group 2 with Italy, Finland and Luxembourg. Anticipating his first World Cup campaign as England manager, Don Revie was delighted with the draw; "I don't intend any insult to Italy, matches against them - home and away - will be terribly difficult... but honestly, you can't expect to qualify for any World Cup without meeting one useful opponent on the way and, considering England were not seeded, it could have been far harder for us." Italy manager Fulvio Bernardini said; "We have played England recently so we know them well and this experience will be important. England however do not scare us." A month earlier Revie had claimed that Football League secretary Alan Hardaker had assured him that all league games would be postponed ahead of World Cup qualifying games, but Hardaker then denied it; "'These are unauthorized statements and if Mr Revie wishes to reveal all his business with me to the Press then I wish it to be known that I cannot co-operate."
Scotland and Wales were drawn together in Group 7 along with Czechoslovakia (who went on to win Euro 76). Wales manager Mike Smith said; "Britain has got a 2 to 1 chance of getting a country through this group, we've got to make sure it's us, but one of the things Scotland and ourselves must guard against is spending too much time concentrating on each other and handing the advantage to the Czechs." Scotland boss Willie Ormand said; "Dreaming a bit, it is obvious everyone would like to be in with countries such as Malta and Cyprus, but that's not on. The Czechs, as well as Wales, have displayed their power in the European Championship, it is clear we could have it tough." Scottish defender Gordon McQueen pointed out; "We have the edge over both of them. We stopped the Czechs qualifying for the last World Cup finals and our record against Wales is good."
Northern Ireland were paired up in Group 4 with 1974 runners-up the Netherlands as well as Belgium and Iceland. Temporary player/manager Dave Clements said; "It is one of the toughest groups in the competition, we have a lot of heavy work ahead, but I know there is no love lost between Holland and Belgium - they might just cancel out one another's chances."

Don Revie resigned as England manager in July 1977By the time Northern Ireland kicked off their World Cup campaign Dave Clements had been replaced with Danny Blanchflower, under whom the Irish made a very encouraging start, drawing 2-2 away in the Netherlands with George Best returning to the side for the first time in three years, but the good work was soon undone with a disastrous defeat in Iceland whilst the Dutch went on to win all of their remaining games to top the group by 5 clear points.
England began well enough with a 4-1 victory in Finland but the return match at Wembley set the alarm bells ringing, Don Revie made a public apology for a very poor performance that saw England sneak a victory by the odd goal. This was swiftly followed by the key fixture away to Italy which was lost 2-0, leaving England needing to beat Italy at home and notch up a better goal difference. England met Luxembourg at Wembley in March 1977, winning by an acceptable scoreline of 5-0, but it proved to be Revie's last World Cup game in charge. In July 1977 Revie sold the news of his decision to resign to the Daily Mail, making the front page with the headline "Revie Quits Over 'Aggro'". The story broke before the FA had received his letter of resignation, though Revie believed that he was about to be sacked anyway; "Nearly everyone in the country seems to want me out," he told the Mail, "so I am giving them what they want. I know people will accuse me of running away and it does sicken me that I cannot finish the job by taking England to the World Cup finals in Argentina next year, but the situation has become impossible." Revie then left the country to accept a lucrative offer to become coach of the United Arab Emirates. Taking temporary charge was Ron Greenwood, currently the general manager at West Ham United having been team manager there from 1961-1974. Greenwood's first qualifier in charge arguably did more damage to England's chances than any other fixture - a mere 2-0 win in Luxembourg with the 2nd goal only being scored in the final minute. Three days later Italy beat Finland 6-1 which effectively left the Italians only needing to avoid a thrashing at Wembley to book their place in Argentina. In the final reckoning England had done the unthinkable and failed to qualify for a 2nd successive World Cup finals, missing out because they had scored three less goals in their games against Finland and Luxembourg than Italy.
Scottish hopes of reaching the finals were in the balance after they had suffered a 2-0 defeat in Czechoslovakia and, after a slender 1-0 win at home to Wales, lost manager Willie Ormond to Hearts. The group was then turned on its head when Wales beat the Czechs 3-0 at Wrexham. After appointing Aberdeen manager Ally MacLeod, Scotland beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 at Hampden to place themselves in the driving seat. The next fixture in the group - Wales v Scotland - was played at Anfield and not in Cardiff due to serious crowd trouble during an international at Ninian Park the previous year, the outcome of the crucial all British clash was effectively decided by a shocking 78th minute penalty decision, Scottish forward Joe Jordan handled in the area but the French referee believed the hand belonged to a Welsh defender. Don Masson stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and scored, Kenny Dalglish then added a 2nd goal in the closing minutes and it would be Scotland who would once again represent British interest in the World Cup finals.

Elsewhere, the Republic of Ireland were in a three team group with France and Bulgaria, the Irish lost their opening game in Paris, beat the French at home but could only take a point from their two remaining games against Bulgaria and it was the French who went through. Poland, the surprise package of 1974, won their group with ease but Euro 76 semi-finalists Yugoslavia finished bottom of a group topped by Spain and their clash in Belgrade saw Spanish player Jaunito knocked-out by a bottle hurled at him as he left the pitch after being substituted, he was taken to hospital with concussion. The Soviet Union, like England, surprisingly failed to qualify for the 2nd successive World Cup, a defeat in Greece costing them their place which paved the way for Hungary to qualify - Though as winners of Group 9 Hungary did have to overcome Bolivia in an intercontinental play-off in order to make their first appearance in the finals since 1966. Tunisia qualified from the African section with the distinction of being the very first nation to win a World Cup penalty shoot-out along the way, knocking out Morocco in the first round 4-2 on spot-kicks after both the 1st and 2nd legs had ended in 1-1 draws. Another first round African tie between Cameroon and Congo had to be abandoned after an 82nd minute penalty was awarded to the home side which would have potentially levelled the score on aggregate, but the Congolese goalkeeper attacked the Gambian referee, a riot broke out and the president of Cameroon, watching on television, sent in paratroopers by helicopter - Two bystanders died. Worse was to come in the North and Central American section at a match between Haiti and Cuba where spectators mistook a firecracker for gunfire, they panicked and knocked down a soldier whose gun went off killing both a small boy and a girl. Further panic caused two people to be trampled to death and another died jumping over a wall. The soldier committed suicide.
 

British TV coverage of Argentina 78

ITV games are in white, BBC or non-televised matches are in grey.

Qualifiers & Friendlies

Sun 13/Jun/1976    Finland 1 (Paatelainen) England 4 (Pearson, Keegan 2, Channon)
Qualifier in Helsinki
BBC LIVE
David Coleman
*Live on BBC1 from 6:15-8:20pm. England's  first World Cup match under manager Don Revie saw Stuart Pearson have a goal ruled out for offside on 9 minutes but the same player headed England into a legitimate lead on 14. Finland netted a surprise equaliser on 28 when Matti Paatelainen headed downwards and Clemence could only push the ball against the near post and in for 1-1, but England were back in front within three minutes when Keegan headed in from an acute angle. On 56 Channon was sent clear, his initial shot was blocked but he picked up the re-bound and finished neatly to make it 3-1. It was 4-1 on the hour when Keegan dispossessed Tolsa and ran 30 years before scoring his 2nd. Gerry Francis made his 12th and final appearance in England's colours. Revie summed up; "I am more than pleased with the way it went. The Finns made it difficult for us to play, pulling lots of people back behind the ball. I would have settled cheerfully for this score before the game because it is nice to get a good start in our qualifying group."

Wed 08/Sep/1976    England 1 (Pearson) Republic of Ireland 1 (Daly(pen))
Friendly at Wembley
BBC Highlights
David Coleman
*BBC1 showed highlights of this friendly at 9:55-10:50pm. RTE in Ireland showed the match live from 7:40-9:30pm. England disappointed with Eire having the better of the play under the outstanding leadership - on and off the field - of Johnny Giles. Pearson volleyed in Keegan's cross from close range to put England ahead at the end of the first half on 44, Gerry Daly equalised with a penalty on 55 following a foul on Steve Heighway by Ray Wilkins. Debutant Charlie George was subbed and this proved to be his only cap.

Wed 08/Sep/1976  Scotland 6 (Rioch, Masson(pen), Dalglish, A.Gray 2, E.Gray) Finland 0
Friendly
BBC SCOTLAND Highlights
*BBC1 SCOTLAND showed highlights on "Sportscene" at 9:55-10:50pm. Bruce Rioch put Scotland ahead on 7 with a low 20 yard shot, Don Masson converted a penalty on 16 after Andy Gray had been impeded in jumping to meet a corner, Kenny Dalglish got the third on 23 by touching in Rioch's pull back from the byline and Andy Gray made it 4-0 on 44 with a flying header to meet Eddie Gray's centre. In the 2nd half, Scotland twice hit the post and had another effort cleared off the line before Eddie Gray netted a fifth on 68 at the end of a solo run and Andy Gray got his 2nd goal to make it 6-0 on 80 taking a cross by Dalglish on his chest and volleying home. David Harvey replaced Alan Rough in goal at half-time, but this proved to be Harvey's 16th and final international appearance.

Wed 06/Oct/1976    Wales 0 West Germany 2 (Beckenbauer, Heynckes)
Friendly in Cardiff
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore
*Wales' "Centenary International". All ITV regions except Grampian showed highlights at 10:30-11:25pm. The West Germans, who as holders did not have any qualifying matches to play, scored a goal in each half, Beckenbauer on 34 after Jones had only half cleared and Heynckes on 73 at the end of a corner. Karl Heinz Rummenigge made his international debut for West Germany in this match.

Wed 13/Oct/1976    England 2 (Tueart, Royle) Finland 1 (Nieminen)
Qualifier at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore & Jack Charlton
*Highlights were shown across the ITV network (except Grampian) at 10:30-11:35pm. Dennis Tueart gave England an early lead on 4 minutes forcing in a rebound from a 3rd successive corner. Kalle Nieminen equalised for Finland on 48, but Joe Royle soon restored England's lead on 52 turning in a ball played across the box by Channon. Although England won the game, goal difference was likely going to be crucial in this group group from which only the winners would qualify, it was also a poor performance and, after Finland had come close to equalising for the 2nd time, there were chants of "What a load of rubbish" and the players were booed off the pitch. Don Revie said; "I am apologising on behalf of the team and myself to the fans who turned out. We didn't play well and there's no denying that fact. We lost our rhythm, our passing, thinking, positional sense and everything when a second goal didn't come quickly. We worked on finishing for six solid days and when it mattered we didn't hit the target. We'll just have to work harder." Finland manager Aulis Rytkonen said; "This is a very good result for Finland, but we had enough chances to get a draw."

Wed 13/Oct/1976  Czechoslovakia 2 (Panenka, Petras) Scotland 0
Qualifier in Prague
BBC SCOTLAND LIVE
*This was shown LIVE in Scotland only on BBC1 in black & white at 4:55-6:50pm with a break for "News from Scotland" at half time. The Czechs came into this match on a 23 match unbeaten run, Scotland - who hadn't lost in 9 - had the better of the 1st half which ended with Andy Gray and Czech defender Ondrus being sent off on 43 for fighting. The home side scored twice in the opening minutes of the 2nd half, Antonin Panenka on 46 and Ladislav Petras on 48. Scotland boss Willie Ormond said afterwards; "They'll be sorry for not scoring more goals here because in Glasgow it will not be the same at all."

Wed 13/Oct/1976    Netherlands 2 (Krol, Cruijff) Northern Ireland 2 (McGrath, Spence)
Qualifier in Rotterdam
BBC N.IRELAND LIVE
George Hamilton
*This was shown LIVE in Northern Ireland only on BBC1 at 7:50-9:50pm (with a break for the news at HT). George Best played in his first international since November 1973. It was a terrific start to the campaign for the Irish playing under Danny Blanchflower for the first time against the current World Cup runners-up, but this would prove to be the only Group 4 fixture that the Dutch would fail to win. Chris McGrath headed in Sammy McIlroy's cross to put the Irish ahead on 4, George Best then had a goal bound effort well saved before Ruud Krol equalised with a 30 yard strike on 64. Johan Cruijff put the home side ahead from close range on 66, but Northern Ireland snatched a point with a late equaliser through substitute Derek Spence on 88 seizing on a loose ball after the Dutch keeper had pushed out a cross from David McCreery. Highlights of this and Scotland's match may have also been seen by English viewers on "Sportsnight".

Wed 10/Nov/1976   Belgium 2 (Van Gool, Lambert) Northern Ireland 0
Qualifier in Liege
BBC N.IRELAND LIVE
*LIVE on BBC1 in Northern Ireland only from 6:50-9:00pm. Highlights may have been seen by mainland British viewers on "Sportsnight" at 10:05-10:55pm. Van Gool's drive made it 1-0 on 29, Lambert headed in the 2nd on 52.

Wed 17/Nov/1976    Italy 2 (Antognoni, Bettega) England 0
Qualifier in Rome
BBC Highlights
David Coleman
*BBC1 showed highlights at 9:55-10:55pm, Jimmy Hill introduced from the studio where he was joined by Bobby Charlton, Alan Ball and Tommy Docherty. Apparently the game was not shown live because of concerns about people's attendance at work! Giancarlo Antognoni gave Italy the lead on 36 striking a low indirect free-kick through the England wall where it took a slight defelction off Kevin Keegan, Ray Clemence was standing in the right place and got down to meet it but the ball seemed to escape from underneath him and found the back of the net. A 2nd Italian goal came on 77, Roberto Bettega netting with a flying header at the end of a cross from the left. Italy dominated the game and post match press comments described the Italians as 'world class' and England as mere journeymen. Roy McFarland, who ended the game with a black eye and a cut mouth caused by an elbow in the face from Romeo Benetti,  played his 28th and final match for England. Don Revie said; "I couldn't have asked for more from my team today. The two goals came at crucial times - especially the first."

Wed 17/Nov/1976    Scotland 1 (Evans(og)) Wales 0
Qualifier at Hampden
STV & GRAMPIAN Highlights
Arthur Montford
*A 30 minute highlights package was shown in the SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN regions only from 10:30pm, BBC1 SCOTLAND & BBC1 WALES also showed highlights of this game at 9:55-10:55pm with Idwal Robling commentating for Welsh viewers. An Ian Evans own goal on 15 minutes gifted the points to Scotland, Danny McGrain had sent in a low cross which was back-heeled towards goal by Kenny Dalglish, Evans stuck out a foot and deflected it past keeper Dai Davies. Scotland twice came close to adding to the lead when they struck the woodwork - Bruce Rioch with a low shot that hit the foot of the post and a 30 yard effort from Archie Gemmill which hit the crossbar, Scotland might have had a penalty too when Dai Davies bundled over a clean-through Danny McGrain. Wales would have snatched a late headed equaliser by John Toshack but Alan Rough made a brilliant save.

Wed 09/Feb/1977    England 0 Netherlands 2 (Peters 2)
Friendly at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore
*Trevor Francis made his international debut but England were well beaten by an impressive Dutch team captained by Johan Cruijff. Both goals were scored in the opening half by Jan Peters, the first on 28 collecting a pass on the edge of the box from where he turned to fire past Ray Clemence, the 2nd came from a similar position on 36 when Peters side-stepped a weak challenge from a defender and slotted the ball into the same left hand corner of the net. This was only the 6th time that continental opposition had beaten England on home soil. Paul Madeley made his 24th and final appearance for England, it was also the end of international duty for Dave Clement, Mike Doyle and Stan Bowles - all three of whom ended their England careers with 5 caps.

Wed 30/Mar/1977    England 5 (Keegan, Francis, Kennedy, Channon 2(1pen)) Luxembourg 0
Qualifier at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore & Jack Charltlon
*ITV showed highlights at 10:30-11:30pm. Kevin Keegan opened the scoring on 10 minutes, heading in a floated ball into the box from Dave Watson, but it was still 1-0 at half-time and England were booed off the field. Trevor Francis finally got the 2nd goal from a corner on 58, Ray Kennedy made it 3-0 from close range on 63, Mick Channon finished off another corner to make it four on 69 and Channon converted a penalty for 5-0 on 81 after being brought down in the area. Luxembourg had Dresch sent off in the closing minutes for tripping Channon for a 2nd time - it was only the 2nd ever sending off in a Wembley international (Ratin of Argentina being the first in 1966). ITV conducted interviews with Duncan McKenzie and Don Revie who told the press that he was happy with what he saw; "In the last three performances here we let the public down. This time I thought we were patient. With a little bit of luck the final score would have been double figures." The Luxembourg manager Gilbert Legrand said; "England made too many mistakes for professional players. My feeling is that Italy will go through to Argentina."

Wed 30/Mar/1977    Wales 3 (L.James 2, Deacy) Czechoslovakia 0
Qualifier at Wrexham
HTV WALES Highlights
Hugh Johns
*HTV Wales opted out of the network to show highlights of this qualifier at 10:30-11:30pm. It was a fine win for Wales against the European champions - Leighton James putting them ahead on 27 with a cross that eluded everyone in the box and ended up in the back of the net, Nick Deacy netted number two on 65 and Leighton James got his 2nd goal to make it 3-0 on 75.

Wed 27/Apr/1977    Scotland 3 (Hartford, Dalglish, J.Craig) Sweden 1 (Wendt)
Friendly
BBC SCOTLAND Highlights
*Shown in Scotland only on "Sportscene" on BBC1 from 10:25-10:40pm (also including Ice Hockey and 'Save of the Season'). On 30 Willie Donachie crossed and Asa Hartford drove a shot which came back off the upright then hit the keeper on the back and rebounded back into the net for 1-0 , Benny Wendt equalised on 50 with a 25-yard rocket, Kenny Dalglish restored Scotland's lead on 55 with a shot that took a defelction and sub Joseph Craig of Celtic scored on his one and only international appearance to make it 3-1 on 79 with a header at then end of a cross by Jardine. Ronnie Galvin, also of Celtic, played his one and only game for Scotland tonight and it was the last cap of 7 for John Blackley and the last of 5 for Willie Pettigrew. For Dundee United's David Narey it was the start of lengthy international career after he came on as a sub. Manager Willie Ormond resigned on 5th May.

Wed 27/Apr/1977   West Germany 5 (Bonhof(pen), K.Fischer 2, D.Müller, Flohe) Northern Ireland 0
Friendly in Cologne
*BBC1 had a "Sportsnight" at 9:35-10:25pm but the FA Cup SF replay was likely to have been the only football included. Gerry Armstrong made his international debut in this match in which all 5 goals were scored in the 2nd half, Bonhof from the penalty spot on 55, Fischer on 58, Müller on 65, Fischer with his 2nd on 84 and Flohe on 90.

Wed 08/Jun/1977    Brazil 0 England 0
Friendly in Rio de Janeiro
*No British TV coverage. With the match being  played after midnight (bst) and the next day's schedule being dominated by the Jubilee, neither ITV or the BBC felt they could justify the asking price of the Brazilian federation. Manager Don Revie was not present, he was in Finland watching Italy win 3-0. Ray Clemence had to be in top form to keep the home side out, this being the first time that England had got a result in Brazil having lost all three of their previous visits.

Sat 11/Jun/1977   Iceland 1 (Albertsson) Northern Ireland 0
Qualifier in Reykjavic
BBC N.IRELAND
*This match kicked off at 4pm bst on Saturday but highlights were not shown until Sunday night on BBC1 in Northern Ireland only at 10:30-11:35pm. The only goal was scored by Ingi Bjorn Albertsson on 32, sending Northern Ireland to the bottom of the group. Goalkeeper Pat Jenning described it as the worst match he ever played in.

Sun 12/Jun/1977    Argentina 1 (Bertoni) England 1 (Pearson)
Friendly in Buenos Aires
BBC LIVE
John Motson.
*LIVE coverage on BBC1 from 6:45-8:45pm. Argentine TV were still only equipped to broadcast the pictures in black & white despite being the 9th country in the world to launch a television service back in November 1951. Stuart Pearson gave England an early lead on 3 minutes heading in a Mick Channon cross, Argentina equalised through a Daniel Bertoni free-kick on 15. On 83 Bertoni was sent off for punching Trevor Cherry in the mouth and leaving him pouring with blood, Cherry was also shown red for the tackle that led up to it. Don Revie said; "Trevor Cherry is the unluckiest player in the world to be sent off. I had a clear view of the incident. I saw Cherry back off after a mild tackle and then hit so hard he lost two of his front teeth. I saw nothing to suggest why he should go off as well."

Wed 15/Jun/1977    Uruguay 0 England 0
Friendly in Montevideo
*No British TV coverage, the match was played after midnight bst and neither ITV or the BBC could justify the fee for the rights to show it. This was Don Revie's last match as England manager which offered very little in terms of entertainment, though England should have had a penalty when a Uruguay defender clearly raised a hand to pull the ball down in the area.

Wed 15/Jun/1977    Chile 2 (Crisosto 2) Scotland 4 (Dalglish, Macari 2, Hartford)
Friendly
*No British TV coverage. Ally MacLeod was now Scotland's manager. Kenny Dalglish capitalised on a mistake, raced through and put the Scots ahead on 19, Lou Macari made it two on 30 with a header that slipped through the keeper's hands, Asa Hartford added a 3rd with a 30 yard effort on 37 for a 3-0 half-time lead. Julio Crisosto dribbled through the Scottish defence and pulled one back for Chile on 48, Macari was at the end of a McGrain cross to make it 4-1 on 54 and finally Crisosto headed a 2nd for Chile on 80 with the mist that had been present at the start of the match now becoming thick fog. Kilmarnock goalkeeper James Stewart came on at half-time to make his debut.

Sat 18/Jun/1977    Argentina 1 (Passarella(pen)) Scotland 1 (Masson(pen))
Friendly in Buenos Aires
BBC SCOTLAND LIVE
*BBC1 SCOTLAND showed this match LIVE from 6:50-8:55pm in black & white. According to the Times highlights were also shown on STV at 10:30-11pm but it is not listed in the Glasgow Herald. Don Masson converted a penalty on 77 after Dalglish had been hauled down by Killer, but Argentina were awarded a penalty of their own 3 minutes later when Forsyth pushed Trossero and Daniel Passarella made it 1-1 from the spot. As with England's friendly here 6 days earlier, both sides had a man sent off , Willie Johnston of Scotland and Vincente Pernia of Argentina saw the red card after Pernia had punched Johnston in the kidneys on 55 having also spat at him earlier in the match, Johnston was reported to have left the field in tears of frustration at the injustice and several bad tackles by Argentina players went unpunished in the closing half-hour. Ally MacLeod, who had been warned what to expect by Don Revie, said; "If I thought Willie was in any way to blame his international career would be in grave danger, but he was blameless." Argentina manager Cesar Menotti said; "The Scots kept laying down and wasting time. None of them was seriously hurt.", Menotti also referred to the recent scenes of crowd trouble at the Auld-enemy clash at Wembley; "At least our fans do not invade the pitch and break down the goalposts."

Thu 23/Jun/1977    Brazil 2 (Zico, Cerezo) Scotland 0
Friendly in Rio
STV & GRAMPIAN LIVE
Arthur Montford?
*Shown LIVE in the SCOTTISH and GRAMPAIN regions only from 12:45am Friday. Both Brazil goals came midway through the 2nd half, Zico with a free-kick on 70 and Toninho Cerezo making it 2-0 on 75.

Tue 06/Sep/1977    Wales 0 Kuwait 0
Friendly at Wrexham
BBC WALES Highlights
*BBC1 Wales only at 11:00-11:40pm.

Wed 07/Sep/1977    England 0 Switzerland 0
Friendly at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore
*ITV showed highlights at 10:30-11:30pm as "The Mid-Week Match". This was Ron Greenwood's first match as temporary England Manager and he gave a debut to Liverpool's Terry McDermott. One of the Swiss players, Botteron, had to come off with a broken nose complaining that he had been deliberately elbowed in the face in an off the ball incident. The draw meant that England had now gone 6 matches without a win, Ron Greenwood said; "We are all a little disappointed, but some bad habits came out near the end although the players worked hard. We went out to create but in stopping the Swiss playing we pushed them back into their own half after the interval and lost our own space." Mick Channon made his 46th and final England appearance.

Wed 07/Sep/1977    East Germany 1 (Schade) Scotland 0
Friendly in East Berlin
*The Times lists highlights for SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN at 10:30-11:00pm but The Glasgow Herald lists alternate programmes. Leeds United's Arthur Graham made his Scotland debut coming on as a sub. Hartmut Schade scored the only goal of the game on 66 moving on to a through pass from Doerner and shooting low past the Leeds keeper David Stewart, who was making his one and only international appearance.

Tue 20/Sep/1977    Kuwait 0 Wales 0
Friendly in Kuwait
*No TV coverage scheduled. Wales keeper Dai Davies was refused permission to enter Kuwait with the rest of the squad, believed to be because officials objected to an Israeli stamp on his passport.

Wed 21/Sep/1977    Scotland 3 (Jordan, Hartford, Dalglish) Czechoslovakia 1 (Gajdušek)
Qualifier at Hampden
SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN LIVE / ITV Highlights
Arthur Montford / Brian Moore
*STV & Grampian showed this live at 7:50-10:00pm with Arthur Montford commentating, Dundee manager Tommy Gemmell was the studio guest. The other ITV regions showed highlights of the game at 10:30-11:30pm with Brian Moore. Joe Jordan gave Scotland the lead on 18 with a thumping header at the end of Willie Johnston's corner. A 2nd goal came on 35 when a cross by Johnston led to a collision of Jordan, a defender and the keeper in the box and the loose ball fell to Asa Hartford who steered it over the unguarded goalline. Kenny Dalglish added a 3rd on 54 eventually forcing the ball in after a corner by Masson. Miroslav Gajdusek pulled one back for the Czechs on 80 with a long range 35 yard effort which could still prove to be crucial if goal difference were to come into play.

Wed 21/Sep/1977   Northern Ireland 2 (McGrath, McIlroy) Iceland 0
Qualifier in Belfast
BBC N.IRELAND Highlights
*BBC1 N.IRELAND showed highlights at 10:55-11:40pm. George Best made his first appearance in seven years in front of a Belfast crowd.  The Irish won with two 2nd half goals, Chris McGrath at the end of a half cleared corner on 62 and Sammy McIlroy heading in a cross by Martin O'Neill on 79. Danny Blanchflower criticised the Iceland team afterwards; "This was not the way I would have played in the circumstances, they only came to save their face, not to entertain, but I suppose that's the name of the game today. We should have won by four or five goals but we have not got someone able to snap up the chances in the box."

Wed 12/Oct/1977    Luxembourg 0 England 2 (Kennedy, Mariner)
Qualifier in Luxembourg
BBC Highlights
John Motson
*BBC1 had highlights of this game at 9:55-10:55pm. Ray Kennedy gave England the lead on 31 with a low shot after Paul Mariner had headed a cross by Ian Callaghan into his path, but a 2nd goal was not forthcoming until the 90th minute - Ray Kennedy heading down another cross by Callaghan and Paul Mariner then crashing it home. England's failure to win by a healthy margin in Luxembourg coupled with Italy's 6-1 thrashing of Finland a few days later effectively ruined England's chances of qualifying. Kevin Beattie (9 caps), Gordon Hill (6 caps) and Ian Callaghan (4 caps) played for the final time in England colours. Ipswich Town's Trevor Whymark came on as sub on 65 but this proved to be his only international appearance. Ron Greenwood said of the match; "We lacked in basic techniques. The Luxembourg defence laid down their lives, you've got to give them full credit. Our finishing and composure was not good." England fans angrily broke a number of seats, threw bottles onto the pitch and damaged fencing on their way out of the stadium, shop windows were also smashed outside. A senior police officer told a reporter "Everywhere there was a Union Jack, there was trouble."

Wed 12/Oct/1977    Wales 0 Scotland 2 (Masson(pen), Dalglish)
Qualifier at Anfield
STV & GRAMPIAN Highlights
Arthur Montford
*ITV highlights were only shown in the SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN regions as a "Scotsport Special" at 10:30-11:00pm, BBC1 Scotland and BBC1 Wales showed it LIVE at 7:25-9:15pm with Archie MacPherson & Jock Stein commentating for Scottish viewers and Idwal Robling & Bob Wilson for those watching in Wales. There had been an outcry in Wales when it was announced that the game would only be shown live in Scotland, Welsh MPs got involved and BBC Wales backed down the day before kick-off having originally planned to show highlights only. The match could not be played in Cardiff due to crowd trouble at an international there the previous year, the Welsh FA could have staged the game at Wrexham but elected to go to Liverpool for a larger pay out from a 51,000 crowd, but it became a home match for Scotland with vastly greater numbers of support who drowned out the pre-match entertainment provided by the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Victory for Wales would have left them on the verge of qualifying, whilst Scotland knew that victory for them would guarantee their place in the finals. Both sides had plenty of chances to score in a pulsating match - Scotland appealed for a penalty when Dalglish appeared to be tripped by Dai Davies having got clear after nicking the ball away rom a dithering David Jones, John Toshack went close for Wales on 58 with a half-volley that was fingertipped over the bar by Alan Rough. Back at the other end a Scottish corner caused mass panic in the Welsh defence who had to clear a point-blank Dalglish header off the line before eventually scrambling the ball clear. It was still 0-0 late into the 2nd half, but the Scots were then awarded a hugely controversial penalty on 78 minutes when Joe Jordan and David Jones rose to meet a long throw into the box from Willie Johnston, Jordan put a hand up to flick it towards goal but the French referee saw it as a hand-ball by the Welsh defender despite the fact that Jordan was wearing a long sleeved dark blue jersey and Jones was in short sleeves. Jordan kissed his fist and Don Masson then stepped up to convert the spot-kick to put the Scots 1-0 up. On 85 Kenny Dalglish headed in Martin Buchan's cross from the right to make it 2-0 and secure Scotland's place in Argentina.

Wed 12/Oct/1977   Northern Ireland 0 Netherlands 1 (Van de Kerkhof)
Qualifier in Belfast
BBC N.IRELAND Highlights
*Highlights on BBC1 in Northern Ireland as part of a late programme change from 8:05-9:25pm which probably showed live 2nd half coverage of Wales v Scotland followed by highlights of the Northern Ireland match which had kicked off at 3pm. It was to be George Best's 37th and final appearance for Northern Ireland and Johan Cruijff's penultimate game for the Dutch having already stated that he would not play in Argentina. The Dutch, fielding eight of the stars who had played in the 1974 World Cup final, scored the only goal of the game on 74 when Willy van de Kerkhof slipped the ball past Jennings from out of nowhere on the right.

Wed 16/Nov/1977    England 2 (Keegan, Brooking) Italy 0
Qualifier at Wembley
ITV LIVE
Brian Moore & Jack Charlton
*ITV had live coverage from 7:30-9:45pm (except in STV & Grampian who showed a film). Three England players were handed their debuts, Steve Coppell of Manchester United, Bob Latchford of Everton and Peter Barnes of Manchester City. England needed to win by at least three goals to retain any realistic hope of qualifying, they made a promising start and on 11 minutes Trevor Brooking floated in a ball from the right and Kevin Keegan steered a superb looping header beyond Dino Zoff and in for 1-0. A thrilling run by Peter Barnes might have produced an all time classic England goal but after beating three defenders his finishing effort was easily saved at the near post. Tardelli should have been sent off for a disgraceful and blatant elbow into the face of Kevin Keegan as the pair chased a ball out to the right touchline, Keegan immediately went down and was clearly in a great deal of pain, but amazingly the referee didn't even produce a yellow card. In the 2nd half Zoff did well to tip over a close range volley by Dave Watson on the end of a corner, but it wasn't until the 80th minute that Trevor Brooking added a 2nd goal - Keegan slipped a ball through three defenders with the outside of his boot into the path of Brooking in the box who had time to compose himself and roll it past Zoff . Gerry Harrison talked to Alan Mullery and Jack Charlton after the match and Gerald Sinstadt interviewed Ron Greenwood who told the press "I am proud to be associated with this performance. We showed millions of people up and down the country that we are not down and out as a footballing nation. We played with a lot of emotions out there - a lot of freedom. It is a long time since an England team has done that." England moved to the top of the group with this victory, two points ahead of Italy, but there was still one group match left to play the following month - Italy v Luxembourg. As England and Italy's goal difference was now identical, Italy only needed to beat Luxembourg by a single goal to top the group - they won 3-0. Despite failing to qualify, Ron Greenwood was handed the manager's job permanently on 12th December.

Wed 16/Nov/1977  Czechoslovakia 1 (Nehoda) Wales 0
Qualifier
*No TV coverage of this meaningless match was scheduled, Nehoda scoring the only goal in the 12th minute, nudging an effort by Kroupa past Dai Davies.

Wed 16/Nov/1977    Northern Ireland 3 (Armstrong 2, McGrath) Belgium 0
Qualifier in Belfast
BBC N.IRELAND Highlights
*Highlights were shown in Northern Ireland on BBC1 at 11:25-pm-12:10am. Gerry Armstrong opened the scoring on 42 with a thundering drive, Chris McGrath made it 2-0 on 58 and Armstrong scored again on 74 by beating the offside trap, cutting across the box and firing past Pfaff.

Wed 14/Dec/1977    West Germany 1 (Fischer) Wales 1 (D.Jones)
Friendly in Dortmund
*No British TV coverage scheduled. Fischer put the Germans ahead on 46, Jones equalised on 78.

Sat 14/Jan/1978    World Cup Draw
SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN LIVE
*Brian Moore travelled the 7000 miles to Buenos Aires to cover the draw from where he also presented this weekend's edition of "On The Ball", but there was no live coverage shown in England - although news of the proceedings were scheduled to be included in the ITN news bulletin at 10:00-10:15pm. SCOTTISH and GRAMPIAN both had a live "Scotsport Special" at 9:00-10:00pm with Ian Archer reporting from the Teatro San Martin in Argentina alongside Ally MacLeod. Also appearing via a studio back home were squad members Bruce Rioch, Don Masson, Derek Johnstone, Danny McGrain and Alan Rough.  The seeded teams, announced on Thursday 12th, were Italy (Group 1), West Germany (Group 2), Brazil (Group 3) and the Netherlands (Group 4). Hosts Argentina were also placed in Group 1 with Italy ahead of the draw, this being the first time that two teams were placed in the same group before the actual draw was made. Peru and Mexico would go into either Group 2 or 4 to keep the South/Central American nations apart whilst Sweden and Hungary would go into either Group 1 or 3.  Scotland, along with Spain and Poland, would be among the first nations to be pulled out, knowing that they wouldn't be facing eachother or placed in Group 1. The 4 weakest nations completing the groups would be Tunisia, Iran, Austria and France. The teams were picked out of an urn by the four year old grandson of FIFA president João Havelange. Scotland ended up in Group 4 with the Netherlands, Peru and Iran. Ally MacLeod said afterwards; "The draw gives us a good chance, especially as we have Peru and Iran first. I did not want to play the seeded side first, no matter what group we were in. I could not have asked for better. We will be based in Cordoba and the hotel there is excellent. Only the 22 players and myself can let the country down now and I don't think we will. Scotland have a bit of a reputation for struggling against the so called lesser lights, but the squad this time is very professional." Captain Bruce Rioch said; "It is a marvellous draw... We could be through to the last eight before we meet Holland.", Don Masson added; "Scotland are certainties to go through along with Holland." BBC1 in Scotland had a "World Cup Sportscene" at 10:30-11:15pm having showed an episode of "Starsky and Hutch" whilst the draw was actually taking place.

Wed 22/Feb/1978    West Germany 2 (Worm, Bonhof) England 1 (Pearson)
Friendly in Munich
BBC Highlights
Barry Davies
*BBC1 included highlights on "Sportsnight" at 9:55-11:10pm. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge clipped a post on 16 when he got a touch to a Rainer Bonhof free-kick, England took the lead on 41 when Steve Coppell centred and Stuart Pearson headed in off a post. Substitute Ronald Worm equalised on 79 with a shot that Ray Clemence got a hand to but couldn't keep out. Rainer Bonhof netted a late German winner on 86 placing a low free-kick from the edge of the 'D' wide of the wall and into the corner of the net with Clemence left standing and watching.

Wed 22/Feb/1978    Scotland 2 (Gemmill(pen), Wallace) Bulgaria 1 (Mladenov)
Friendly
BBC SCOTLAND Highlights
*BBC1 SCOTLAND included highlights on "Sportscene" at 9:55-11:10pm. Three players made their Scotland debuts, Coventry City keeper Jim Blyth, Aberdeen's Stuart Kennedy and coming on as a sub Coventry's Ian Wallace. Stoytcho Mladenov put the visitors ahead on 7, Archie Gemmill equalised from the penalty spot on 43 and Ian Wallace netted a late winner on 84.

Tue 18/Apr/1978    Iran 0 Wales 1 (Dwyer)
Friendly in Teheran
*No British TV coverage scheduled. Iran arranged this friendly in preparation for their World Cup finals fixture v Scotland. Phil Dwyer scored the only goal on 70.

Wed 19/Apr/1978    England 1 (Keegan) Brazil 1 (Gil)
Friendly at Wembley
BBC LIVE
David Coleman
*Live on BBC1 as "Sportsnight Special" at 7:30-9:55pm. Brazil arrived at Wembley with a reputation for being a much more physical side than those so admired in the past, they took the lead on 10 minutes - Gil cut into the England box past Trevor Cherry from the right and struck a fierce left foot shot past Joe Corrigan. England, in red, equalised on 70 - a direct free-kick by Kevin Keegan went through the wall and was fumbled into the net by the keeper Leao. Five Brazilians were booked, four for cynical fouls and one for failing to retreat from the free-kick that led to England's goal.

Wed 24/May/1978    England 4 (Barnes, Neal(pen), Francis, Currie) Hungary 1 (Nagy)
Friendly at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Brian Moore
*Highlights were shown on "The Mid-week Match" at 10:30-11:45pm. Peter Barnes put England ahead on 10 pushing the ball over the line after a pass across the goalmouth by Keegan. On 29 England were awarded a penalty when Toth controlled the ball with his arms, Phil Neal converted the spot-kick to make it 2-0. Trevor Francis headed in a 3rd goal on 31, Laszlo Nagy pulled one back for Hungary on 62 and finally substitute Tony Currie drove in a great shot from just outside the area to make it 4-1 on 76. It was a good performance enjoyed by the crowd who chanted "England are back".
 

Argentina 78 Finals
World Cup Songs
The official Scotland World Cup single for 1978 was "Ole, Ola (Mulher Brasileira)" by Rod Stewart released in May 1978 on the Riva label (cat no. Riva 15, b-side "Que Sera / My Mammy"). Despite reaching no.4 in the charts "Ole, Ola" has been totally eclipsed in the memory by an unofficial February 1978 release by comedian and Glasgow Rangers fan Andy Cameron -"Ally's Tartan Army" - based on the tune of "God Save Ireland" and, to this day, still sung on terraces throughout England, albeit with adapted lyrics anticipating a trip to Wembley rather than "the Argentine". Cameron's record, issued on the Klub label (cat no. KLUB 03, b-side "I Want to be a Punk Rocker"), reached no.6 in the charts helped by two appearances on "Top of the Pops" on 9th and 30th March. There was no TOTP performance of Rod Stewart's single.

Format
The sixteen finalists were split into four groups of four, the top two from each group would progress to the second round which would comprise two groups of four. The second round group runners-up would contest a 3rd place play-off (there were no semi-finals) and the winners would qualify for the final.* The venues were Buenos Aires, Mar Del Plata, Rosario, Cordoba and Mendoza.
 

*In 1974 Argentina pressed for an increase in participating nations for the 1978 finals from 16 to 20, this proposal was initially agreed but FIFA then decided to cut back to 16. Louis Wouters (president of the Belgian FA) said "If raising the entry meant that more teams of the calibre of Haiti, Zaire and Australia would reach the finals, then I would rather be champion of Europe than champion of the world."
 

Sat 27/05/1978    "World At Their Feet"
*10:15-11:15pm. This was an STV production (networked across the UK) which set out to capture the mood of the country "getting ready to take on the world in its usual outrageous manner."

Mon 29/05/1978    Bank Holiday Sport - World Cup '78
*A 15 minute slot was scheduled for a "special satellite report" at 1:10-1:25pm during ITV's Bank holiday version of "World of Sport".

Wed 31/05/1978    "Action Argentina"
*This was ITV's preview programme shown at 7:30-8:30pm and presented by Brian Moore with a panel of Brian Clough, Kevin Keegan and Johan Cruijff (the Dutch star who had decided not to take part). Ally MacLeod was also heard via a phone link. BBC1 had a "World Cup Grandstand" preview at 7:16-8:24pm which dropped the studio chat format in favour of reports on film from around the world including John Motson meeting The Crown Prince of Iran (a passionate football fan) and Bob Wilson in goal in a practice match against Brazil.
 

First Round
Game 1

1978 World Cup Opening Ceremony
Scenes from the opening ceremony, 1st June 1978

Thu 01/06/1978    West Germany 0 Poland 0
Group 2 (7pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Jack Charlton
*ITV coverage began at 5:45pm and ran until 9:00pm including the opening ceremony - which was basically a large number of teenagers in Adidas tracksuits moving in formation, waving flags of the participants, going through exercising motions, pretending to swim, spelling out "Argentina 78" and making up the logo, all of which was described by Gerald Sinstadt (and not by Hugh Johns who voiced the actual match). Simultaneous coverage on BBC1 began at the slightly later time of 5:50pm introduced by Frank Bough with David Coleman commentating (and as with ITV, their coverage ended at 9pm). BBC bosses were furious when they learned of Argentinean TV's intention to cut away to the electronic scoreboard ten times during the course of the opening ceremony to show it advertising coffee! BBC head of sport Alan Hart said; "We don't like blatant advertising of this kind at sports events, but to pull out of the opening ceremony altogether would only deprive millions of viewers.". In the previous tournament Poland had been denied a place in the final by the West Germans on a waterlogged pitch, the Poles manager Jackek Gmoch said ahead the 1978 opener; "We are ready mentally and physically to gain our revenge. This is as good, if not better side than the one that surprised so many people four years ago." Unfortunately the match turned out to be yet another goalless curtain raiser, the 4th opening World Cup 0-0 in succession. Poland had the only shot on target in the first half, just before the break, and the players walked off to jeers and whistles. The 2nd half was little better, Poland had a period of dominance and were marginally the better side overall, but with the other two teams in this group (Tunisia and Mexico) among the weakest in the whole competition, both West Germany and Poland were clearly more than happy to settle for a point apiece.

Fri 02/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*A surprisingly lengthy Friday morning programme (10:25am-noon) that included highlights of the previous day's opening game as well as news and discussion with host Brian Moore.

Fri 02/06/1978    Italy 2 (Rossi, Zaccarelli) France 1 (Lacombe)
Group 1 (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerry Harrison & Ian St John
*ITV had exclusive live coverage of this game with coverage running from 5:30-7:45pm. The TVTimes lists the incorrect commentator for this game. The French were playing their first match in a World Cup finals since losing to England in 1966 and they wasted no time in making up for their absense, scoring after only 31 seconds - building up a move from the keeper at the back, down the left hand side before a sudden burst of pace by Didier Six on the wing resulted in a cross for Bernard Lacombe to rise and head in the then fastest World Cup finals goal seen on television. Italy, who had not lost to France for 58 years, had a Roberto Bettega goal ruled out for offside before a comical equaliser came on 27 - A free-kick on the right was swung into the box which eluded the defence and fell to Cabrini wide on the left, Bettega attempted to stab in Cabrini's centre but it was going wide, Franco Causio lunged in to force the ball against the crossbar and in rapid ping-pong fashion the ball came back off a defender towards goal, hit Causio on the line to come back out again, but only to deflect off Paolo Rossi and into the net.  Italy scored the winning goal in the 2nd half on 54, Claudio Gentile and Rossi were involved in a one-two on the right, Gentile then pulled back a low centre and found the half-time sub Renato Zaccarelli who dug out a low first time drive which wrong footed the keeper for 2-1. The disappointed France manager Michel Hidalgo complained afterwards that he had seen very little of the game because he had a TV camera and numerous technicians positioned directly in front of him. Later in the evening on ITV there was a special World Cup edition of the game show "Celebrity Squares" (apparently running 15 minutes later than advertised) with an all Scottish celebrity line-up including current players Lou Macari and Derek Johnstone plus old boys Bill Shankly and Denis Law. BBC1 showed highlights of Italy v France with Barry Davies commentating in a programme starting at 10:17pm ahead of the late night live game. A few days later it was reported that Hidalgo was vowing to quit once the French squad returned to Paris due to squabbles among his players over cash perks, several of the team had apparently threatened not to play against Italy unless they got more money from sponsors supplying their sports gear.

Fri 02/06/1978    Tunisia 3 (Kaabi, Ghommidh, Dhouib) Mexico 1 (Vasquez(pen))
Group 2 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Neither channel opted to show this match live, Alan Weeks was at  the game to commentate for BBC1 who showed highlights before the late night match. ITV showed clips/highlights the next day. Mexico had an effort cleared off the line on 6 minutes but took the lead from a penalty on 44 awarded for a hand ball which cut out a cross from the left, Arturo Vázquez Ayala dispatched the spot kick low into the right hand corner. A 2nd half equaliser came on 55 when Ali Kaabi struck a shot from the edge of the area through a crowd of players. Néjib Ghommidh then gave Tunisia a shock lead on 80 by racing into the box on the left and finishing neatly with the outside of his right foot. A 3rd goal for the 1000-1 outsiders came from Mokhtar Dhouib on 86, clipping the ball past the on-rushing keeper with a defender also sliding in. It was an historic night for Africa, Tunisia being the first country from that continent to win a match in a World Cup finals.

1978 World Cup mascot Gauchito.jpgFri 02/06/1978    Argentina 2 (Luque, Bertoni) Hungary 1 (Csapo)
Group 1 (11:15pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerald Sinstadt
*BBC1 showed this match live with John Motson commentating, Argentina played their fixtures at later kick-off times than everyone else so that they could be shown in peak-time hours at home and so that attendances at other games would not be affected. Argentina were 4 hours behind British summer time and so the BBC's coverage ran until 1:10am. Hungary took the lead on 9, a loose ball had dropped to Sándor Zombori on the left corner of the box and he struck a fierce half-volley which the keeper could only parry into the path of Károly Csapó who had the simple task of touching the ball in. The hosts were soon level however, a free-kick on 14 was back-heeled to Mario Kempes who fired in a drive which the keeper spilled and Leopoldo Luque was there to scoop the ball into the net for 1-1. That's the way it stayed until 7 minutes from time, a long ball to the edge of the Hungarian box was chested on, the keeper came out to claim but a defender stuck out a boot and the ball ran into the path of substitute Daniel Bertoni who side footed into an empty net. Hungary, who had been guilty of numerous fouls throughout, then had András Törocsik sent off for a 2nd bookable offence on 88 which left Bertoni rolling around on the ground holding his groin. There was still time for Hungary to go down to 9 men when Tibor Nyilasi saw red (he too had received an earlier yellow) for a rash challenge on Alberto Tarantini in injury time. ITV waited until the following day to show highlights of this one, Gerald Sinstadt initially had no idea who had scored Hungary's goal because he was so far away from the pitch, but he later claimed he was able to lip read one of the Hungarian coaches on the monitor saying the scorer's name! Confusion as to who scored Argentina's winner continues to this day, Alonso ran to the touchline near the corner of the ground to celebrate with the crowd and he was followed by other players, the TV camera focussed on him and a caption then identified Alonso as the scorer, but Bertoni (who Sinstadt originally called when the ball hit the net) is listed as the scorer on FIFA's web-site.

Sat 03/06/1978    "World of Sport"
*Brian Moore hosted the "World Cup '78" section from 12:35-12:55pm anticipating Scotland's opening match with Peru later in the day. A fair chunk of this slot was probably devoted to the Argentina v Hungary match although BBC1 were specifically scheduled to show highlights of that game (and not a "Football Focus") during "Grandstand" at 1:50-2:10pm. It was not a day to be a non-football fan with both ITV and BBC1 showing football virtually all evening and night from around 5:20-11:10pm with only a 30-40 minute break inbetween two live games, all of which had been preceded on both channels by other sports since lunchtime. BBC2 was the only other alternative in those days who offered up two programmes on the monarchy plus the 1952 film "The Snows of Killimanjaro".

Sat 03/06/1978    Austria 2 (Schachner, Krankl) Spain 1 (Dani)
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerald Sinstadt & Jack Charlton
*A choice of matches at tea-time with ITV having coverage of Austria v Spain at 5:15-7:45pm. This was Austria's first match in the World Cup finals since 1958 and they took the lead on 9 minutes with a brilliant individual goal by 21 year old Walter Schachner - racing down the right wing, beating a defender to make his way into the box and blasting in from an acute angle. Spain keeper Miguel Ángel made a spectacular save to prevent Austria going further ahead, acrobatically catching a half-volley in mid-air after a neat one-two had set up a clear sight of goal. Spain equalised on 21, a long cross from the right was met by both attacker and defender which sent the ball spinning high into the air directly above them and with the Austrian defender then looking around to see where it had gone, Dani was in position to hit it first time with a deflection that took the ball past the wrong footed keeper for 1-1. Spain had the ball in the net again from a corner, but Rubén Cano's finish was ruled out for a two man foul on the keeper, Spain also had another effort headed off the line by Robert Sara before half-time. Austria's star man Hans Krankl missed a great chance in the 2nd half, but he made amends on 79 from close range after a shot had been partially beaten down but fell kindly for Krankl who was able to pick his spot and fire into the corner of the net. John Motson voiced the match for highlights on BBC1.

Referee Clive Thomas blows for time before Brazil score v SwedenSat 03/06/1978    Sweden 1 (Sjöberg) Brazil 1 (Reinaldo)
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerry Harrison
*BBC1 showed this game live with Barry Davies commentating, coverage running from 5:25-7:35pm. Sweden's manager observed ahead of the game; "I have seen Brazil [in friendlies] before coming to Argentina. They went in for shirt pulling, they fouled in front of the referee and when he was not looking, they were a dirty side. Thankfully we have got a strong referee in Clive Thomas, generally regarded as the best one here." - Prophetic words considering the infamous outcome. Both sides had good opportunities to take the lead before the first goal came for Sweden on 37, a clever flick by Bo Larsson into the middle encouraged Thomas Sjöberg to run between two defenders and force in a goal that was greeted by a huge roar from the local spectators who were naturally supporting the Swedes. It was almost 2-0 soon afterwards when Lennart Larsson rose to head a curling free-kick against the crossbar. Brazil still managed to go in level at half-time with an equaliser that proved to be the last kick of the first half with Welsh referee Clive Thomas checking his watch as Brazil pressed forward - A high dropping ball to the far post found Reinaldo who got the run of the ball to enable him to poke it past Ronnie Hellström for 1-1. The Swedish keeper had to make a desperate save in the 2nd half, throwing himself across goal to turn a wickedly deflected looping effort around the far post. In the days when it was relatively rare to play much more than 30 seconds injury time, Brazil won a corner as the clock reached the 45 minute mark, the kick was delayed by the linesman who walked over and moved the ball further into the arc, the corner taker Nelinho then re-positioned it back to where he had originally placed it. Perhaps irritated by this (as well as some pushing) and mindful of the now desperate calls for the match to end from an Argentinean crowd angered by the Brazil's last kick of injury time equaliser in the first half, Clive Thomas decided to blow the full-time whistle just as the ball was met with a clean header by Zico powering it into the goal - The 2nd of the referee's three whistles signifying the end of the game was sounding as the ball hit the back of the net. Four Brazil players ran towards Thomas but they didn't surround him as he walked purposefully towards the tunnel making clear gestures to signify that the goal had not counted. He said afterwards "I saw the header but I didn't see the ball go into the net, I had turned away." (The video evidence appears to suggest otherwise), Thomas went on; "The Brazilians only have themselves to blame, they shouldn't have wasted so much time over taking the corner." ITV showed highlights of this game during coverage of the night match.

Cubillas celebrates scoring for Peru v ScotlandSat 03/06/1978    Peru 3 (Cueto, Cubillas 2) Scotland 1 (Jordan)
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Arthur Montford & Joe Harper*
*Following a half hour break from football for an edition of "Sale of the Century", ITV resumed World Cup coverage at 8:15 which ran through until 11:00pm with a panel of Kevin Keegan, Paddy Crerand and Andy Gray. Hugh Johns & Ian St. John were scheduled to commentate for non-Scottish viewers but the line failed and so STV's Arthur Montford's commentary was heard across the network, Ian St John's autobiography describes Johns storming out of the booth in disgust, leaving Saint to continue a less than flattering commentary of his own using some choice language. He later received a severe dressing down for this. BBC1, who were also showing the match live (8:20-11:10pm) suffered a similar line fail problem in reverse, Archie McPherson was supposed to commentate for viewers in Scotland but they heard the English commentator David Coleman instead. All that was nothing compared to what happened on the pitch and in the dressing room afterwards. Scotland began well enough and took the lead on 14 minutes, Willie Johnston on the left found Kenny Dalglish who flicked the ball back to Asa Hartford, he played it into the path of Bruce Rioch who shot relatively tamely but Quiroga decided to push the ball away rather than smother, Joe Jordan was first to it and scored from a tightish angle inside the 6 yard box. Peru then began to threaten, though Dalglish had two decent chances to increase the lead after being set up by Jordan. The deserved equaliser came a minute before half-time, building up down the middle, a couple of passes exchanged near the 'D' before César Cueto found himself with a clear sight of goal after Tom Forsyth fell to ground in a poor attempt at a tackle, Cueto's clinical low finish beat the perm haired Alan Rough to nestle in the corner of the net, 1-1. In the 2nd half Dalglish set up Jordan for a header which clipped the outside of the upright, Jordan had an even better chance from a Don Masson corner - flicked on to find Jordan who's shot was pushed away at point blank range by Quiroga hurling himself across goal. The Scots best chance to restore the lead of all came via a fortunate penalty decision on 63 - Rioch speeding into the area appeared to lose control of the ball but his momentum saw him taken out by a clumsily late and completely missed attempt at a clearance by Díaz. Don Masson, who had scored the crucial spot kick v Wales that saw them qualify, stepped up to take the penalty and struck it decently enough - though it was at a nice height for Ramón Quiroga who guessed correctly and pushed it away. Then on 70 minutes came the hammer blow, Teófilo Cubillas advanced unchallenged towards the 'D' and was able to switch to his right foot to let rip with a beautiful shot that found the roof of the net in the near corner. A 3rd goal for Peru came just 6 minutes later, a direct free-kick on the edge of the area, just to the left, was toe-poked magnificently by Cubillas into the same section of the net as his earlier goal. Ally MacLeod said of the match; "We looked sluggish right from the start. Whether or not it was tension I just don't know." Some interpreted the Peru manager's post match remarks as sarcasm, but it was probably more diplomacy when he said "I would like to congratulate Scotland and Mr MacLeod for the team they presented to us... I am proud of my team for beating the best side in Europe."

Scotland's nightmare evening did not end with the final whistle, Willie Johnston failed a drugs test after the match - testing positive for Fencamfamine. He was then ordered to take a 2nd test on the Monday morning. On Monday night he was sent home in disgrace. Speaking to a reporter he said; "I did take two pills before the game. They are prescribed by my club doctor at West Brom and they are called Reactiva. Other players take them in Britain, I only take them when I am feeling low. The whole thing was that I had hay fever almost from the time we arrived. I had no idea the pills contained any drugs which were banned by FIFA. Remember there are 300 drugs listed. This will haunt me for the rest of my life, but please believe me, it was a genuine mistake." The only previous case of this kind in the World Cup was in 1974 when a player from Haiti was banned from international football for a year. A spokesman for FIFA said; "The executive committee have the power to ban the whole Scottish team - This will be discussed in Buenos Aires."  A few days later an anonymous Scottish player was quoted as saying "With Willie [Johnston] crying and in such a state, we all want to pull out, but we must fight on for those at home". Captain Bruce Rioch admitted; "I know what is being said at home. I fully understand the anger. My wife has been on the phone and my kids are even getting it at school." The Peru match was Johnston's 22nd and final match for Scotland, it was also the 17th and final international for Don Masson.

Sat 03/06/1978    Netherlands 3 (Rensenbrink 3(2pens)) Iran 0
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*ITV showed highlights of this game after the Scotland v Peru match, most likely between 10:45-11:00pm. Alan Weeks voiced the match for BBC1 who also showed highlights after the Scotland game. It was a comfortable victory for the Dutch with Rob Rensenbrink netting a hat-trick, two of them from the penalty spot - The first came on 40 minutes when Willy van der Kerkhof collected the ball on the half way-line and swiftly made his way into the box where he was crudely hacked down, badly injuring his wrist. Rensenbrink dispatched the spot kick straight down the centre for a half-time lead. His 2nd goal on 62 was a header at the end of a cross from the right by-line. The 3rd, on 78, came as a result of Johnny Repp's purposeful run past three defenders before he was eventually bundled over in the box, Iran protested - earning one player a booking, before Rensenbrink completed his hat-trick, this time firing high into the top right corner.

Sun 04/06/1978    "World Cup '78 - Game of the Week"
*ITV devoted a one hour Sunday afternoon slot at 2:15-3:15pm to highlights of the opening games presented by Brian Moore. There was no football on the BBC today but, unlike ITV, they did have a programme on Monday - "World Cup Report" going out at 6:50-7:20pm encouraging viewers to phone in with comments and questions.

Game 2

Tue 06/06/1978    Italy 3 (Rossi, Bettega, Benetti) Hungary 1 (Toth(pen))
Group 1 (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerry Harrison & Jack Charlton
*ITV had exclusive live coverage of today's afternoon match, coverage from 5:30pm to 7:40pm. Italy went ahead on 34 when a Tardelli effort was deflected and the keeper could only parry, leaving Paolo Rossi with the opportunity to rush in and slot home. Within 90 seconds Italy scored again - Hungary, in all white, gave the ball away carelessly in defence, a quick lob forward into the box was not dealt with and Roberto Bettega was able to get ahead of the centre backs and prod in for 2-0. A 3rd goal came on 61 after an interchange of passes on the edge of box found Romeo Benetti who hit a sweet low first-time drive into the back of the net. Hungary won a late penalty on 81 with Bellugi raising an arm against Csapo as they chased a through ball into the box, András Tóth scored from the spot-kick to pull it back to 3-1. Bettega, as well as netting the 2nd Italy goal, hit the crossbar 3 times during the match with ferocious shots. David Coleman voiced the match for highlights for inclusion on later programmes on BBC1.

Tue 06/06/1978    Poland 1 (Lato) Tunisia 0
Group 2 (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Martin Tyler & Ian St. John
*A choice of live games late evening, ITV's 2nd live broadcast of the day beginning at 8:40 and ending in time for the News at 10:45pm. The TVTimes promised 'goal highlights' from the West Germany v Mexico match at half-time and full-time. Poland, in all red, forced a great save out of the Tunisia keeper and had a goal ruled out for offside before Grzegorz Lato gave them the lead on 42 - Kaabi swinging a leg to clear a high flick into the box but completely missing and allowing Lato to steal in behind him and lash in an angled half-volley from close range. On 55, Dhouib had to race back to clear off the Tunisia goal-line but the Africans stayed in the match and almost equalised on 80 with a shot by Temime which hit the underside of the bar. They also had three very good chances, all in the 6 yard area, in the dying minutes and in the end Tunisia were unlucky not to earn a point. The BBC showed highlights with commentator Alan Weeks.

Tue 06/06/1978    West Germany 6 (D.Müller, H.Müller, Rummenigge 2, Flohe 2) Mexico 0
Group 2 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*BBC1 showed this match live (directly after "The Germans" episode of "Fawlty Towers") from 8:35-10:35pm with John Motson commentating. Dieter Müller gave West Germany the lead on 14 by setting himself up with a nice turn on the outside of the 'D' and driving a low shot between two defenders into the corner of the net. Hansi Müller got the 2nd on 29 after receiving a ball across the box on the right and tucking in an angled finish. On 38 Mexico made a complete mess of a free-kick deep into the German half, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge broke from the wall to pick up the loose ball and set off on a run that took him straight down the centre of the pitch, he then beat one back peddling defender for pace before slotting past the on-rushing José Reyes - who's momentum caused a collision after the ball was bound for goal and whilst Rummenigge got up to celebrate, Reyes remained hurt on the ground needing a stretcher to take him off with Pedro Soto coming on to replace him. The change of keeper couldn't prevent the score increasing to 4-0 before half-time, a 44th minute free-kick was laid off to Heinz Flohe who struck a fierce shot which may have taken a very slight deflection on its way into the back of the net. With the game now effectively over, many BBC viewers no doubt decided to switch over to the much tighter Poland v Tunisia clash on ITV, those who stayed with BBC1 saw a deep cross from the left on 71 nicely touched back first-time into the danger area where Rummenigge scored with a half-volley for his 2nd and West Germany's 5th. Two minutes later Flohe watched an effort hit a post, roll along the goalline, hit the other post and  bobble back out again, but on 89 he did find the back of the net to make it 6-0 by setting off on a lengthy run from just inside his own half and unleashing an unstoppable shot as he reached the penalty area. Mexico were now unable to qualify, West Germany - despite the impressive scoreline - would still require at least a draw from their final Group 2 fixture against Tunisia.

Tue 06/06/1978    Argentina 2 (Passarella(pen), Luque) France 1 (Platini)
Group 1 (11:15pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerald Sinstadt
*Live on BBC1 at 11:05pm-1:25am with the match described by Barry Davies & Bobby Charlton. Following Italy's win earlier in the day, France had to get something out of this game to stay in with a chance of reaching phase two, it was they who did the early attacking but Argentina came closest to scoring, firstly having a goal marginally ruled out for offside and then Kempes blasting against the upright from the edge of the box. In injury time of the first half the hosts won a penalty, though only after a long delay with the referee having to consult a linesman as to whether there had been a deliberate hand-ball by Marius Trésor to prevent a goal-bound shot (The replay revealed that there had been), Daniel Passarella stepped up and fired a low spot-kick into the right hand corner for 1-0. On 55 a spectacular long range looping half-volley by José Valencia was tipped over by Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes who cracked his spine against the post as he came back down and had to be substituted, never playing for France again (It would have been one of the all time great World Cup goals had it gone in). On 60, a delightful delicate chip by Patrick Battiston into the Argentine box found Bernard Lacombe who in turn lobbed the keeper which came down off the crossbar, Lacombe attempted to control the re-bound and Michel Platini then stepped in to lash past the defender on the line for the equaliser. France had a golden opportunity to go in front when Didier Six got clear but shot agonisingly wide of the post. On 73 Argentina restored their lead, Leopoldo Luque on a turn on the edge of the 'D' flicked the ball up and struck in a blistering half-volley for 2-1 and that's how it finished. A great late night's entertainment for those who stayed up, many citing this as the best game of the tournament, and the result meant that both Argentina and Italy had now qualified for the 2nd phase whilst France and Hungary were destined to miss out despite having a game left to play. ITV's highlights were shown along with highlights of West Germany v Mexico the following afternoon at 1:00-2:00pm followed by racing from the Derby at Epsom.

Wed 07/06/1978    Austria 1 (Krankl(pen)) Sweden 0
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerald Sinstadt & Jack Charlton
*Both ITV and BBC1's evening schedules for Wednesday were dominated by the World Cup with a choice of live matches at tea-time followed by Scotland's match on both channels later that night. As with the previous two TV fixture choices, ITV had the match which didn't feature the big name team, coverage running from 5:30-7:45pm. In a lifeless first half, Austria won a penalty on 43 although it looked a harsh decision as Hand Krankl appeared to have lost control of the ball when he invited the challenge from Björn Nordqvist. Krankl took the kick himself and scored past Ronnie Hellström who had saved three efforts from the striker earlier in the game. The most notable moment of the 2nd half was when Nordqvist cleared off the line from Krankl. Despite a disappointing game, Austria deserved the win which surprisingly (as the most unfancied team in the group) guaranteed their place in the 2nd phase. Barry Davies commentated for highlights on the BBC.

ITV World Cup 1978 captionBrian Moore - ITV World Cup 1978Andy Gray and Kevin Keegan - ITV World Cup 1978
ITV's half-time commercial break caption, Brian Moore hosting alongside Andy Gray and Kevin Keegan.

Wed 07/06/1978    Brazil 0 Spain 0
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerry Harrison
*Live on BBC1 from 5:40-7:35pm with David Coleman & Bobby Charlton commentating. Another below par display from Brazil who came closest to scoring in the first half when Spanish defender Antonio Olmo, under pressure from Zico, headed against the underside of his own crossbar. Brazil had a decent spell early in the 2nd half but Spain had the best chance on 75 when Cardenosa, with the Brazil keeper well out of his goal, took too long to shoot and Amaral was able to clear off the line. Brazil manager Claudio Coutinho said; "We are under pressure more than any other country to win this World Cup. I include Argentina in that assessment. It has not helped." ITV had brief highlights at half-time and full-time of their match.

Scotland manager Ally MacLeodWed 07/06/1978    Scotland 1 (Eskandarian(og)) Iran 1 (Danaeifard)
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Ian St. John*
*Following the early evening live games, ITV were the first channel back on the air with football at 8:15-11:00pm, BBC1 showed this same match at 8:20-11:05pm. There was no repeat of the commentary-line problems experienced during Scotland's previous fixture, everybody back home in the UK heard the correct voices tonight with Arthur Montford only describing the game for the Scottish & Grampian regions and BBC viewers in Scotland hearing Archie McPherson. John Motson commentated for the rest of UK households tuned to BBC1. On the pitch, Scotland's tournament went from bad to worse. They did manage to go in 1-0 ahead at the break, but only thanks to an absolute gift of an own goal on 43 after the Iran keeper had fallen to the ground in a challenge with Joe Jordan, Eskandarian then attempted to make a clearance but - seemingly not realising which way he was facing - struck the ball straight into the centre of his own net! The dreaded equaliser came on 60, Scotland had the chance to clear as an Iranian attack was built from the right flank to the left, Archie Gemmill too might have done better in trying to shepherd Danaeifard away from danger, but as Gemmill fell to the ground the Iranian had enough sight of goal to beat Alan Rough at his near post with a low drive from an acute angle. The reaction of Kenny Burns on the close up camera angle said it all. Iran might have even gone in front when Ghasempour raced clear into an empty Scottish half, but a bad touch/bobble at the last moment allowed Rough to smother. Ally MacLeod said afterwards; "We need a miracle now, we are clutching at straws if we are talking in terms of beating Holland by three goals." Manchester United's Lou Macari played for the 24th and final time for Scotland tonight as did sub Joe Harper with his 4th appearance.

Wed 07/06/1978    Netherlands 0 Peru 0
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Brief highlights were shown by both channels during coverage of the Scotland v Iran match. The closest anyone came to scoring was Rensenbrink in the 2nd half, Peru keeper Quiroga getting down well to keep out a low shot. Peru gained in confidence as the match went on but the Dutch had no intention of giving anything away, playing one less man up front compared with the previous match and appearing content to take a draw. Alan Weeks commentated for BBC1.

Thu 08/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*There were two highlights/news slots in today's ITV schedule - Firstly at 1:00-2:00pm which included lengthier highlights of the Netherlands v Iran and Brazil v Spain and then a half-hour show at 5:15pm which probably focussed on Scotland. Both shows were presented by Brian Moore. BBC1 had a "World Cup Report" at 7:00-7:28pm with Frank Bough and Jimmy Hill. There was no ITV programme on Friday, but BBC1 did have a "World Cup Report" at 6:52-7:27pm with Bob Wilson and Trevor Brooking.

Sat 10/06/1978    "World of Sport"
*Brian Moore hosted the "World Cup '78" section from 12:35-12:55pm, BBC1 included a "World Cup Report" during "Grandstand" at the uncharacteristically late time of 4:40-5:00pm.


(Left) An example of the score caption & clock graphics. (Right) As with 1974, replays would always be
from an elevated position behind the net and only one replay of a goal/near-miss would be shown.

Game 3

Sat 10/06/1978    France 3 (Lopez, Berdoll, Rocheteau) Hungary 1 (Zombori)
Group 1 (5:45pm bst*)
ITV Highlights
Gerry Harrison
*Despite this match being rendered totally meaningless (neither side could qualify) BBC1 decided to go ahead with their scheduled live broadcast with John Motson commentating. However, both teams turned up at the ground with white shirts only and so France had to borrow a set of green and white striped shirts belonging to Club Atlético Kimberley (a local Mar del Plata City regional league team) causing the kick-off to be delayed by 40 minutes. BBC coverage ran from 5:25-7:40pm which meant they had to leave the game at the end of the 1st half (or early in the 2nd half) so that the following programme "The Good Life" could begin at its' scheduled time. France had taken the lead on 23 with a screamer, well outside the area from the boot of Christian Lopez. On 38 a mistake by a Hungarian defender allowed the ball slip through to Marc Berdoll, three defenders then forced him across the box and away from goal but he was allowed to turn and get in a shot that rolled past the keeper for 2-0. Hungary then had a header which hit the crossbar before they did pull it back to 2-1 on 41 - Sándor Zombori exchanging a one-two on the edge of the box before finishing with a neat side-footed curling chip. Yet, straight from the re-start France restored their two goal advantage, building up down the left, a bobbling pull-back into the box found Dominique Rocheteau who swivelled on the spot to get in a finish that just crept in on the inside of the post. France almost scored a 4th goal seconds after the break with a swift move upfield, but the finishing effort this time hit the upright. Platini later saw a fierce strike hit the top of the crossbar and 3-1 was the way it stayed leaving Hungary bottom of the group with three straight defeats. ITV showed brief highlights during coverage of the later games.

Zbigniew BoniekSat 10/06/1978    Poland 3 (Boniek 2, Deyna) Mexico 1 (Rangel)
Group 2 (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Martin Tyler
*Yet again, ITV had the less attractive/less meaningful choice of live games for the 8:45pm kick-off's with Mexico unable to qualify and Poland expected to take at least the point they required. ITV coverage began at 8:30pm and, aside from a break for the news at 10:30pm, ran through until closedown at 1:30am to take in the late night match too. Poland took the lead on 42, Grzegorz Lato skipping away from a challenge on the left wing before pulling the ball back from the byline for Zbigniew Boniek to thunder into the net. Mexico equalised early in the 2nd half on 51 - Ignacio Flores making his way into the box on the right, a square ball took Víctor Rangel by surprise but he did enough to get some sort of shot in which took the ball past the keeper for 1-1. Poland were soon back in front however, a series of deflections on the edge of the area saw the ball eventually break kindly for Kazimierz Deyna who struck a cracking first-time shot into the roof of the net. A 3rd goal for Poland came courtesy of a long range effort from Boniek on 83 and Poland won the group. Alan Weeks covered this game for the BBC.

Sat 10/06/1978    West Germany 0 Tunisia 0
Group 2 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*Live on BBC1 from 8:25-11:00pm with David Coleman & Bobby Charlton commentating. Tunisia came into the match knowing that if they could somehow win this match, they would go through. West Germany had to avoid defeat and seemed content to do just that and settle for 2nd place, though Tunisia might have had a penalty on 39 when Agrebi went down under a challenge in the area. At full-time the electronic scoreboard revealed the score at the other Group 2 game and Tunisia, unluckily, were out. ITV showed highlights during their coverage of the other matches.

Group 2 Final Table
1. Poland       +3  5
2. West Germany +6  4
3. Tunisia      +1  3
4. Mexico       -10 0

Sat 10/06/1978    Italy 1 (Bettega) Argentina 0
Group 1 (11:15pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerald Sinstadt & Jack Charlton
*Live coverage on ITV at 10:45pm-1:30am following their earlier coverage of Poland v Mexico and a news bulletin. Both nations had already qualified and were playing for top spot and the right to play the 2nd phase matches in the capital city, though in terms of opponents - 2nd place was shaping up to be more desirable as it would at the very least avoid a meeting with holders West Germany. Argentina's Leopoldo Luque (who had scored in both of their opening games) was missing having dislocated an elbow in their previous match v France, though he was to suffer a much greater tragedy on the day of this fixture with Italy - his brother was killed in a road traffic accident. The first half saw chances created at both ends but it was still goalless at the break. Italy took the lead on 67 with a nice move that saw Paolo Rossi and Roberto Bettega combine in an exchange of neat flicks to set up Bettega to snap home a low shot for 1-0, a goal which proved to be enough to win the game and the group. Barry Davies commentated for the BBC highlights the following morning.

Group 1 Final Table
1. Italy        +4  6
2. Argentina    +1  4
3. France        0  2
4. Hungary      -5  0

Sun 11/06/1978    "World Cup '78 - Game of the Week"
*Presented by Brian Moore with Brian Clough at 2:15-3:15pm. BBC1 had a "World Cup Grandstand" earlier in the day at 11:15am-12:05pm showing highlights of Argentina v Italy.

Sun 11/06/1978    Spain 1 (Asensi) Sweden 0
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerald Sinstadt & Jack Charlton
*ITV had coverage from 5:30-7:45pm whilst the BBC completed a hat-trick of live Brazil games. Both Spain and Sweden needed to win -  preferably by more than one goal, and hope that Brazil didn't beat Austria. Spain had the early chances but were off target and it was Sweden who went closest in a scoreless first half on 42 when they had an effort from a corner cleared off the line. With Brazil now ahead, both sides probably emerged from the tunnel for the 2nd half knowing that a winner here would unlikely be enough to keep them in the tournament. Julio Cardeñosa came desperately close for Spain when his shot from the edge of the area hit the foot of a post, rolled along the line and bobbled past the far post and out for a goal-kick. A Spanish goal finally did come on 75, Juanito played a delicate ball into the box for Juan Asensi who's one touch took him away from the defender and left him with enough space for to lash in for 1-0. Ingemar Erlandsson was close to an equaliser with a header which bounced off the top of the crossbar but it all proved to be academic. John Motson described the highlights for BBC1.

Sun 11/06/1978    Brazil 1 (Roberto Dinamite) Austria 0
Group 3 (5:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerry Harrison
*Live on BBC1 at 5:30-7:35pm with Barry Davies commentating. Brazil went into the game needing a win to be sure of going through, Austria were already guaranteed a place in the 2nd phase. Brazil's Jorge Mendonça twice missed from point blank range in an improved display from the South Americans before a goal on 40 proved to be enough to see them through - scored by Roberto Dinamite who controlled a long deep cross into the box by Gil from the right and finished via a slight deflection. The Brazil manager said afterwards; "Now beautiful matches can begin, now the World Cup really gets underway with the eight best teams." Austria won the group on goals scored ahead of Brazil in 2nd.

Group 3 Final Table
1. Austria      +1  4
2. Brazil       +1  4
3. Spain         0  3
4. Sweden       -2  1

Archie Gemmill scores for Scotland v HollandSun 11/06/1978    Scotland 3 (Dalglish, Gemmill 2(1pen)) Netherlands 2 (Rensenbrink(pen), Rep)
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Ian St. John
*ITV coverage began at 8:15pm and ended at 11:15pm with Johan Cruijff joining Brian Moore and Brian Clough in the studio. Arthur Montford commentated for Scottish & Grampian viewers. BBC1 also showed this match live from 8:15-11:10pm (overrunning 10 minutes longer than scheduled), Archie McPherson described the match for BBC viewers in Scotland, David Coleman & Bobby Charlton elsewhere. Scotland needed to win by three goals to go through ahead of the Netherlands in 2nd place. Bruce Rioch headed against the face of the crossbar and Kenny Dalglish had a goal disallowed for a non-obvious reason early in the game before the Dutch won a disputed penalty on 34 as Stuart Kennedy, goalkeeper Alan Rough and Johnny Rep all came together in the box leaving the Dutchman on the ground. Rob Rensenbrink stepped up to take the spot kick and placed it neatly into the corner for the 1000th goal scored in World Cup history. Scotland deservedly drew level just before half-time - Graeme Souness chipped a ball into the box which was headed down by Joe Jordan to an unmarked Dalglish who thundered home on the half-volley from close range. In the 2nd half (both ITV and the BBC missing the opening moments for some reason) Souness won a penalty for Scotland on 46 when he was surrounded by three defenders and brought down on the edge of the six yard area, Archie Gemmill struck the spot kick perfectly just inside the post giving the keeper no chance for 2-1. On 68 came what is still generally regarded as the all-time high point of Scottish football - Kenny Dalglish wide on the right turned between two defenders on the edge of the box but couldn't get past a 3rd, Archie Gemmill was first to the loose ball and skipped away from the lunge of Jansen, he then turned sharply away from Krol who fell to ground, slipped the ball past and ran around the outside of Schoenaker (who also ended up on the floor) taking the Scottish midfielder deep into the box to the right of goal, Gemmill had time to take a touch to set himself up and slotted a delightful chip over keeper Jongbloed and into the net to make it 3-1 - A brilliant goal and Scotland were now, incredibly, just one more goal away from qualifying for the 2nd phase. Sadly the hopes were dashed just 3 minutes later, Johnny Rep was played into space in a central channel and shot from well outside the area, ironically taking a deflection off Gemmill to help it soar into the top corner. 3-2 was the way it stayed and Scotland were out on goal difference, but they had at least salvaged some pride. Ally MacLeod said afterwards; "Looking back my regrets are firstly that Gordon McQueen wasn't fit, that Willie Donachie wasn't available for the first match against Peru and that I did not bring in Graeme Souness earlier. I have had to to spend too much of my time answering phone calls, denying stories about the behaviour of my side. No other squad in the whole history of football has been subjected to the sort of pressure Scotland have suffered out here." Two Scottish players on duty tonight played their last on the international stage, Tom Forsyth (22 caps) and Bruce Rioch (24 caps).

Sun 11/06/1978    Peru 4 (Velasquez, Cubillas 3(2pens)) Iran 1 (Rowshan)
Group 4 (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Only highlights were available of this match with both channels showing Scotland v Netherlands live. Peru needed to avoid losing by more than one goal to be certain of going through, Iran needed to win by three. Peru took the lead in the 2nd minute through José Velásquez heading in a corner. Iran had chances to equalise, forcing a couple of good saves out of Ramón Quiroga before Peru were awarded a penalty on 36 for a body-check on Oblitas just inside the area, Iran protested but Teófilo Cubillas made it 2-0 from the spot kick. Just 3 minutes later Peru won another penalty - A nice interchange of passing sent Cubillas clean through, he nudged the ball past the keeper and then went over his outstretched arm. Cubillas duly despatched his 2nd spot kick for 3-0. Iran pulled one back before half-time, a cross into the box from the left was met by the head of a defender but he only managed to back-head it to Hassan Roshan out on the right who hit a first time shot into the far corner of the net. Cubillas completed his hat-trick on 79, turning on the edge of the area, getting a fortunate touch off a defender and then side-footing the ball in for 4-1, a result that won the group for Peru by two clear points. Alan Weeks called the action for highlights on BBC1.

Group 2 Final Table
1. Peru         +5  5
2. Netherlands  +2  3
3. Scotland     -1  3
4. Iran         -6  1

Mon 12/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*Two round-up programmes on ITV today presented by Brian Moore. The first was at 1pm-2pm with the TVTimes billing highlights of Peru v Iran and Brazil v Austria. The 2nd programme at 5:15-5:45pm previewed the 2nd phase. BBC1 had a "World Cup Report" at 6:50-7:20pm. BBC1 also had a programme on Tuesday with another "World Cup Report" in the same time slot, 6:50-7:20pm. The BBC and ITV flipped a coin to decide who would get first choice of the 2nd round matches, the BBC won (as they had with the 1st round) and elected to take all of the Argentina matches.

Second Round
Game 4

Wed 14/06/1978    Netherlands 5 (Brandts, Rensenbrink(pen), Rep 2, W.van de Kerkof) Austria 1 (Obermayer)
Group A (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Jack Charlton
*All four opening games of the 2nd phase took place on the same day, the two Group A matches kicking off at the same time with ITV showing Holland v Austria at 5:30-7:45pm. The Dutch took an early lead on 6 with an unmarked Ernie Brandts heading in a free-kick crossed in from the right by Arie Haan. Austria missed a great chance to equalise when keeper Piet Schrijvers (selected in place of Jan Jongbloed) charged off his line and completely miss-timed a dive at the feet of Kurt Jara who really should have had a shot rather than squared a ball into the centre where Rudi Krol was able to do enough to avert the danger. On 35 Wim Jansen was brought down by a late challenge in the box by Herbert Prohaska, Rob Rensenbrink stepped up and struck the penalty into the top corner for 2-0. A minute later, Rensenbrink broke down the left and sent in a low curling ball to the edge of the box to Johnny Rep, the ball bounced up under Rep's attempt to control it but with the keeper racing off his line Rep took the opportunity to lob and it dropped over the line for 3-0. This was only the first match of the group, yet by half-time Austria were effectively out of contention for a place in the final. On 53 a goal-kick found Rensenbrink who's first touch took him inbetween the defenders, a challenge forced him out to the right but with the keeper coming out he was able to play a delicate ball towards goal leaving Rep with the simple task of tapping in from inside the 6 yard box for 4-0. Austria pulled one back on 80, Krieger putting a low ball into the box which bounced up in the air off Obermayer but he had time to turn and put in a high looping lob over the keeper which dropped early enough to find the net at the far post. The Dutch still had the last word,  Rensenbrink again the provider - breaking down the left, beating a defender for pace, checking as he reached the box and then playing the ball into Willie van de Kerkhof  who slotted in for goal number 5 on 82 minutes. The BBC commentator at this match was Alan Weeks.

Wed 14/06/1978    West Germany 0 Italy 0
Group A (5:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerald Sinstadt
*Live on BBC1 from 5:30-7:35pm with John Motson commentating. Italy, so impressive in winning their 1st Round group, were generally stifled in the opening 30 minutes but finished the first-half strongly, Roberto Bettega closest to scoring when he burst into the box on 36, rounded the keeper Sepp Maier and saw his finishing effort cleared off the line by Manfred Kaltz. Earlier in the match at the other end Dino Zoff had to make a good save from a spectacular long range volley from Bernd Hölzenbein. In the 2nd half Italy hit the woodwork when a short corner was chipped into the box by Antonio Cabrini which sailed over everyone and came back off the upright, Bettega's follow up shot was then blocked on the line, possibly by the arm of Kaltz. The game finished 0-0, West Germany's 3rd goalless draw in the 4 games they had played so far.

Wed 14/06/1978    Brazil 3 (Dirceu 2, Zico(pen)) Peru 0
Group B (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerry Harrison & Ian St. John
*ITV's first live broadcast of a Brazil match during this World Cup went out at 8:15-10:45pm with Pat Crerand, Kevin Keegan, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor on the panel (Taylor was very damning of Brazil beforehand, branding them "a disgrace"). Brazil took the lead on 14 with a direct free-kick curled in by Dirceu from 30 yards out. Peru could have equalised when Oblitas sent a square ball across the face of goal, the keeper slipped and Juan Muñante side-footed a week shot directly at him. Almost immediately afterwards on 27, Dirceu got his 2nd goal with a speculative long-range low drive from out on the left which the keeper was late to react to and the ball crept in at the far post. Peru pressed hard to get back into the match early in the 2nd half but on 72 Brazil won a penalty, Roberto Dinamite was played into the box on the left and got ahead of the defender who then grabbed the back of his shirt and wouldn't let go as Roberto continued on his run, the referee blew his whistle but Roberto carried on and then had his legs taken away from him in comical fashion by another defender causing Ian St John to laugh out loud and Gerry Harrison to wonder if Brazil should be given two penalties. Sub Zico, who had only just come on, stepped up to score from the spot to make it 3-0. Barry Davies voiced this match for BBC highlights.

Wed 14/06/1978    Argentina 2 (Kempes 2) Poland 0
Group B (11:15pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Live on BBC1 from 10:45-1:15am with David Coleman & Bobby Charlton commentating. The hosts took the lead on 16, working the ball from right to left across midfield before a superb curling ball into the box from Daniel Bertoni invited Mario Kempes to steal in ahead of the defender and nod the ball in for 1-0. Poland were robbed of a certain equaliser on 39 - A free-kick just outside the box given for a cynical foul by the left byline was crossed beyond the far post, Henryk Maculewicz headed it back into the danger area and with the keeper stranded Grzegorz Lato had a goal-bound header cleared off the line by the diving outstretched hand of Alberto Tarantini (pictured), an offence that did not warrant an automatic red card in 1978. There was to be no justice in the resulting penalty, Kazimierz Deyna - playing his 100th international - stepped up and struck a weak low spot-kick which was scooped up by Ubaldo Fillol and the teams went in at half-time with Argentina still leading 1-0. In the 2nd half, a great bit of skill from Zbigniew Boniek took him into the Argentine box and round the keeper, but his last touch wasn't great and Grzegorz Lato stepped in to shoot into the side netting. The killer 2nd goal on 72 was a poor one from Poland's point of view, Jan Tomaszewski's drop kick up field was picked up by Osvaldo Ardiles on the half-way line and he was allowed to run all the way to the edge of the box before squaring to Kempes who sidestepped his marker and swept the ball home for 2-0. Kempes might have completed a hat-trick when he was put clear in the last minute, but his finishing effort was wide. ITV highlights were shown the following day.

Thu 15/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*There were two ITV World Cup programmes presented by Brian Moore on the day the Scotland squad arrived back home, the first at 1pm-2pm and then a tea-time show at 5:15-5:45pm. BBC1 had a "World Cup Report" at 6:44-7:05pm. There was no ITV programme on Friday but BBC1 did have a "World Cup Report" that day at 6:58-7:29pm.

Sat 17/06/1978    "World of Sport"
*The scheduling of the World Cup fixtures still left a lot to be desired in 1978, surely it would have made obvious sense to have the two Group A games today and the Group B games on Sunday, but instead Saturday was fixture-free with four games taking place on Sunday. Brian Moore hosted a "World Cup On the Ball" during "World of Sport" at 12:35-12:55pm, but there was no World Cup slot scheduled for "Grandstand" on BBC1.

Sun 18/06/1978    "World Cup '78 - Game of the Week"
*Presented by Brian Moore at 2:15-3:15pm.

Game 5

Sun 18/06/1978    Poland 1 (Szarmach) Peru 0
Group B (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerry Harrison & Ian St. John
*Just one of today's games kicked off at tea-time and it was live on ITV from 5:30-7:45pm. This was a fixture that both sides had to win and win by a decent margin to retain any realistic hope of reaching the final. Peru keeper Quiroga made some fine saves in the first half with Poland doing most of the pressing. A goal finally came on 64, Grzegorz Lato robbed the dithering José Navarro down by the touchline on the right, played in a beautiful cross for Andrzej Szarmach and his diving header gave the keeper no chance. It might have been 2-0 when Szarmach crossed from the left for Kazimierz Deyna who saw his header rebound off the foot of the post, the ball then bounced up to Lato who had no time to adjust the direction of his header which went straight to the keeper. Quiroga went on to make further good saves but it was his other antics in this match that "El Loco" will be best remembered for - He had co-commentator Ian St John in fits of laughter,  firstly for a good tackle he made just outside the centre circle and then in the last minute when he actually sprinted into Poland's half to thwart Lato on the break with a rugby tackle (pictured) for which he was booked by English referee Pat Partridge. Alan Weeks voiced the game for BBC highlights.

Sun 18/06/1978    Netherlands 2 (Haan, R.van de Kerkhof) West Germany 2 (Abramczik, D. Müller)
Group A (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Jack Charlton
*A choice of viewing in the evening with ITV having the prize fixture at 8:15-10:45pm. This would be the 2nd meeting of West Germany and the Netherlands since the 1974 World cup final as they had played a friendly match in May 1975 which ended in a 1-1 draw. Here in 1978 West Germany won a direct free kick on the edge of the area in the 3rd minute, Rainer Bonhof took a run up and blasted it low beyond the wall, Piet Schrijvers could only parry it and Rüdiger Abramczik managed to get a downward header onto the rebound to push it past the keeper for 1-0. The Dutch equaliser on 27 was pretty spectacular, Arie Haan picking the ball just beyond the centre circle, running forward into space and unleashing a blistering 30 yarder which moved so swiftly through the air that Maier didn't even make an attempt to save it. Haan's goal was the first West Germany had conceded in this year's finals and indeed the first in the World Cup since Neeskens' penalty against them in the 1974 final. On 70 Abramczik was tripped mid-way inside the Dutch half, the free-kick was played out to the left for Erich Beer who chipped in a cross and Dieter Müller headed in to restore the West German lead at 2-1. Johnny Rep was desperately unlucky not to equalise when he drifted in from the right wing, swerving past 3 defenders and unleashing a fierce shot that cannoned off the face of the crossbar. A deserved Dutch equaliser did however come on 82, Jan Poortvliet sliding a ball through to René van de Kerkhof on the edge of the box who then side-stepped away from a tackle and side-footed a curling shot past Maier, Rolf Rüssmann's desperate attempt to keep it out with his diving hand only helped the ball into the net for 2-2. Dick Nanninga had come on as sub on 80 but was sent off on 88 for continuing to argue with the referee even after he had been shown a yellow card for protesting about an incident in the German penalty area. The Dutch were now in the driving seat, knowing that a win against Italy in the final group game would take them through to the final no matter what happened elsewhere. David Coleman described the match for BBC highlights, though they also showed a bit of it live (see below match for details).

Sun 18/06/1978    Italy 1 (Rossi) Austria 0
Group A (8:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerald Sinstadt
*Live on BBC1 from 8:15pm with Barry Davies commentating. Satellite problems saw one break being filled by switching to Netherlands v West Germany with David Coleman. Following the News, BBC1 stayed with football until closedown to take in the late night fixture as well. Italy took the lead on 13, Paolo Rossi and Franco Causio exchanging a series of passes through the central channel with the final ball chased into the box by Rossi and Heinrich Strasser, the latter got there first first but for some reason failed to tidy up the danger and merely touched the ball on into the path of Rossi who was able to angle in a finish past the keeper. Rather than attempt to better the Netherlands 4 goal margin of victory over the Austrians, Italy seemed content to play for a single goal win, although Francesco Graziani should have made it 2-0 late on when a ball in from the left via a couple of headers left him with only the keeper to beat from 8 yards out, but he shot wide.

Sun 18/06/1978   Argentina 0 Brazil 0
Group B (11:15pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Live on BBC1 until 1:15am with John Motson & Ron Greenwood commentating. As things stood at the start of this match, it seemed almost certain that a winner in this fixture would be able to look forward to playing in the final. Mario Kempes had a couple of decent long range efforts for the hosts in a bruising first half but Leão saved both shots comfortably. Gil had a good chance for Brazil, gaining control of the ball on the edge of the box and firing a low shot which Ubaldo Fillol did well to get down in time to make the save. Argentina came closest of all on 36 when Bertoni on the right crossed a low ball which found Oscar Ortiz in space in the box and his finish with the outside of the boot was inches wide. In the 2nd half, a ball into the box set up Roberto but his close range finish clipped the legs of Fillol to ricochet clear. Brazil were the better side on the night but the draw clearly favoured Argentina as they would play their final fixture after Brazil would play their last game earlier in the day, Argentina would therefore know exactly what score would be required against the already eliminated Peru to secure top spot. ITV showed highlights the following day.

Mon 19/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*ITV had two round-up programmes presented by Brian Moore today, 1pm-2pm and 5:15-5:45pm. BBC1 had a "World Cup Report" at 6:52-7:20pm. There was no programme on ITV on Tuesday but BBC1 had a World Cup round-up that day at 6:50-7:21pm.

Game 6

Wed 21/06/1978    Netherlands 2 (Brandts, Haan) Italy 1 (Brandts(og))
Group A (5:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Gerald Sinstadt & Jack Charlton
*This fixture, exclusively live on ITV from 5:30-7:45pm, was effectively a semi-final as the winners would progress to the final. The Dutch, in change white shirts and orange shorts, knew that they would likely go through if the match were to end in a draw. The onus was on Italy who were the better side in the opening quarter of the game and, after a few near misses, it was they who took the lead on 19, albeit with some good fortune - A build up outside the box saw the ball flick up and fall into the path of Roberto Bettega who found himself in the clear, Ernie Brandts was behind him and made a desperate lunge but only succeeded in sliding the ball past his own on-rushing keeper Piet Schrijvers and into the back of the net. Schrijvers was injured in the three man collision and had to be carried off , he was replaced by Jan Jongbloed who was immediately called into action to make a save at the feet of Rossi and then a keep out a long shot through a crowd of players from Benetti. Italy controlled the rest of the half but suffered a major blow when key midfielder Romeo Benetti was booked on 40 for a foul on Rensenbrink, meaning he would not be able to play in the final. The Netherlands were no doubt buoyed by the half-time score in the West Germany match and equalised soon after the break on 49 after the Italians had twice failed to clear a long ball into the box by Ruud Krol, eventually it fell for Ernie Brandts who made up for his earlier own goal in spectacular fashion with a stunning drive from outside the 'D', 1-1. The Dutch were now on top and an even better goal was to come on 76 - A free-kick near the half-way line was touched by Krol to Arie Haan who advanced a few paces before unleashing the screamer of all World Cup finals screamers (see screen grab), swerving away from the diving Dino Zoff and going in off the inside of the post. There was no way back for Italy now and the Netherlands had reached their 2nd successive World Cup final. Jan Neeskens said afterwards; "We have had our good days and bad days, but I believe we became a real team again in this match." BBC1 showed highlights with John Motson commentating.

Wed 21/06/1978    Austria 3 (Vogts(og), Krankl 2) West Germany 2 (Rummenigge, Hölzenbein)
Group A (5:45pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Gerry Harrison
*Live on BBC1 from 5:30-7:35pm with Barry Davies commentating, but hardly anybody could have been watching as West Germany could only go through if they won by 5 clear goals AND the ITV match ended in a draw. A double one-two between Dieter Müller and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge down the right flank on 18 sent Rummenigge through and he slipped the ball into the net for 1-0, but that's the way it stayed until the break leaving the Germans needing at least 4 more goals in the 2nd half to have any chance of making the final. They might have been encouraged early in the 2nd half when the scoreboard revealed that Holland and Italy were level again but the German challenge was effectively snuffed out on 59 when Sepp Maier flapped at a cross from the right by Eduard Krieger and an under pressure Bertie Vogts then turned the ball into his own net for 1-1. On 66 Krieger sent in a ball from the left, Hans Krankl controlled it mid-flight and then volleyed superbly into the net for 2-1 Austria. On 72 West Germany were level, Rainer Bonhof swung in a free-kick from the right and Bernd Hölzenbein towered above the line to head in for 2-2, but a late individual goal by Krankl on 87 denied West Germany a place in the 3rd place play off, beating Rolf Rüssmann for pace down the right, Krankl then cut inside past Manfred Kaltz before slipping the ball under Maier to make it 3-2. It was the Austrians first victory over their neighbours since 1931. This was also the last game for retiring West Germany manager Helmut Schön after 14 years in charge; "I am utterly disappointed - both about the outcome and about the way our team played. My team has been too erratic in form to be called a world class side."

Group A Final Table
1. Netherlands  +5  5
2. Italy         0  3
3. West Germany -1  2
4. Austria      -4  2

Wed 21/06/1978    Brazil 3 (Nelinho, Roberto Dinamite 2) Poland 1 (Lato)
Group B (8:45pm bst)
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns & Ian St. John
*Live on ITV from 8:15-10:45pm, Brian Clough said that Poland would win (partly to keep in with the Polish ladies at the cheese counter in his local Co-op) after remarking that if the keepers Tomaszewski and Kukla were put together in a melting pot they "wouldn't make a Central League goalkeeper". Brazil needed to win by as many goals as possible to make Argentina's task more difficult when they played their game later tonight. Poland, who had the backing of the locals, needed to beat Brazil and then hope that Peru could pull off a miracle and get a result against Argentina. Brazil, in change blue shirts, lost Zico to an injury early in the game but on 13 they were awarded a direct free-kick just outside the box to the right of the 'D' , Nelinho took a few short steps and then blasted it into the top corner for 1-0. In the final minute of the half Poland scored a seemingly inevitable equaliser, Boniek and Denya interchanged passes to advance into the box, the ball flicked up into the air causing a few moments of mass panic and the defence couldn't clear properly, the ball then fell to Grzegorz Lato who simply poked in from close range for the equaliser. Poland were on top early in the 2nd half until the 58th minute when a clearance from the Polish box fell to Jorge Mendonça on the edge of the area, his shot smacked against the upright but fell kindly for Roberto Dinamite who stuck out a leg to prod Brazil back into the lead at 2-1. Five minutes later there was an incredible passage of play in which Brazil hit the woodwork three times, Dirceu turning brilliantly on the right byline pulled it back to Gil, he then squared to Mendonça who struck a shot against the foot of the post, the rebound came back to Gil who blasted against the crossbar and cannoned out to the left flank, Brazil retained possession and a cross was headed away but fell to Gil who's long range effort again hit the woodwork - bouncing back off the foot of the post, Roberto followed up and finally thundered the ball into the net for 3-1. Brazil now appeared to have the game won but ideally needed to improve their goal difference in the remaining 28 minutes, but it was Poland who created the best chances with Lato and Denya missing from point blank range. Alan Weeks was the commentator for BBC highlights.

Wed 21/06/1978    Argentina 6 (Kempes 2, Tarantini, Luque 2, Houseman) Peru 0
Group B (11:15pm bst)
ITV Highlights
Martin Tyler
*Live on BBC1 from 10:45-1:00am with David Coleman commentating. Argentina went into the match needing to win by a 4 goal margin to overtake Brazil at the top of the group. On the day before the match, the Brazilian press were making claims that Peru keeper Quiroga (who had actually been born in Argentina) had already been bribed to let in the required number of goals, but they had also claimed that Mario Kempes had failed a drug test on the day before the Brazil v Argentina game. Peru came very close to going ahead early in the game, Juan Muñante beating the defence to a long ball into the right hand channel, shaking off a challenge and chipping the keeper to see his shot come back off the far post. Oblitas was also close before a piece of Mario Kempes magic at the other end gave Argentina the lead on 21, taking a return and skipping past a defender into the box and prodding in for 1-0. Roared on by the home crowd Argentina continued to swarm forward and Luque and Ortiz both had efforts which struck the woodwork in the space of two minutes before a 2nd goal came on 43 when Tarantini headed in a corner from the right. On 49 a free-kick crossed in from wide on the right was nodded down by Kempes across the box, Bertoni played a short return ball to leave Kempes with enough of a gap to find the back of the net from close range - 3-0 and it now seemed inevitable that Argentina would succeed in notching up the 4 goal win margin they required. The ecstatic home fans only had to wait less than a minute for the all important 4th goal, Daniel Passarella rose to meet a deep cross and Leopoldo Luque flung himself at it to make sure it crossed the line with a diving header. On 67 Ortiz was allowed to run to the left byline from where he pulled back a ball for the freshly introduced substitute René Houseman who was left with a simple task of getting a touch  for number 5. A sixth goal on 72 came as a result of a blunder, Omar Larrosa robbed a dithering defender, played a ball into the box for Luque where he was able to slip the ball under the advancing Quiroga. The following day England manager Ron Greenwood told a reporter; "There is no team in the world which could have stood up to the onslaught Argentina mounted."

Group A Final Table
1. Argentina    +8  5
2. Brazil       +5  5
3. Poland       -3  2
4. Peru         -10 0

Thu 22/06/1978    "World Cup '78"
*Brian Moore's round-up programmes went out at 1pm-2pm and 5:15-5:45pm today, BBC1 had a "World Cup Report" at 6:46-7:06pm and another edition on Friday at 7:00-7:30pm.

Sat 24/06/1978    "World of Sport"
*A final World Cup '78 slot on "World of Sport" for Brian Moore at 12:35-12:55pm. BBC1 had a very brief "World Cup Report" scheduled for inclusion on "Grandstand" at 4:55-5:00pm.

3rd/4th place play off

Sat 24/06/1978    Brazil 2 (Nelinho, Dirceu) Italy 1 (Causio)
ITV LIVE (7pm bst)
Gerald Sinstadt & Ian St. John
*ITV had live coverage at 6:45-9:00pm, the match was also shown live on BBC1 in the same time slot (6:45-9:00pm) with John Motson commentating. Italy took the lead on 38, Paolo Rossi taking a pass wide on the right, crossing deep where a backtracking Franco Causio headed in for 1-0. Rossi should have made it two when put clear, he rounded the keeper but hit the side-netting from an acute angle. Brazil had a goal ruled out for handball before a splendid equaliser from Nelinho on 64, wickedly bending in a shot from near the touchline on the right wing for one of the best goals of the tournament. It was another fierce strike from outside the box that gave Brazil the lead on 71, Mendonça attempted to chest control a chip into the box but the ball bounced off him to Dirceu just outside the 'D' who struck a half-volley which flew into the corner of the net past the diving Zoff . Italy were close to levelling the scoreon 89 when a chipped free-kick was headed against the top of the crossbar by Bettega. At full time Gerald Sinstadt declared that it was the best 3rd/4th place play-off match that he could remember and Brazil finished as the only unbeaten side in the tournament. After the game both managers called for a return to a knock-out quarter-final/semi-final stage.

The Final

Sun 25/06/1978    "Who'll Win The World Cup?"
*ITV had a preview of the final at 2:15-3:15pm presented by Brian Moore with contributions from Brian Clough, Kevin Keegan, Pat Crerand, Jack Charlton and Ian St. John.


ITV's panel for the World Cup final - Johan Cruijff, Kevin Keegan, Brian Clough and Pat Crerand

Sun 25/06/1978    Argentina 3 (Kempes 2, Bertoni) Netherlands 1 (Nanninga) *AET
ITV LIVE (7pm bst)
Hugh Johns & Jack Charlton
*Both ITV and BBC1 began their coverage at 6:15pm. BBC1's broadcast was scheduled to end first at 9:15pm with ITV finishing at 9:30pm, but both overran due to extra time. David Coleman & Ron Greenwood were the commentators on the BBC. The night was almost as memorable for what happened prior to kick-off as the match itself, firstly for the spectacular ticker-tape welcome which covered the edges of the pitch with pieces of paper and secondly for the start of the game being delayed by 10 minutes - Argentina having come out 5 minutes late leading Hugh Johns to then surmise that the Dutch were countering the hosts' stalling tactics by complaining about the ball as it was they who were seen to be arguing with the referee, but it soon became clear that Argentina had in fact complained about the protective plaster on Rene van der Kerkoff's wrist which he had worn throughout the tournament after picking up an injury in Holland's opening match against Iran. At one point the Dutch captain Ruud Krol signalled for his team to leave the field and for a moment it looked as though the match may not be played! Thankfully this gesture seemed to do the trick and everybody was then ready to start the game. The incident had clearly wound up the Dutch players and they made no attempt to disguise their anger with some deliberate fouls in the opening minutes which set the tone for an ill-tempered final. The first real chance fell to the Netherlands, Arie Haan's free-kick on the left was met by Johnny Rep who's downward header bounced just wide of the post with the keeper stood watching. Argentina won a couple of free-kicks in good positions early in the game but came closest when Jorge Olguín chipped a delightful ball into the box from the right and captain Daniel Passarella raced ahead of the line to volley a blistering effort inches over the bar. Rep came even closer at the other end forcing a fabulous point-blank save out of Ubaldo Fillol after a cross from the right had not been properly dealt with by his defence. Co-commentator Jack Charlton became increasingly frustrated with the officials, a number of dubious offside decisions were given against the Dutch and two other promising attacks were stalled by blatant handballs - both committed by Luis Galván who the referee failed to book. The opening goal came on 37, Argentina building up play down the left, Ossie Ardiles then striding forward and, as he fell to ground, prodding the ball through to Leopoldo Luque, he in turn knocked a square ball to Mario Kempes in the 'D' who stole into the box between two defenders and then lunged and stretched to slide the ball under the advancing Jan Jongbloed for 1-0. It might have been two on 43 when Kempes chipped a free-kick into box and Passarella had a free-header from the edge of the 6 yard area, but he directed it straight at the keeper. A minute later there was almost a goal at the other end, Neeskens towering to meet a cross from the left at the far post, heading across the box to Rob Rensenbrink who might have done better than to merely prod the ball into the path of the scrambling keeper who was able to block.

Arie Haan, scorer of memorable long range goals for the Dutch in the 2nd phase, had a go from distance early in the 2nd half, Fillol appeared to see it late but it was straight at him. Argentina had a good chance when Bertoni tricked his way past Krol on the right wing and played a perfect centre for the unmarked Luque in the middle, but Jongbloed flung himself at Luque's feet which was enough to put him off, he failed to get a touch and the ball carried on across the goal and ran out for a goalkick. From this point onwards Argentina faded as a threat and the Dutch began to apply the pressure - On 58 Rep was replaced by Dick Nanninga who gave the Dutch a more threatening aerial presence, on 66 a half-fit Ossie Ardiles was taken off for Omar Larrosa and the ITV panel later noted that Argentina then lost control of the midfield. On 75 there was lengthy delay when Neeskens and Tarantini clashed heads in the Argentine box, both sides had brought on their 2nd substitute just before the incident and so the injured pair had no choice but to carry on. On 82 the Dutch finally found the back of the net, Jan Poortvliet on the left played a ball to Haan in the central channel, he lobbed into space on the right side of the box where René van de Kerkhof was first to it and crossed for Naninga to rise above two defenders and head in with the keeper still making his way back across the line, 1-1. There was some confusion over the scorer, both Hugh Johns and David Coleman as well as the scoreboard credited Naninger but the TV director then captioned Poortvliet causing both commentators to 'correct' their original call. Argentina seemed to have nothing left in the tank with which to respond whilst the Dutch now had the wind in their sails and were clearly going for the victory, but Neeskens was then punched in the face by Passarella in an off the ball incident that was either not seen or overlooked by the officials, Neeskens needed lengthy treatment which broke up the momentum the Dutch had built up in the closing stages. Yet there was high drama in injury time when Holland came agonisingly close to winning the World Cup - A free-kick in the centre circle was kicked long up field, the ball dropped into the box to the right of goal, Rob Rensenbrink got to it ahead of both a defender and the keeper and his prod looked destined for goal before it bounced and hit the foot of the post. Had it gone in there would have been no time for Argentina to come back. Curiously TV viewers were not granted a replay. There were no adverts on ITV during the break between full-time and extra time, the face of each member of the panel was superimposed onto the live pictures from Estadio Monumental in the corner of the screen to give their opinion before Brian Moore informed viewers that the late film would be delayed by 35 minutes.

The first period of extra time was frantic with Argentina coming back into the game, yet neither side was able to create a clear opportunity until the final minute - A free-kick just inside Argentina's own half was pumped forward by Passarella, Bertoni on the left did well to shake off a defender and slip a neat ball into the path of Kempes, he used two skilful touches to get away from the first defender and then skip away from the challenge of the 2nd to take him into the box, Jongbloed came out to dive at the feet of Kempes who's finish was blocked, but the ball ricocheted back off Kempes, flicked up off the keeper's hand and then seemingly hung in the air in slow-motion as Poortvliet and Suurbier raced back and appeared to be favourites to knock the ball behind for a corner, but Kempes stuck out a high boot and got a touch to prod the bouncing ball in for 2-1. Knowing that the referee would blow for half-time of extra-time almost immediately after the re-start, the Dutch made an audacious attempt to score straight from the kick-off with a shot from the centre circle but it was off target. In the 2nd period the Dutch became frustrated as Argentina resorted to ridiculous levels of play acting and it was the hosts who created further chances with a 3rd goal arriving on 115 minutes - Bertoni playing a ball inside to invite Kempes to run directly at the wall of Dutch defenders, he then attempted to play a one-two on the edge of the box and almost got through but the ball did drop for Bertoni and with a suspicion of handball to aid his control Bertoni was able to stick it past Jongbloed and send the crowd into ecstasy. Argentina had won the World Cup for the first time whilst the Dutch had lost their 2nd successive final to the host nation.

General Jorge Videla, the president of Argentina, handed over the trophy to Passarella and the locals celebrated late into the night - Monday was declared a national holiday. The two goals in the final for Mario Kempes meant that he overtook Rob Rensenbrink and Teófilo Cubillas to finish the tournament as top scorer. Had the match ended in a draw after extra-time, a replay would have taken place on the following Tuesday night. Argentina's chain smoking manager Cesar Luis Menotti said afterwards; "We have shown that with talent, courage in attack and planning a team which knows how to attack can become world champions." The Dutch were furious with the performance of the referee who was reported to have awarded 48 free kicks to Argentina and 16 to Holland, Ernest Happel failed to attend the post match conference whilst the team refused to collect their runners-up medals.

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11.08.2013

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