Five biggest upsets in World Cup history

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One of the most stunning upsets took place in World Cup history on Tuesday as Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1 in the first game of Group C action from Qatar. After Argentina took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute on a successful penalty kick by Argentinian super star Lionel Messi, Saudi Arabia got two early goals in the second half for the positive result. Saleh Alshehri tied the game in the 48th minute, and then Salem Aldawsari scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute.

Argentina dominated the first half. Even though they scored only one goal, they controlled possession and had three goals called off because of offside. Heading into the second half, there were no signs that Argentina was going to lose the match.

This was Saudi Arabia’s fourth win in the history of the World Cup. They previously beat Morocco 2-1 and Belgium 1-0 at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, and Egypt 2-1 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This is no doubt one of the biggest five upsets in World Cup history. Here are four others of note.

1950–United States 1, England 0

At the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, England was the overwhelming favourite to beat the United States after winning their opening game 2-0 over Chile. The odds of the United States pulling off the upset was 500-1. However, it was Haitian born Joe Gaetjens who scored the only goal of the game, as he scored in the 38th minute. This is widely noted as “The Miracle on Grass.”

1966–North Korea 1, Italy 0

At the 1966 World Cup in England, many will remember this tournament as the only time England won the World Cup. However, there was a massive upset too. In Group 4 action, Pak Doo-ik scored the lone goal in the game between North Korea and Italy. It was North Korea’s first win at the World Cup, and knocked Italy out of the tournament.

2002–Senegal 1, France 0

After winning the 1998 World Cup, France had no problem scoring goals. In fact they scored 15 times in winning their first World Cup in the history of the nation. It was a different story in 2002 however. At the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, France did not score once, as they were shutout in three straight games. Their first loss was a 1-0 loss to Senegal in Seoul on a goal by Bouba Diop in the 30th minute.

2018–South Korea 2, Germany 0

Germany won the 2014 World Cup, and expectations were high in 2018. However, the Germans finished dead last in Group F, after losing to South Korea 2-0. Both of the Korean goals came in extra time of the second half, as Young-gwon Kim and Heung-min Son became Korean heroes.



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