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 4th World Cup, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1978
 Venue: Campo del Polo, March 18-April 1, 1978
Pool A  Australia, West Germany, India, England, Poland, Canada,
Pool B  Pakistan, Holland, Spain, Argentina, Malaysia, Ireland,

The World Cup came to South America for the first time. Fourteen nations participated in the fourth edition. From this World Cup, the tournament would be held every four years, in between the Olympic years and in the same year as the football World Cup.

World champions India began their preparation on a wrong note in the training camp itself. Three of their leading players -- Surjit Singh, Baldev Singh and Virender Singh -- quit the camp at Patiala following differences with the team management. Virender and Baldev later apologised and were included in the squad, but Surjit and Govinda -- the latter had declared that he would only play if he were made captain -- were dropped. The absence of these players badly affected the team and its morale.

Heavy rains marred India's opening 1-0 win against Belgium. In the next match, however, they were surprised 1-3 by Canada. A 2-0 victory over Australia saw them avenge a 6-1 defeat at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and stay in contention for a semi-final berth. But they were in for a rude shock as West Germany thrashed them 7-0. Germany's goal scorers were Hans Montag, Wolfgang Stroedter (2), Rainer Seifert, Heinrich Dopp (2) and Peter Trump. It remains India's worst defeat in international hockey. India beat Poland 3-1 and then had to beat England to make it to the semi-finals, but lost 0-1 and crashed out of the reckoning. India finished third in Group A, behind Australia and West Germany.

In the classification matches too, India fared poorly and slumped to sixth place, going down 2-0 to Spain in the match for the fifth placing.

West Germany scored 25 goals and conceded 13 in the pool matches. Besides the 7-0 demolition of India, they thrashed Poland 9-4.

Pakistan's showing was in sharp contrast. In the pool matches, they snuffed out Holland 3-1 and Spain 2-1. In the semi-finals, Pakistan beat Germany by a solitary goal, scored in extra-time by Islahuddin. In the final, Pakistan defeated Holland 3-2 to end up the only undefeated team in the tournament.

 Final Positions
1.  Pakistan
2.  The Netherlands
3.  Australia
4.  West Germany
5.  Spain
6.  India
7.  England
8.  Argentina
9.  Poland
10.  Malaysia
11.  Canada
12.  Ireland
13.  Italy
14.  Belgium

Indian Team:
V J Philips (captain), Manuel Fredricks, Olympio Fernandes, Baldev Singh, Gopal Bhengra, Topo, Virender Singh, Robert Claudius, V Bhaskaran, Ashok Kumar, S S Sodhi, Sukhbir Singh Grewal, Vincent Lakra, Syed Ali, Dung Dung, Zafar Iqbal
Coach: R S Gentle
Manager: Kartar Singh

 1st World Cup, 1971
 Summary | Complete Results
 2nd World Cup, 1973
 Summary | Complete Results
 3rd World Cup, 1975
 Summary | Complete Results
 4th World Cup, 1978
 Summary | Complete Results
 5th World Cup, 1982
 Summary | Complete Results
 6th World Cup, 1986
 Summary | Complete Results
 7th World Cup, 1990
 Summary | Complete Results
 8th World Cup, 1994
 Summary | Complete Results
 9th World Cup, 1998
 Summary | Complete Results

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