FIFA World Cup: Five of the greatest upsets the tournament has seen

This is not the first upset that Argentina has suffered at the world cups
Nov 22, 2022
<p>Argentina star Lionel Messi trudges off the field after defeat to Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: AFP</p>

Argentina star Lionel Messi trudges off the field after defeat to Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: AFP

Saudi Arabia produced one of the greatest world cup upsets in history on Tuesday, stunning South American giants Argentina in a 2-1 group stage victory in Doha.

We looks at five other famous upsets in World Cup history.

1950 - USA 1 England 0

England arrived in Brazil as one of the tournament favourites after electing to play in the World Cup for the first time.

But England’s status as one of football’s superpowers was destroyed by a rag-tag band of players representing the United States, Joe Gaetjens scoring the winning goal that sealed victory in Belo Horizonte.

1966 - North Korea 1 Italy 0

Pak Doo-Ik wrote his name into world cup folklore with the goal that stunned a powerful Italy team and sent the Azzurri crashing out of the tournament.

The Italian squad returned to Rome to be pelted with tomatoes by disgruntled fans.

North Korea’s run ended in the quarter-finals with a 5-3 defeat to a Eusebio-inspired Portugal.

1982 - Algeria 2 West Germany 1

Algeria arrived at the World Cup finals in Spain as rank outsiders, the north African side playing in its first ever World Cup.

But goals from Rabah Madjer and Lakhdar Belloumi either side of a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge goal secured a famous victory.

Algeria’s tournament would end in heartbreak however with the infamous “Disgrace of Gijon”, when West Germany beat Austria 1-0 in a mutually beneficial result that sent both teams through to the second round.

1990 - Cameroon 1 Argentina 0

Argentina began the finals in Italy as defending champions after their Diego Maradona-inspired victory at the 1986 tournament in Mexico.

But not even Maradona was able to prevent Cameroon’s ‘Indomitable Lions’ from pulling off a huge upset with Francois Omam-Biyik scoring the winner at the San Siro in Milan.

Cameroon, who finished the game with nine men, would go on to reach the quarter-finals.

2002 - Senegal 1 France 0

The 1998 World Cup champions and Euro 2000 winners France were expected to once again make a deep run at the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

But Senegal, playing in their first World Cup, derailed French hopes with Papa Bouba Diop scoring the only goal in another tournament-opening upset.

France would go on to be eliminated in the first round.

Saudi Arabia


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