Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On this day in World Cup history...

56 years ago today the great adventure began.

On 16 June, 1954 Scotland embarked on their World Cup journey. Perhaps a journey marked more by bouts of travel sickness than any enjoyment of our eventual destination. But a journey nonetheless.

Zurich’s Hardturm Stadium was the venue, 30000 supporters were in attendance and Belgium’s Laurent Franken was the referee.

Austria, another team to sit out the 2010 World Cup, provided the opposition as Scotland sank to a 1-0 defeat thanks to a 33rd minute goal by Rapid Vienna’s Erich Probst.

Probst – who scored 107 times in 112 appearances for Rapid - would go on to score six goals and lead Austria to third place.

Scotland would go on to lose seven goals in their match against Uruguay.

West Germany won the tournament although many would still argue that Hungary were the dominant side. The final incidentally was played in Berne. In the Wankdorf Stadium.

That 7-0 loss to Uruguay, who returned to haunt us in 1986, remains the heaviest defeat in Scotland’s history.

Strangely our record of two games played, two games lost, no goals scored and eight conceded wasn’t enough to condemn us to 16th place from the 16 teams competing.

That honour went to South Korea who managed to let 16 goals slip by in their two matches.

The Scotland Team v Austria, 16 June 1954:


1 Fred Martin
2 Willie Cunningham
3 John Aird
5 Tommy Docherty
6 Jimmy Davidson
7 Doug Cowie
8 John Mackenzie
12 Willie Fernie
11 Neil Mochan
10 Allan Brown
13 Willie Ormond

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