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1958 FIFA World Cup qualification

Football tournament

Top 10 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification related articles

1958 FIFA World Cup Qualification
Tournament details
Teams55 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played89
Goals scored341 (3.83 per match)
Top scorer(s) Tommy Taylor (8 goals)
1954
1962

A total of 55 teams entered the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament. Sweden as the hosts and West Germany, as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 14 spots open for competition.

The qualification rounds for the four previous World Cups were very confusing, with controversial rules and many withdrawals. From this tournament onwards, FIFA decided to divide the teams into several continental zones, assign a pre-determined number of places in the final tournament to each zone, and delegate the organization of the qualifying tournaments to its confederations: UEFA of Europe, CONMEBOL of South America, NAFC of North America, CCCF of Central America and Caribbean, CAF of Africa and AFC of Asia (and OFC of Oceania after it was formed later). This led to a more organized qualification process with clearer rules, but not yet withdrawal-proof.

The 16 spots available in the 1958 World Cup would be distributed among the continental zones as follows:

  • Europe (UEFA): 11 places, 2 of them went to automatic qualifiers Sweden and West Germany, while the other 9 places were contested by 27 teams.
  • South America (CONMEBOL): 3 places, contested by 9 teams.
  • North, Central America and Caribbean (NAFC/CCCF): 1 place, contested by 6 teams.
  • Africa (CAF) and Asia (AFC): 1 place, contested by 11 teams (including Israel, Cyprus and Turkey).

However, FIFA also imposed a rule that no team would qualify without playing at least one match because many teams qualified for previous World Cups without playing due to withdrawals of their opponents. Because Israel won the African and Asian zone under this circumstance, FIFA required them to enter a play-off against a team from Europe who initially did not qualify, with the winner of this play-off qualifying. Therefore, effectively in the end, a total of 11.5 places were granted to Europe while only 0.5 places were granted to Africa and Asia.

A total of 46 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 89 qualifying matches were played, and 341 goals were scored (an average of 3.83 per match).

Listed below are the dates and results of the qualification rounds.

1958 FIFA World Cup qualification Intro articles: 5

Europe

The 27 teams were divided into 9 groups, each featuring 3 teams. The teams played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winners qualified. The Soviet Union and Iceland took part for the first time.

UEFA Group 1

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  England 7 4 3 1 0 15 5 3.00
2  Republic of Ireland 5 4 2 1 1 6 7 0.86
3  Denmark 0 4 0 0 4 4 13 0.31
3 October 1956 Republic of Ireland  2 – 1  Denmark Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Curtis  27'
Gavin  45' (pen.)
Report Aa. Jensen  85' Stadium: Dalymount Park
Attendance: 32,600
Referee: Bond (England)

5 December 1956 England  5 – 2  Denmark Wolverhampton, England
Taylor  2'22'53'
Edwards  66'77'
Report O. Nielsen  27'32' Attendance: 54,083
Referee: Guigue (France)

8 May 1957 England  5 – 1  Republic of Ireland London, England
Taylor  10'19'40'
Atyeo  38'90'
Report Curtis  56' Attendance: 52,000
Referee: Phillips (Scotland)

15 May 1957 Denmark  1 – 4  England Copenhagen, Denmark
J. Jensen  27' Report Haynes  28'
Taylor  71'86'
Atyeo  75'
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Dusch (West Germany)

19 May 1957 Republic of Ireland  1 – 1  England Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Ringstead  3' Report Atyeo  90' Attendance: 36,000
Referee: Philips (Scotland)

2 October 1957 Denmark  0 – 2  Republic of Ireland Copenhagen, Denmark
Report Cummins  53'
Curtis  61'
Attendance: 28,000
Referee: Schulz (East Germany)

England qualified.

UEFA Group 2

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  France 7 4 3 1 0 19 4 4.75
2  Belgium 5 4 2 1 1 16 11 1.45
3  Iceland 0 4 0 0 4 6 26 0.23
11 November 1956 France  6 – 3  Belgium Paris, France
Cisowski  13'15'44'72'88'
Vincent  18'
Report Houf  16'
Willems  61'67'
Attendance: 46,049
Referee: Clough (England)

2 June 1957 France  8 – 0  Iceland Nantes, France
C. Oliver  6'11'
Vincent  29'83'
Dereuddre  36'
Piantoni  45'81'
Brahimi  49'
Report Attendance: 15,080
Referee: Ellis (England)

5 June 1957 Belgium  8 – 3  Iceland Brussels, Belgium
Orlans  4'57'
Piters  11'
Vandenberg  12'
Mees  22'26'
Coppens  42'44' (pen.)
Report Þórðarson  33'77'
R. Jónsson  81'
Attendance: 6,792
Referee: Blitgen (Luxembourg)

1 September 1957 Iceland  1 – 5  France Reykjavík, Iceland
Þ. Jónsson  64' Report Cisowski  29'32'
Ujlaki  48'66'
Wisnieski  53'
Attendance: 9,000
Referee: Davidson (Scotland)

4 September 1957 Iceland  2 – 5  Belgium Reykjavík, Iceland
R. Jónsson  1'
Þ. Jónsson  65'
Report Van Herpe  9'
Willems  40'
Vandenberg  64'81'89'
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Davidson (Scotland)

27 October 1957 Belgium  0 – 0  France Brussels, Belgium
Report Attendance: 56,497
Referee: Helge (Denmark)

France qualified.

UEFA Group 3

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Hungary 6 4 3 0 1 12 4 3.00
2  Bulgaria 4 4 2 0 2 11 7 1.57
3  Norway 2 4 1 0 3 3 15 0.20
22 May 1957 Norway  1 – 2  Bulgaria Oslo, Norway
Hennum  47' Report G. Dimitrov  38'75' Stadium: Ullevaal
Attendance: 27,542
Referee: Lindberg (Sweden)

12 June 1957 Norway  2 – 1  Hungary Oslo, Norway
Hennum  10'
K. Kristiansen  78'
Report Tichy  43' Attendance: 25,724
Referee: Helge (Denmark)

23 June 1957 Hungary  4 – 1  Bulgaria Budapest, Hungary
Machos  5'14'30'
Bozsik  52'
Report Kolev  69' Stadium: Nepstadion
Attendance: 60,000
Referee: Guigue (France)

15 September 1957 Bulgaria  1 – 2  Hungary Sofia, Bulgaria
Diev  43' Report Hidegkuti  2'34' Stadium: Vasil Levski
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Bernardi (Italy)

3 November 1957 Bulgaria  7 – 0  Norway Sofia, Bulgaria
Iliev  6'60'74'
Panayotov  29'32'
Yanev  59'
Debarski  77'
Report Stadium: Vasil Levski
Attendance: 22,120
Referee: Macko (Czechoslovakia)

10 November 1957 Hungary  5 – 0  Norway Budapest, Hungary
Sándor  12'
Csordás  20'71'
Machos  69'
Falch  74' (o.g.)
Report Attendance: 91,000
Referee: Dusch (West Germany)

Hungary qualified.

UEFA Group 4

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Czechoslovakia 6 4 3 0 1 9 3 3.00
2  Wales 4 4 2 0 2 6 5 1.20
3  East Germany 2 4 1 0 3 5 12 0.42
1 May 1957 Wales  1 – 0  Czechoslovakia Cardiff, Wales
Vernon  75' Report Referee: Bronkhorst (Netherlands)

19 May 1957 East Germany  2 – 1  Wales Leipzig, East Germany
Wirth  21'
Tröger  61'
Report M. Charles  6' Referee: Latyshev (Soviet Union)

26 May 1957 Czechoslovakia  2 – 0  Wales Prague, Czechoslovakia
Daniel  21' (o.g.)
Kraus  65'
Report Referee: Wyssling ()

16 June 1957 Czechoslovakia  3 – 1  East Germany Brno, Czechoslovakia
Kraus  60'
Bubník  81'
Molnár  89'
Report Wirth  18' Referee: Jörgensen (Denmark)

25 September 1957 Wales  4 – 1  East Germany Cardiff, Wales
Palmer  38'44'73'
Jones  42'
Report Kaiser  57' Referee: Leafe (England)

27 October 1957 East Germany  1 – 4  Czechoslovakia Leipzig, East Germany
H. Müller  35' Report Kraus  4'88'
Moravčík  23'
Novák  43'
Referee: Schwinte (France)

Czechoslovakia qualified. Wales received another chance to qualify after being drawn to play against Israel in a special play-off; see CAF / AFC Final Round and Play-off.

UEFA Group 5

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Austria 7 4 3 1 0 14 3 4.67
2  Netherlands 5 4 2 1 1 12 7 1.71
3  Luxembourg 0 4 0 0 4 3 19 0.16
30 September 1956 Austria  7 – 0  Luxembourg Vienna, Austria
Hanappi  18'25'
Walzhofer  51'
Wagner  62'77'
Kozlicek  71'
Haummer  79'
Report Referee: Liverani (Italy)

20 March 1957 Netherlands  4 – 1  Luxembourg Rotterdam, Netherlands
Van der Gijp  27'30'
Dillen  72'
Brusselers  80'
Report Halsdorf  34' Referee: Treichel (West Germany)

26 May 1957 Austria  3 – 2  Netherlands Vienna, Austria
Koller  47'
Buzek  80'
Stotz  89' (pen.)
Report Van Melis  30'32' Referee: Schmetzer (West Germany)

11 September 1957 Netherlands  5 – 2  Luxembourg Rotterdam, Netherlands
Lenstra  15'28'
Wilkes  26'
Van Melis  35'
Rijvers  54'
Report Fiedler  5'
Letsch  58'
Referee: Murdoch (England)

25 September 1957 Netherlands  1 – 1  Austria Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lenstra  63' Report Hanappi  29' Referee: Ellis (England)

29 September 1957 Luxembourg  0 – 3  Austria Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Report Dienst  19'
Buzek  47'
Senekowitsch  66'
Referee: Versyp (Belgium)

Austria qualified.

UEFA Group 6

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1=  Soviet Union 6 4 3 0 1 16 3 5.33
1=  Poland 6 4 3 0 1 9 5 1.80
3  Finland 0 4 0 0 4 2 19 0.11
23 June 1957 Soviet Union  3 – 0  Poland Moscow, Soviet Union
Tatushin  9'
Simonyan  55'
Ilyin  77'
Report Stadium: Lenin Central Stadium
Attendance: 102,000
Referee: Clough (England)

5 July 1957 Finland  1 – 3  Poland Helsinki, Finland
Vanhanen  72' Report Jankowski  19'56'65' Referee: Nilsen (Norway)

27 July 1957 Soviet Union  2 – 1  Finland Moscow, Soviet Union
Voinov  23'
Netto  62'
Report Lahtinen  42' Stadium: Dynamo Stadium
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Mayer (Austria)

15 August 1957 Finland  0 – 10  Soviet Union Helsinki, Finland
Report Netto  6'
Simonyan  9'13'31'
Isayev  12'20'
Streltsov  29'49'
Ilyin  60'87'
Referee: A. Asmussen (Denmark)

20 October 1957 Poland  2 – 1  Soviet Union Chorzów, Poland
Cieślik  43'50' Report Ivanov  80' Referee: Clough (England)

3 November 1957 Poland  4 – 0  Finland Warsaw, Poland
Gawlik  2'
Brychczy  4'48'
Jankowski  60'
Report Referee: Dusch (West Germany)

Poland and USSR finished level on points, a play-off on neutral ground was played to decide who would qualify.

24 November 1957 Soviet Union  2 – 0  Poland Leipzig, East Germany
Streltsov  31'
Fedosov  75'
Report Referee: Clough (England)

USSR qualified.

UEFA Group 7

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Yugoslavia 6 4 2 2 0 7 2 3.50
2  Romania 5 4 2 1 1 6 4 1.50
3  Greece 1 4 0 1 3 2 9 0.22
5 May 1957 Greece  0 – 0  Yugoslavia Athens, Greece
Report Referee: Devillers (France)

16 June 1957 Greece  1 – 2  Romania Athens, Greece
Panakis  29' Report A. Ene  15'
Ozon  78'
Referee: Harzic (France)

29 September 1957 Romania  1 – 1  Yugoslavia Bucharest, Romania
A. Ene  78' Report Mujić  79' Referee: Grill (Austria)

3 November 1957 Romania  3 – 0  Greece Bucharest, Romania
Petschovsky  51' (pen.)
Tătaru  64'
Cacoveanu  67'
Report Referee: Schwinte (France)

10 November 1957 Yugoslavia  4 – 1  Greece Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Mujić  6'61'
Krstić  9'
Petaković  67'
Report Nestoridis  28' Referee: Jonni (Italy)

17 November 1957 Yugoslavia  2 – 0  Romania Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Milutinović  52'58' Report Referee: Seipelt (Austria)

Yugoslavia qualified.

UEFA Group 8

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Northern Ireland 5 4 2 1 1 6 3 2.00
2  Italy 4 4 2 0 2 5 5 1.00
3  Portugal 3 4 1 1 2 4 7 0.57
16 January 1957 Portugal  1 – 1  Northern Ireland Lisbon, Portugal
Vasques  24' Report Bingham  6' Referee: Lequesne (France)

25 April 1957 Italy  1 – 0  Northern Ireland Rome, Italy
Cervato  3' Report Referee: Guigue (France)

1 May 1957 Northern Ireland  3 – 0  Portugal Belfast, Northern Ireland
Casey  22'
Simpson  60'
McIlroy  70' (pen.)
Report Referee: Phillips (Scotland)

26 May 1957 Portugal  3 – 0  Italy Lisbon, Portugal
Vasques  41'
Teixeira  81'
Matateu  87'
Report Referee: Treichel (West Germany)

22 December 1957 Italy  3 – 0  Portugal Milan, Italy
Gratton  36'72'
Pivatelli  84'
Report Referee: Damiani (Yugoslavia)

15 January 1958 Northern Ireland  2 – 1  Italy Belfast, Northern Ireland
McIlroy  13'
Cush  28'
Report Da Costa  56' Referee: Zsolt (Hungary)

The 15 January 1958 fixture of Italy at Northern Ireland was originally scheduled for 4 December 1957, but heavy fog in London prevented the referee (István Zsolt, manager of the Budapest Opera House) from arriving for the match in time. The fixture was postponed, but the match continued as a friendly, and ended in a 2–2 draw and a riot as the crowd (infuriated by the postponement and quite rough play from some Italian players) invaded the pitch. The 'friendly' match was dubbed the 'Battle of Belfast'.[1] Danny Blanchflower, Northern Ireland captain at the time, helped save the situation by ordering his players to escort their Italian counterparts off the field while the police dealt with the crowd.[2]

Northern Ireland qualified.

This was the only time that Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup until their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

UEFA Group 9

Rank Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GAv
1  Scotland 6 4 3 0 1 10 9 1.11
2  Spain 5 4 2 1 1 12 8 1.50
3   Switzerland 1 4 0 1 3 6 11 0.55
10 March 1957 Spain  2 – 2   Switzerland Madrid, Spain
Suárez  30'
González  48'
Report Hügi  6'67' Referee: Erich (West Germany)

8 May 1957 Scotland  4 – 2  Spain Glasgow, Scotland
Mudie  22'70'79'
Hewie  41' (pen.)
Report Suárez  19'
Kubala  28'
Referee: Dusch (West Germany)

19 May 1957 Switzerland   1 – 2  Scotland Basel, Switzerland
R. Vonlanthen  13' Report Mudie  33'
Ring  71'
Referee: Seipelt (Austria)

26 May 1957 Spain  4 – 1  Scotland Madrid, Spain
Mateos  11'
Kubala  33'
Basora  60'87'
Report Smith  79' Referee: Leafe (England)

6 November 1957 Scotland  3 – 2   Switzerland Glasgow, Scotland
Robertson  29'
Mudie  52'
Scott  70'
Report Riva  35'
R. Vonlanthen  79'
Referee: Leafe (England)

24 November 1957 Switzerland   1 – 4  Spain Lausanne, Switzerland
Ballaman  61' Report Kubala  19'72'
Di Stéfano  24'55'
Referee: Alsteen (Belgium)

Scotland qualified.

1958 FIFA World Cup qualification Europe articles: 254