The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2022, which began a few days ago in Qatar, has already created hullabaloo all over the world. Saudi Arabia, the second lowest-ranked football team after Ghana, beating legend Lionel Messi-led Argentina on Tuesday was nothing less than a surprise. King Salman declared a public holiday in Saudi Arabia after its win.
Who would have imagined such ‘waqt badal diya, jazbaat badal diye’ moment? Right? It has turned out to be the ‘biggest shock’ in the history of the FIFA World Cup, Gracenote Live reported.
Such victories of a low-ranked team over great ones in FIFA have occurred in the past. Here’s a lookback to 8 other big upsets in football WC tournaments:
Let’s delve into the list:
1. When England lost to the USA (FIFA World Cup 1950)
The Americans stunned the world after beating England football team, one of the tournament favourites, by 1-0 during the 1950 FIFA World Cup held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The ‘miracle on grass’ happened after USA’s late soccer player Joe Gaetjens scored the winning goal making Englishmen lose the game.
2. When Spain lost to Switzerland (FIFA World Cup 2010)
The Swiss team won the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Spain, the 1964 European Champions, in Durban, South Africa. Switzerland’s Gelson Fernandes scored the winning goal. As per a Swiss Info report, a major supermarket had promised 10% off on everything if Switzerland won and even parliament had halted discussions for 15 mins amid the game.
3. When West Germany lost to Algeria (FIFA World Cup 1982)
The Algerians caused a big upset by defeating West Germany, the two-time champions, on the first day of the 1982 FIFA World Cup tournament in Spain. Algeria had reportedly become the first African nation to beat a European opponent with a 2-1 victory in the World Cup back then.
4. When Czech Republic lost to Ghana (FIFA World Cup 2006)
In 2006, West Africa’s debutante Ghana created history with its first FIFA World Cup win after defeating Czech Republic, the second-ranker by 2-0. And the credit goes to Ghanaian footballers Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari, who smashed marvellous goals in the tournament.
5. When Argentina lost to Cameroon (FIFA World Cup 1990)
Years before Saudi, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions caused a huge upset by winning the opening match of the 1990 FIFA World Cup against Argentina, the defending champions. Cameroon’s 1-0 victory happened after François Omam-Biyik’s winning goal and the team reached quarter-finals for the first time.
6. When France lost to Senegal (FIFA World Cup 2002)
Senegal beat France in the 2002 FIFA World Cup by 1-0 despite competing with great footballers like Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry. Senegalese footballer Papa Bouba Diop scoring the only goal in 30 minutes made France defeat in the game.
7. When Spain lost to Nigeria (FIFA World Cup 1998)
No one had expected that Nigeria would defeat Spain by 3-2 in its second FIFA World Cup in 1998. Even Spanish footballers like Raúl González Blanco and Luis Enrique couldn’t contribute much to the tournament. Nigeria stunned Spain with its two quick goals in 72nd and 78th minutes and history was created.
8. When Italy lost to North Korea (FIFA World Cup 1966)
While the 1966 FIFA World Cup will be remembered for the England’s iconic win, North Korea defeating Italy, the two-time champions by 1-0 was one of the great upsets in the football history. North Korean footballer Pak Doo-Ik smashing a goal was team’s winning moment in the tournament.
Coming back to FIFA World Cup 2022, the tournament will conclude on December 18 this year.