8 Surprising Match Results That Lived Up to Expectations in World Cup History


On November 20, the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar. While the fans’ enthusiasm continued with all their excitement, the tournament’s first big surprise was experienced when Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1. Saudi Arabia is ranked 53rd in the world rankings. Thus, it came as a big surprise that Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, which was shown as one of the cup favorites. After Messi’s first goal in the match, the Argentina national team scored 3 more goals against Saudi Arabia. However, all of these goals were canceled due to offside.

In Saudi Arabia, in the first minutes of the second half, the score was even with Alsheri’s goal. Saudi Arabia took a 2-1 lead when Aldavsari scored another goal in the 53rd minute. Such unexpected results undoubtedly make the tournament even more special. So let’s take a little bit of history and take a look at some of the shocking moments in World Cup history together.

1. South Korea – Italy / 2-1 (2002)

At the 2002 World Cup, South Korea beat Italy 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals after scoring a goal in extra time. At that time there were many star players in Italy such as Alessandro del Piero and Paola Maldini. Therefore, the defeat of South Korea by Italy was a real shock.

2. Netherlands – Spain / 5-1 (2014)

world Cup

The Netherlands and Spain were two finalists in the previous World Cup (2010). Spain won the cup that year 1-0. In the next group match of the World Cup, the Netherlands beat the opponent 5:1 with a different score. It was the biggest defeat for the reigning champion at the World Championships.

3. East Germany – West Germany / 1:0 (1974)

world Cup

East and West Germany only faced each other at the 1974 World Cup. West Germany was the host of the tournament that year. At the same time, Gerd Müller, considered one of the best players in world football, was also wearing the FRG jersey. West Germany had already been declared the winner long before the match started! However, East Germany won a historic victory thanks to a goal from Jurgen Sparwasser.

4. Senegal – France / 1:0 (2002)

The first match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan was to be between Senegal and France. With a goal from Papa Buba Diop, Senegal scored a major victory over France. France, on the other hand, could only score one point in group matches and could not qualify from the group.

5. Switzerland – Spain / 1:0 (2010)

Spain went to the 2010 World Cup as European champions and favorite for the tournament. That year the tournament was held in South Africa. Before the match between Spain and Switzerland, Spain’s victory was considered certain. However, Switzerland managed to beat their rival Spain 1-0.

6. USA – England / 1:0 (1950)

At the 1950 World Cup held in Brazil, England were among the tournament favorites. On the other hand, the US was viewed as an amateur semi-professional team. Therefore, at the end of the match, there was no doubt that England would inflict a historic defeat on the United States. However, the opposite happened. Joe Gatjens, a waiter at a restaurant in Brooklyn, has sent a goal against England that will mark one of the most impossible victories in history.

7. Cameroon – Argentina / 1:0 (1990)

Argentina won the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico. Four years later, in 1990, when he lost to Cameroon in the opening match of the tournament, it shocked the world.

8. North Korea – Italy / 1:0 (1966)

Another moment in the history of the World Cup that turned expectations around was the match between North Korea and Italy. Italy were looking to reach the quarter-finals by defeating North Korea in the 1966 tournament. However, thanks to the goal of Pak Doo Ik, instead of Italy, North Korea took the tour, and Italy said goodbye to the World Cup.

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