Saudi Arabia and Japan have been added to the growing list of the tournament’s biggest heists.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is only three days old and the tournament has been lit with some exciting performances. We’ve seen big one-sided results, boring draws and, most importantly, surprises. Is there anything that excites a fan more than the excitement of football? Minnows, or small soccer nations killing giants, make soccer the greatest sport in the world. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was no different. Japan stunned Germany today after Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over tournament favorites Argentina on Tuesday.
In both cases, the winning team came from behind to shock the more prominent side and the script story. Here in this article, we take a look at the five biggest upsets at the FIFA World Cup over the years.
World Cup 2022 – Germany 1-2 Japan
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is proving to be one for the underdogs. November 22nd will forever be remembered as the greatest day in the history of Saudi Arabian football. After their famous victory against Argentina, the Saudi king declared a holiday in honor. It looks like a similar reaction could be encountered in the streets of Tokyo today as Japan picked up a remarkable victory over Germany at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
Germany took an early lead from a penalty by Ilkay Gundogan in the first half and appeared to be in control. However, like the Saudis, Japan showed determination and character to stage a remarkable comeback. The Samurai Blue scored late through Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano for an upset.
As of 2018, Germany had not been eliminated from the group stage at FIFA World Cups since 1938. A defeat by Spain on Sunday could mean another elimination from the group stage for Germany.
World Cup 2022 – Argentina – Saudi Arabia 1-2
Lionel Messi’s international swan song tournament got off to the worst possible start as Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. Full of confidence and confidence, the South American champions went into the World Cup with the label of favorites. However, a first-half penalty by Lionel Messi was canceled out by an inspired Saudi side in the second half.
The Asian side were helped by a commanding performance from goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais, who made five crucial saves to secure a famous win. The ignominious defeat also ended Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak.
World Cup 2018 – South Korea 2-0 Germany
As with every World Cup, the defending champions from 2014, Germany, went into the tournament with high expectations. However, they got a rude awakening when they fell to a new “Löw” under coach Joachim Löw and crashed out of the group stage. Germany finished last in a group with Sweden, Mexico and South Korea.
Germany lost their qualification against South Korea in the last group game and lost 2-0. It was the Asian side, led by veteran Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who delivered a top-level defensive performance despite playing for pride.
After South Korea resisted the German Blitzkrieg without conceding a goal throughout the game, South Korea scored two goals in injury time to achieve a wonderful victory. For the first time since 1938, Germany did not get past the group stage.
World Cup 2014 – Costa Rica 1-0 Italy
If there was an underdog story written by the soccer gods, it had to be for Central American minnow Costa Rica. Not only did they celebrate a surprise 1-0 win over four-time winners Italy, but they also ended up leading the group with England and Uruguay. They eventually reached the quarterfinals, losing to the Netherlands on penalties.
However, their defining moment was undoubtedly defeating the Euro 2012 finalists in Italy. Bryan Ruiz’s header in the 44th minute was the difference of the night. The win saw them qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in 24 years. On the other hand, the much-coveted European pair of England and Italy were eliminated.
World Cup 2002 – Senegal – France 1-0
If anyone can still think about the biggest night of football in the history of Senegalese football, it’s current coach Aliou Cissé. The former midfielder was part of the golden generation of Senegalese players consisting of goalscorer Papa Bouba Diop, El Hadji Diouf, Henry Camara etc. They won an epic 1-0 win over former colonizers France World Cup Stadium on a famous night in Seoul.
France were reigning world and European champions, while Senegal made their debut in the competition. The French eventually eliminated from the group stage while Senegal reached the quarterfinals. Since then there hasn’t been any major excitement.
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