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 penalty spot.
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 brought down.

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.
Scorer: Danaifar
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 lead.
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).
Scorer: Rowshan
Referee: Alojzi Jarguz (Poland)