|Event||1986 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|Scotland won 2–0 on aggregate|
|Date||20 November 1985|
|Venue||Hampden Park, Glasgow|
|Referee||Vojtěch Christov (Czechoslovakia)|
|Date||4 December 1985|
|Venue||Olympic Park, Melbourne|
|Referee||José Roberto Ramiz Wright (Brazil)|
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Scotland had qualified for the play-off by finishing second in their UEFA group, behind Spain. Scotland secured second place in dramatic circumstances with a 1–1 draw against Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Davie Cooper scored a late equalising goal with a penalty kick to give Scotland the point they needed, but manager Jock Stein collapsed and died of a heart attack. This meant that assistant manager Alex Ferguson took charge of the team for the play-off.
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| Scotland ||2–0|
| Cooper |
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| Australia ||0–0|
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