Iran in World Cup 1978
IRAN had probably experienced their greatest World Cup moment on 25th
November 1977, when they defeated Australia 1-0 in Tehran to qualify for the
first time ever. The crowd was 90,000, including the 17-year old Crown Prince
Reza Pahlavi, who reputedly leapt into the air and hugged his neighbors like
every other teenager in the stadium when Iran scored.
These football dwarfs, having smuggled themselves into the circle of the
football elite, seemed happy just to be there. Said trainer Heshmat Mohajerani
"All we want to do is to represent our country honorably. Everything else is
sheer fantasy. He got his fantasy.
Into this motley group came the Scots, carried forward on a wave of demented
self-confidence which appeared to work on the principle that there were 15 other
squads just waiting to lie down and surrender to the Tartan Hoards. The defeat
against Peru in their first match seemed to have shocked the team and their
die-hard supporters. Before the Iran game, back in Cordoba, Ally MacLeod seemed
to panic. He replaced Bruce Rioch with Lou Macari, Masson with Archie Gemmil ,
Kennedy with Jardine, put Donachie at left back in place of Martin Buchan, and
gave the Manchester United Captain Forsyth's central defensive spot. He had . of
course replaced Johnston , the banned Scottish player with Robertson.
The defense still looked unsure, with Kenny Burns and Martin Buchan both used
to stand-off position and their selection further emphasizing the uselessness of
having Gordon McQueen in the squad. Still they went ahead against Iran in the
43rd minutes, though the circumstances would have suited a comedy script rather
than a soccer report.
Iranian defender Andranik Eskandarian , sitting on his own penalty spot,
swiveled on the ball while trying to clear it and pushed it into the corner of
his own net. The lead flattered the Scots, and Iran equalized in the second half
when Iraj Danaei-Fard rounded the right side defense and Scotland's best player
on the field to beat Alan Rough the Scotland goalkeeper from an acute angle.
The tattered tartan army were not pushing forward, and breakaways by Ghafoor
Jahani and Hussain Faraki troubled them to the end. Up front Joe Jordan's own
lack of pace betrayed him rather than the unfairness of the Iranian tackles.
Dalglish had a second totally anonymous game and was replaced by Harper. Buchan
had to go off with blood poring from his face after Donachie had accidentally
kicked him during a free kick in the edge of Iranian penalty box.
Iran deserved their 1-1 draw.
IRAN 0 HOLLAND 3 (Half time 0-1)
Estadio Mendoza, Mendoza, 3 June Attendance: 42,000
WHILST the Dutch lacked several key players, including Johann Cruyff, through
either injury or refusal to play, their side still contained some of the best
known names in world soccer.
The role normally played by Cruyff was taken over by Rob Rensenbrink, who gave a
remarkable performance and scored all Holland's goals, two of them from the
Iran were physical at times but in skipper All Parvin, playing his 80th
international, they had one of the great captains of this tournament.
Holland led by one goal at half time, a 39th minute Rensenbrink spot kick after
Rene van de Kerkhof had been upended, but they had already proved far too classy
for their opponents and ran out comfortable winners.
A Rensenbrink header after 62 minutes made it 2 0 and he completed his hat trick
11 minutes from time, when he scored his second penalty after Rep had been
Holland: Jongbloed; Suurbier, Krol, Haan, Rijsbergen, W.van de Kerkhof, Neeskens,
Jansen, Rep, R.van de Kerkhof(Nanninga), Rensenbrink.
Scorer: Rensenbrink 3 (2 pens)
Iran: Hejazi; Nazari, Abdolahi, Kazerani, Eskandarian, Parvin, Ghassempour,
Sadeghi, Nayebagha, Djahani, Faraki(Rowshan).
Referee: Alfonso Archundia (Mexico)
IRAN I SCOTLAND 1 (Half time 0-1)
Estadio Cordoba, Cordoba, 7 June Attendance: 8,000
THE thousands of Scottish fans who made the 7,000 mile journey to Argentina
yelled abuse at their team during and after yet another dismal performance in
which they were outwitted by the little fancied Iranians.
Scotland took the lead, as they had done against Peru, when Eskandarian powered
the ball into his own net from 15 yards for an absurd own goal after Joe Jordan
forced the error between the defender and his goalkeeper. The goal came two
minutes from the interval and should have been a killer blow to the Iranians,
but they came out raring to go in the second half and appeared not to have been
unsettled by that ludicrous own goal.
Thirteen minutes from time, Danaifar netted the equalizer after receiving a pass
from Sadeghi, who got his cross in at the second attempt. Danaifar held off
Gemmill and virtually ended Scotland's hopes of remaining in the tournament.
Iran: Hejazi; Nazari, Kazerani, Abdolahi, Eskandarian, Parvin, Ghassempour,
Sadeghi, Danaifar(Nayebagha), Faraki(Rowshan), Djahani.
Scotland: Rough; Jardine, Burns, Donachie, Buchan(Forsyth), Gemmill, Macari,
Harford, Dalglish(Harper), Jordan, Robertson.
Scorer: Eskandarian (og)
Referee: Youssou N'Diaye (Senegal)
PERU 4 IRAN
1 (Half time 3-1)
Estadio C6rdoba, Cordoba, 11
June - Attendance: 25,000
PERU wound up their first phase with a convincing win over Iran and it was 29
yearold Teofilo Cubillas who did the damage with the second hat trick of the
tournament. Like the first, by Rob Rensenbrink, it contained two penalties.
Peru made known their intentions after two minutes when Velasquez rose high and,
unchallenged, headed home a Mutiante corner to give the South Americans the
Cubillas scored his first goal in the 36th minute and three minutes later he
converted the first of his two penalties. In the very next minute, Rowshan
reduced the arrears with a fine volley from a left wing cross.
Hejazi had a lot to do in the Iranian goal and in the 78th minute he conceded
his fourth goal of the game when Cubillas completed his hat trick from the
penalty spot. The win took Peru to the top of Group Four.
Peru: Quiroga; Duarte, Manzo(Leguia), Chumpitaz, Diaz, Velasquez, Cubillas,
Cueto, Munante, La Rosa(Sotil), Oblitas.
Scorers: Cubillas 3 (2 pens), Velasquez
Iran: Hejazi; Nazari, Abdolahi, Kazerani, Allahvardi, Parvin, Ghassempour,
Sadeghi, Danaifar, Faraki(Djahani), Rowshan(Fariba).
Referee: Alojzi Jarguz (Poland)