Scottish Football History

Scottish Football Origins

Football, 29th May 1982, Home Championship, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 0 v England 1, Scotland's George Burley moves away from England's Trevor Brooking (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)Scotland, along with England, boasts the oldest national football team in the world. 30th November 1872, these two teams took part in the first ever international football match in Partick, Scotland. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Over the next four decades, Scotland only played matches against England, Wales and Ireland. The British Home Championship was created in 1883, making it the first competition of its kind. The rivalry with England in particular has seen some memorable encounters over the years. One of the most memorable victories for Scotland against England was a 5-1 win in 1928. This winning Scotland team was to become known as the Wembley Wizards.

Scottish Football International Fixtures

Scotland’s first international match against a team outside of the British Isles was in 1929 against Norway in Bergen. Scotland won this match 7-3. After this match the Scotland National Football Team continued to compete against other European opposition, such as Germany, France, Italy and Austria.

Scotland National Football Team World Cup

Scotland’s first appearance in the Football World Cup was in Switzerland in 1954. This turned out to be a very humbling experience. They were defeated 1­-0 by Austria and then thrashed 7–0 by Uruguay. They fared a little bit better in the 1958 World Cup, where they drew their first game against Yugoslavia 1–1. However subsequent defeats against Paraguay and France ensured that they went out at the first stage.

Perhaps Scotland’s proudest ‘World Cup’ moment was actually not played during a World Cup event. 1n 1967, they played England, the 1966 World Cup champions, at Wembley stadium. Despite being heavy underdogs, they defeated England 3–2, thanks to goals from Denis Law, Bobby Lennox and Jim McCalliog. After this victory, the Scottish fans called their team the ‘unofficial world champions.

Although they have competed in eight World Cups, Scotland has yet to progress to the second round. They came pretty close to qualifying for the second round on three occasions in a row in 1974, 1978 and 1982. However, they eventually lost out on goal difference.

Scotland’s best result in any World Cup was arguably their 3-2 victory over eventual beaten finalists Holland in 1978. During this match, Archie Gemmill of Scotland scored what has been called one of the best World Cup goals ever.

With a World Cup record like Scotland has, what are their chances of qualifying for the next World Cup?