FIFA World U19’s Chile 1987

After covering the 1989 Under 16’s Championships in Scotland, I thought it would be interesting to look at the Rangers connection when Scotland reached the Under 19’s Finals in Chile in 1989. The only Rangers player to make the squad was Scott Nisbet, but there were other less obvious Rangers connections. Some significant and some minor and I will look at these later.

nizzyScotland were drawn in Group with Bahrain, Columbia and the GDR. In their opening game Scotland defeated at GDR side that included Matthias Sammer by 2 goals to 1. The Scotland goals coming from Joe McLeod (Dundee United) & John Butler (St.Mirren).

Next up came Bahrain, who had lost their opening game 1-0 to Colombia,and a Scott Nisbet equaliser securing a 1-1 draw. With the GDRdefeating Colombia 3-1, it meant in those days of 2 points for a win, all teams going in to the final games witha chance of qualifying. Scotland came from 2 down, with goals from Paul Wright (Aberdeen) & Joe McLeod again, meant qualification in second place to the GDR, who clinched top spot on goal difference, beating Bahrain 2-0.

The quarter finals paired Scotland with Andreas Möller inspired West Germany. It was to prove an eventful match for big Nizzy. After scoring Scotland’s equaliser in the 45th minute, he was sent off in 85minutes. The game finished 1-1, but Scotland lost 4-3 on penalties.

gordan_petricThe Germans went on to to defeat Chile 4-0 in the semi final, but lost the final on penalties to Yugoslavia. This brings us nicely to the most significant Rangers connection. He played over 60 games for Rangers and played in the winning Yugoslav side, none other than Gordan Petric. Another Scottish league connection being the Yugoslav keeper Dragoje Lekovićwho of course later played for Kilmarnock.

ally_edwardsThe Australian squad also provided a couple of less obvious Rangers connections. Alistair Edwards was a 6 foot plus winger, who spent at couple of seasons as a youth/reserve player at Ibrox. I remember him scoring at Parkhead for the reserves. Ally then played mainly in the Australian and Malaysian leagues and gained 22 full caps for Australia.

Another member of that Australian squad who made a big impact on their full international side gaining 46 caps, was Paul Trimboli. His senior career was almost exclusively with South Melbourne in Australia, but he did play three games on trial with Rangers.

Also Scotland squad players Robert McRobb (Aberdeen), Scott Crabbe (Hearts) and I think, but not 100% sure on this one, Steve Campbell (Dundee), played as guests for Rangers at a continental youth tournament.

The Scotland Squad in Chile was as follows

Goalkeepers :- Kevin McKeown (Motherwell), Alan Main (Dundee United)

Outfield players :- Robert McRobb (Aberdeen), Jim Weir (Hamilton Accies), Brian Welsh (Dundee United, Scott Nisbet (Rangers), Alex Mathie (Celtic), Steve Murray (Celtic), Billy McKinlay (Dundee United), Paul Wright (Aberdeen), Paul Hunter (East Fife), Joe McLeod (Dundee United), Alan Redpath (Hearts), Gary Ogilvie (Dundee), Steve Campbell (Dundee), John Butler (St.Mirren), Derek Cook (Kilmarnock), Scott Crabbe (Hearts).

Only Billy McKinlayfrom this group went on to represent Scotland at full international level, gaining 29 caps. It makes an interesting comparison with eventual winners Yugoslavia, who as well as the fore mentioned Gordan Petric & Dragoje Leković included the following players

Robert Jarni (Juventus & Real Madrid) 7 caps for Yugoslavia & 81 for Croatia.

Igor Štimac (Derby County & West Ham) 53 caps for Croatia



Zvonimir Boban (AC Milan) 8 caps for Yugoslavia & 51 for Croatia.

Predrag Mijatović (Valencia, Real Madrid & Fiorentina) 73 caps for Yugoslavia.



Robert Prosinečki (Real Madrid & Barcelona) 15 caps for Yugoslavia & 49 for Croatia.

Davor Šuker (Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal) 2 caps for Yugoslavia & 69 for Croatia.


Where did Scotland go wrong ?


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One Response to “FIFA World U19’s Chile 1987”

  1. Robert E. Bailey Says:

    I am looking for the 1989 under 16 World Cup game film/video game played in Glasgow. My son Brian Bailey was he goalie for the USA team that beat Brazil in the tournament. It would have been the USA versus Brazil.

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