Anniversary

Belgium 1-0 El Salvador
FIFA World Cup Finals First Round Group Three
19 June 1982

Belgian striker Francois Van der Elst featured in a World Cup victory over El Salvador on this day 31 years ago.

Van der Elst, who joined the Hammers from New York Cosmos earlier that year, came on as a half-time substitute as Belgium saw out a 1-0 victory over the Central American nation, thanks to Ludo Coeck's goal.

El Salvador had been humiliated 10-1 in their opening fixture against Hungary, but recovered well to only suffer narrow defeats to Belgium and Argentina (2-0) in their remaining group games.

This World Cup finals, in Spain, featured two group stages, and after Belgium topped their initial pool, they were eliminated at the second phase following defeats to Poland and the Soviet Union.

Van der Elst, who scored 17 goals in 70 games for the Club, moved back home to Lokeren in 1983 and would earn a total of 44 caps for his country.