Wednesday, May 19, 2010

19 May 1957 - Scots In Swiss Clothing

On 19 May 1957, Scotland defeated Switzerland 1-2 in a World Cup qualifier in Basel, but they had to do it in shirts borrowed from the Swiss.

Ordinarily, the blue shirts of the Scottish national team would have been fine, as the Swiss shirts were red. But, according to Tommy Docherty, who started in the midfield for the Scots that day, the match was televised across Europe in black and white. Without color, officials were concerned that viewers would have difficulty distinguishing between the sides. The Scots, however, had not brought a change kit, so they had to borrow Switzerland's, which used white shirts trimmed in red.

That matter settled, the Swiss took an early lead, going up 1-0 in the 13th minute with a goal from forward Roger Vonlanthen. Scotland, though, battled back against the Swiss and the progressively deteriorating weather to level the match with a 33rd-minute goal from forward Jackie Mudie (pictured). Level at the break, the Scots continued to press in the second half and were rewarded by a 71st-minute matchwinner from midfielder Bobby Collins - his first international goal.

The win put Scotland at the top of their qualification group. After two more matches (a loss to Spain and another win over the Swiss) they advanced to the World Cup, where they were eliminated in the group stage.

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