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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Argentina 1978
Argentina get their hands on the World Cup
Argentina came through a tough character test
Some 48 years after reaching their first final, Argentina won their first World Cup, but the event was shrouded in controversy both on and off the pitch.

The country was ruled by a military dictatorship and there was a huge amount of opposition to Argentina hosting the event.

And, when a leading tournament official was assassinated en route to his first press conference, the doubts only intensified.

On the pitch, there were allegations of match rigging and the hosts' eventual victory was certainly not celebrated abroad.

Scotland qualified but England failed to reach the finals for the second tournament in a row.

There were 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.

Mario Kempes scores in the final against Holland
Mario Kempes was Argentina's goal hero

The Scots may have wished they had not turned up as they were humiliated.

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.

France, who had not qualified since 1966, also fell at the first hurdle.

Holland - without the great Johan Cruyff, who had decided to stay away - waited until the second phase to show what they could do.

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

Argentina and Brazil battled it out in the other second-round group.

The hosts had to win their last game, against Peru, by four clear goals to pip Brazil on goal difference and go through to 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.

The odds had been stacked against the Dutch, who were made to wait by their hosts before the game, and were then on the wrong end of some dubious refereeing decisions.

Group 1 results:
Argentina 2-1 Hungary
Italy 2-1 France
Argentina 2-1 France
Italy 3-1 Hungary
Italy 1-0 Argentina
France 3-1 Hungary

Group 2 results:
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

Group 3 results:
Austria 2-1 Spain
Sweden 1-1 Brazil
Austria 1-0 Sweden
Brazil 0-0 Spain
Spain 1-0 Sweden
Brazil 1-0 Austria

Group 4 results:
Peru 3-1 Scotland
Holland 3-0 Iran
Scotland 1-1 Iran
Holland 0-0 Peru
Peru 4-1 Iran
Scotland 3-2 Holland

Final round - Group A results:
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

Group B results:
Brazil 3-0 Peru
Argentina 2-0 Poland
Poland 1-0 Peru
Argentina 0-0 Brazil
Brazil 3-1 Poland
Argentina 6-0 Peru

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

World Cup Final:
Argentina 3-1 Holland (aet)

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