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15th Minute, Joe Jordan, Scotland v USSR, 1982 World Cup First Round Group Stage


Scotland’s World Cup history is littered with poor or unfortunate first round exits. 1978 in Argentina was a particular low point with the Tartan Army as they headed in to it with great expectations but were brought crashing down to earth with a defeat to Peru and a draw against Iran. A surprise win over the Netherlands wasn’t enough to save them.

The mood was more cautious four years later and Scotland got off to a great start with a 5-2 win over New Zealand. In their next game against Brazil they shocked everyone but taking the lead but they soon fell apart and a heavy 4-1 defeat would prove costly in end.

Joe Jordan was playing in his third World Cup and looked determined to make sure it wouldn’t end in failure yet again but Scotland had to win their final group match. Their opponents were the USSR who had narrowly lost to Brazil and thrashed New Zealand.

The Goal

Jordan pounces on a mistake to score for the third World Cup finals running to give Scotland an early lead and a lot of hope…


What Happened Next?

It finished a 2-2 draw, so heartache once again for the Scots once again as they were eliminated on goal difference. Three more first round failures followed for Scotland in 1986, 1990 and finally in 1998, which was the last World Cup they competed in. Jordan played for Milan for three years before joining Hellas Verona. He wound down his career at Southampton and Bristol City.

The USSR were eliminated by Poland on goal difference in the next group stage.

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