World Cup Countdown: Scotland At Italia 1990
Written by RockSport Radio on May 17, 2018
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA WORLD CUP. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice (the first being Mexico in 1986). Teams representing 116 national football associations entered, and the qualifying groups began in April 1988. A total of 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champion Argentina.
The tournament was won by WEST GERMANY, their third World Cup title.
Argentina were runners-up, Italy were 3rd and England 4th.
Scotland were in a First Round Group with COSTA RICA, SWEDEN AND BRAZIL and after the defeat by Peru in 1978 in Argentina [ plus the draw with Iran ] it was thought the Scots would not fall to another so-called minnow in Costa Rica but they did..losing 1-0 in their opening match.
Manager Andy Roxburgh had warned Ally McLeod about Peru as a young coach in 1978 but now it was his time to go through the sort of pain experienced by the former Ayr Utd manager at a World Cup as the Scots fell to a sucker punch after looking like they might dominate the match early on.
There appeared to be redemption when the Scots beat the much-fancied Sweden 2-1 in the second group game but at least a point was needed from the final game v Brazil for qualification to the 2nd Round.
Mo Johnston missed a golden chance to level for Scotland after a goalkeeping error by Jim Leighton allowed Brazil to take a 1-0 lead but the Scots could not get level on the night so once again [ for the fifth successive time ] the Scots exited the biggest football tournament in the world at the first hurdle.