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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
World Cup history - Argentina 1978
Argentina's Mario Kempes celebrates one of his two goals in the final
Argentina's Mario Kempes celebrates scoring in the final
Argentina won their first World Cup - 48 years after reaching their first final - but the event was shrouded in controversy both on and off the pitch.

There was huge opposition to Argentina hosting the event as the country was run by a military dictatorship.

But the home players swept all before them, beating Holland 3-1 in the final.

England failed to reach the finals for the second successive tournament and home nation hopes were carried by Scotland who woefully underperformed.

After grandiose and premature claims of title glory, the Tartan Army went out of the tournament after the first round, having lost to Peru and drawn against Iran.

There had been threats of a major boycott in protest at General Videla's totalitarian regime.

But many of the top footballing nations - and first-timers such as Iran and Tunisia - ended up going.

However, when a leading tournament official was assassinated en route to his first press conference doubts about Argentina's suitability to host the event intensified.

The great Johan Cruyff had decided to stay away but Holland, after a slow start, hit their straps in the second phase.

Dubious decisions

They made it to their second successive final by defeating Austria 5-1 and Italy 2-1, and drawing 2-2 with defending champions West Germany.

Argentina and Brazil battled it out in the other second-round group, but the hosts had a distinct advantage going into their final game knowing exactly what they had to do.

They needed to beat Peru by four clear goals to pip Brazil on goal difference and reach the final.

It did not prove a problem as they put six past the Peruvians, with Mario Kempes scoring twice.

Kempes went on to score two more in the final as Holland were beaten 3-1 after extra-time.

But Argentina's success left a sour taste after they made their opponents wait before the game and found themselves on the right end of some dubious refereeing decisions.

RESULTS & STATISTICS

First phase

Group A
Argentina 2-1 Hungary
Italy 2-1 France
Argentina 2-1 France
Italy 3-1 Hungary
Italy 1-0 Argentina
France 3-1 Hungary
P W D L F A Pts
Italy 3 3 0 0 6 2 6
Argentina 3 2 0 1 4 3 4
France 3 1 0 2 5 5 2
Hungary 3 0 0 3 3 8 0


Group B
West Germany 0-0 Poland
Tunisia 3-1 Mexico
West Germany 6-0 Mexico
Poland 1-0 Tunisia
West Germany 0-0 Tunisia
Poland 3-1 Mexico
P W D L F A Pts
Poland 3 2 1 0 4 1 5
West Germany 3 1 2 0 6 0 4
Tunisia 3 1 1 1 3 2 3
Mexico 3 0 0 3 2 12 0


Group C
Holland 3-0 Iran
Peru 3-1 Scotland
Iran 1-1 Scotland
Brazil 0-0 Spain
Spain 1-0 Sweden
Brazil 1-0 Austria
P W D L F A Pts
Peru 3 2 1 0 7 2 5
Holland 3 1 1 1 5 3 3
Scotland 3 1 1 1 5 6 3
Iran 3 0 1 2 2 8 1


Group D
Austria 2-1 Spain
Sweden 1-1 Brazil
Austria 1-0 Sweden
Holland 0-0 Peru
Peru 4-1 Iran
Scotland 3-2 Holland
P W D L F A Pts
Austria 3 2 0 1 3 2 4
Brazil 3 1 2 0 2 1 4
Spain 3 1 1 1 2 2 3
Mexico 3 0 1 2 1 3 1


Second phase

Group A
West Germany 0-0 Italy
Holland 5-1 Austria
Italy 1-0 Austria
West Germany 2-2 Holland
Holland 2-1 Italy
Austria 3-2 West Germany
P W D L F A Pts
Holland 3 2 1 0 9 4 5
Italy 3 1 1 1 2 2 3
West Germany 3 0 2 1 4 5 2
Austria 3 1 0 2 4 8 2


Group B
Brazil 3-0 Peru
Argentina 2-0 Poland
Poland 1-0 Peru
Argentina 0-0 Brazil
Brazil 3-1 Poland
Argentina 6-0 Peru
P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 2 1 0 8 0 5
Brazil 3 2 1 0 6 1 5
Poland 3 1 0 2 2 5 2
Peru 3 0 0 3 0 10 0


3rd/4th place play-off:
Brazil 2-1 Italy

Final:
Argentina 3-1 Holland (aet)


Leading scorer: Six goals: Mario Kempes (Argentina)




WORLD CUP HISTORY
 

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