FIFA World Cup 1970 Group 1
Group 1 included the hosts and was based in the magnificent new Azteca Stadium in the capital. Enormous crowds cheered the home team on and they were rewarded when Mexico qualified for the knock-out stages for the first time in their history.
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1970 Overview | Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Knock Out Stages
Mexico 0 Soviet Union 0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (107,000)
31 May 1970
A poor opening match; altitude and heat took their toll as neither team was prepared to take any risks and defences dominated. The first yellow card in Word Cup Finals history was handed out during the match, but it is unclear from match reports who the recipient was, possibly Soviet Union's Evgeni Lovchev. So that worked well. The Soviet Union's Anatoliy Puzach was the first substitute to come on in a Finals match, at the start of the second half.
(Stein Jacobsen, Andre Silva)
Belgium 3 El Salvador 0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (92,000)
3 June 1970
Despite struggling with the heat and altitude, Belgium had no problems in disposing of weak El Salvador, who were making their first World Cup Finals appearance. Van Moer was the best player on the pitch by far, scoring twice – the first a 30-yarder. Lambert added a third from the spot late in the second half.
(Andre Silva, Julio López)
Soviet Union 4 Belgium 1
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (59,000)
6 June 1970
The Soviet Union led at half-time by a single goal scored by Byshovets, but in the second half they stepped up a gear as Asatiani, Byshovets again, and Khmelnitsky all scored to make it 4-0. Lambert scored a late consolation goal, his second of the tournament. Asatiani was shot dead by unknown assailants in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2002.
Mexico 4 El Salvador 0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (103,000)
7 June 1970
Mexico were poor and led only at the stroke of half-time through a goal coming from a free-kick which El Salvador clearly thought was theirs – TV replays are inconclusive – their defence standing idly by as Valdivia kicked the ball into an empty net. El Salvador's animated protests held no sway with the referee, who simply blew for half-time, and they became dispirited and unruly in the second half, resorting to kicking the Mexican players, and conceding three more goals to Valdivia, Fragoso and Basaguren.
(Stein Jacobsen, Andre Silva, Julio López)
Soviet Union 2 El Salvador 0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (89,000)
10 June 1970
El Salvador tried their best, holding out until early in the second half, but in the end they couldn't compete with the efficient brand of Soviet football. Byshovets scored in the 51st and 73rd minutes, doubling his tally for the Finals, to ensure his team progressed to the quarter-finals. El Salvador would have to wait another 12 years for their first World Cup Finals goal. Some estimated put the real crowd figure as low as 25,000.
Mexico 1 Belgium 0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City (105,000)
11 June 1970
Mexico held on after a penalty by Peña in the 14th minute put them ahead, but once again their goal wasn't without controversy – the Belgians bitterly contesting the penalty decision as Valdivia appeared to fall over rather than being tripped. Mexico finished level on points with Soviet Union and with the same goal difference so lots were drawn to decide who would top the group. The Soviet Union were drawn out of the hat so Mexico would play their quarter-final in Toluca.