Scotland At The World Cup

The history of Scotland at the World Cup is a bit 'hit and miss' - well, more miss than hit if truth be told. Here we will take a look at the history of Scotland at the World Cup.

The history of Scotland at the World Cup is a bit 'hit and miss' - well, more miss than hit if truth be told. Here we will take a look at the history of Scotland at the World Cup.

The very first time that Scotland ‘attempted’ to qualify for the finals of a World Cup was for the tournament of 1950, held in Brazil. The Home Internationals (matches played between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) were to act as the qualifying group, with the winner and runner-up qualifying to travel to Brazil.

Scotland started the ‘campaign’ well by beating Northern Ireland 8-2 and beating Wales 2-0, but then lost to England by a solitary goal. That left Scotland as runner-up in the group – they were on their way to the World Cup. Only they weren’t – the Scottish Football Association had decided that they would only accept the invitation if they were group winners – second place was not good enough for them – so they declined the invitation to travel to Brazil.

Below, we will take a look at how Scotland have ‘performed’ at every single World Cup since then and even through in a random fact about it. NB: The country named after the year denotes the country the World Cup was hosted in.

1954 Switzerland

Scotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 0-1 Austria

Scotland 0-7 Uruguay

Fact: Scotland manager Andy Beattie resigned his position straight after the defeat to Austria.

1958 Sweden

Scotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 1-1 Yugoslavia

Scotland 2-3 Paraguay

Scotland 1-2 France

Fact: The first Scotland goal at the World Cup finals was scored by Jimmy Murray, who played for Heart of Midlothian.

1962 Chile

Scotland failed to qualify.

Fact: Scotland missed out on qualification to Czechoslovakia on goal difference.

1966 England

Scotland failed to qualify.

Fact: Scotland missed out on the World Cup that was just down the road after losing to Italy in their last qualifying match – a draw would have been enough for Scotland.

1970 Mexico

Scotland failed to qualify.

Fact: Scotland finished second in their qualifying group to West Germany. The group also contained Cyprus, who conceded 35 goals in only 6 games.

1974 West Germany

Scotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 2-0 Zaire

Scotland 0-0 Brazil

Scotland 1-1 Yugoslavia

Fact: Scotland were the only team to not lose a game at the 1974 World Cup but went out in the first round on goal difference.

1978 ArgentinaScotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 1-3 Peru

Scotland 1-1 Iran

Scotland 3-2 Holland

Fact: Scotland manager Ally McLeod had the ‘Tartan Army’ believing that they would win the World Cup in 1978 – shame the scores didn’t quite work out then!

1982 SpainScotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 5-2 New Zealand

Scotland 1-4 Brazil

Scotland 2-2 Soviet Union

Fact: Scotland went out on goal difference.

1986 Mexico

Scotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 0-1 Denmark

Scotland 1-2 West Germany

Scotland 0-0 Uruguay

Fact: When Gordon Strachan scored against West Germany, he attempted to jump over the advertising hoardings but realised he wasn’t able to – instead, he just put one leg up and rested it on the top.

1990 ItalyScotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 0-1 Costa Rica

Scotland 2-1 Sweden

Scotland 0-1 Brazil

Fact: Just like 1978, Scotland met the ‘weakest’ team in their group first – and still managed to lose.

1994 USA

Scotland failed to qualify.

Fact: Scottish fans may have been annoyed that Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup but it was a feeling that was at least appeased a little bit because England also failed to qualify.

1998 FranceScotland qualified but failed to make it past the first round.

Scotland 1-2 Brazil

Scotland 1-1 Norway

Scotland 0-3 Morocco

Fact: The Brazil V Scotland games was the opening game of the 1998 World Cup.

2002 Japan/South Korea

Scotland failed to qualify.

2006 Germany

Scotland failed to qualify.

2010 South Africa

Scotland failed to qualify.

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Michelle Dale
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Posted on Jun 2, 2010