FIFA Men's World Cup
World Cup's 101 Most Memorable Moments: Argentina 6, Peru 0
FIFA Men's World Cup

World Cup's 101 Most Memorable Moments: Argentina 6, Peru 0

Published Oct. 8, 2022 6:12 p.m. ET

By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor's note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we'll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with Argentina's route of Peru.

Tied on points but trailing South American rival Brazil on goal difference, Argentina had to beat Peru by at least four goals in their final group stage match to reach the final of the 1978 World Cup.

That would be a tall task for any team, even one led by the great Mario Kempes against an inferior, already eliminated opponent. Yet the Albiceleste got what they needed and more, trouncing the Peruvians 6-0 before going to claim their first title by beating the Netherlands 3-1 in Buenos Aires after extra time.


The triumph against Peru wasn’t without controversy. In the years since, there’s been speculation that perhaps the visitors agreed to lose the game by the required scoreline to allow the home team to advance to the championship match. The Peruvian players may even have been pressured to do so by the military government that ruled Argentina from 1976-83: dictator Jorge Rafael Videla reportedly paid a visit to the away team’s locker room before kickoff. 

Nothing sinister has ever been proven, though. Argentina went on to win its second title in 1986. Still, the lopsided result from eight years earlier remains part of the competition’s lore — and one of its memorable moments.

Argentina's controversial 6-0 win

Did Peru intentionally lose to help Argentina?

One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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