|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)|
The 1986 FIFA World Cup UEFA–OFC qualification play-off was a two-legged home-and-away tie between the winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament, Australia, and the second-placed team from the UEFA Group 7, Scotland. The games were played on 20 November and 4 December 1985 in Glasgow and Melbourne respectively. Australia were hoping to play in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974 and Scotland were hoping for a fourth successive FIFA World Cup.
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. With European nations not allowed to host after the previous World Cup in Spain, Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983, thus becoming the first country to host the World Cup more than once. This was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession that was hosted by a Spanish-speaking country, after Argentina 1978, and Spain 1982.
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.
The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, and other Pacific Island countries. It promotes the game in Oceania and allows the member nations to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
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.
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international men's association football since 1920, and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain.
On 10 September 1985, the Welsh and Scottish national teams played each other during the qualifying stages of the 1986 FIFA World Cup at Ninian Park, the home of Cardiff City. The game was both teams' final match of the qualifying tournament, and both were still able to gain a place at the finals in Mexico; Wales needed to win the game, while Scotland knew that a draw would be enough.
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In the first leg of the play-off in Hampden Park on 20 November 1985, Scotland took the lead in the 53rd minute from a twenty-yard free kick scored by Davie Cooper, hitting the ball around the wall and into the bottom right hand corner of the net. The second goal arrived in the 59th minute from Frank McAvennie who was making his senior debut for Scotland. He lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper after being set up by a header from Kenny Dalglish. The second leg on 4 December finished goalless which was enough for Scotland to advance to the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico.
David "Davie" Cooper was a Scottish professional football player who played as a Winger for Clydebank (twice), Rangers and Motherwell. He also played for the Scotland national team. Cooper is often remembered as one of the most gifted footballers of his generation.
Francis McAvennie is a Scottish former footballer, who played as a striker for West Ham United and Celtic, having had two spells with each of these clubs. With Celtic he won the Scottish Premier Division in 1987–88 and the Scottish Cup in 1988. He was capped five times at senior level for Scotland during the 1980s, scoring one goal.
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| Scotland ||2–0|
| Cooper |
The Football Association of the Czech Republic or colloquially the Czech Football Association is the governing body of football in the Czech Republic, based in Prague. It organizes the lower-level league competitions in the country, the Czech Cup, and the Czech Republic national football team.
| Australia ||0–0|
Scotland qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico and were drawn into Group E with West Germany, Uruguay and debutants Denmark. Scotland lost 1–0 to Denmark and 2–1 to West Germany. Scotland had to beat Uruguay and Uruguay played with ten men and drew 0–0. Scotland finished bottom in the group on one point.
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