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World Cup A-Z: H is for Hartford

TWIN HONOUR: Asa Hartford featured in two World Cup finals campaigns for Scotland

TWIN HONOUR: Asa Hartford featured in two World Cup finals campaigns for Scotland

Scottish legend Asa Hartford is the latest entry in our City-centric A-Z of the World Cup

H is for Hartford

As well as providing more than eight years’ worth of sterling service to Manchester City over two separate spells, Asa Hartford was also a vital cog in the Scotland midfield machine for a decade.

And the Clydebank-born star also belongs to a select band of Scotland players to have played at two World Cup finals, figuring in both the 1978 and 1982 finals in Argentina and Spain respectively.

In 1978, Asa was part of a hugely talented squad assembled by manager Ally MacLeod which flew out to South America with genuine hopes of a successful campaign.

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Asa played all three group games for Scotland in Argentina but it was to prove a hugely disappointing experience, both for him and his colleagues.

Hartford and Scotland never really recovered from a poor opening display against Peru where they went down to a shock 3-1 defeat.

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That was followed by a disappointing and frustrating 1-1 draw against rank outsiders Iran and though Scotland then produced a wonderful fighting display against eventual runners-up Holland, a famous 3-2 victory wasn’t enough to prevent them being eliminated at the group stages.

Four years later Hartford was again jetting out to the greatest football show on earth, this time as part of Jock Stein’s multi-talented squad at the 1982 World Cup finals hosted by Spain.

After being an unused substitute for the opening group match – a routine 5-2 win over New Zealand – Hartford was then selected to start the second match, Scotland's glamour tie against a star-studded Brazil team featuring the likes of Zico, Socrates and Junior.

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An early screamer by David Narey had the Tartan Army in dreamland. But the Samba stars then turned on the style with Zico, Oscar, Eder and Falcao all finding the target as Brazil secured a 4-1 victory.

Asa was then back on the bench for the group finale – a 2-2 draw with the Soviet Union - and that result meant that for the second World Cup finals in a row, Scotland went out on goal difference.

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