Biggest FIFA World Cup Upsets
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has just kicked off in Qatar, and fans have already had the chance to experience the most historic FIFA World Cup upset. In a Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, the result was a ginormous shock when the Arabians emerged victorious with a 2-1 score against Argentina.
The FIFA World Cup is almost 100 hundred years old. And since then, football fans have had a chance to witness some of the most iconic World Cup upsets in the tournament. Undoubtedly, the defeat against the Saudi Arabians was the most shocking for Argentinians and the whole world. However, several other World Cup upsets have shaken football fans.
Here are some of the most stunning FIFA World Cup upsets since the tournament first launched almost a century ago:
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia (2022)
On the top of the list is, without a doubt, the match between Argentina vs Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2022. On Tuesday, November 22n2, 2022, Saudi Arabia and Argentina faced off against one another in what seemed to be another ordinary Group Stage match.
No one expected such a result where a team led by the legend Lionel Messi would be heartbroken. This World Cup upset is bizarre because a team ranked 51st on FIFA could not be imagined defeating a top-tier football team such as Argentina.
United States vs. England (1950)
The match between the United States and England in 1950 also comes to mind on the list of FIFA World Cup upsets. The match between the two teams took place in the FIFA World Cup 1950 in Brazil. At the time, the United States did not have any chance of defeating any team in the FIFA World Cup, let alone England.
But to everyone’s surprise, the United States defeated the English with a single goal scored by Joe Gaetjens. The surprise was so mind-boggling that the English press assumed the score of 1-0 in favor of the United States to be 10-1 in favor of England. And it was originally incorrectly reported as England winning the match with a score of 10-1.
Switzerland vs. Spain (2010)
Another match to join the list of the most shocking FIFA World Cup upsets was between Switzerland and Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain entered the tournament in 2010 as the favorite to win the FIFA World Cup.
The Spaniards were confident to make their way through the group stage without sweat. However, their paths crossed with the Swiss folk on the way. Young Gelson Fernandes was quick enough to dribble through the mess of defenders and attackers and score a goal against the Spanish in the group-stage match. Despite this shocking loss against the Swiss, Spain let go of the embarrassing loss and made their way to the finals, ultimately winning the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
Algeria vs. West Germany (1982)
As per FIFA archives, the Germans were confident of winning against the newbie Algeria in the group-stage match of the FIFA World Cup 1982 in Spain. They even went as far as to dedicate their seventh goal to their wives while dedicating their eight to their dogs.
West Germany did not even score the second or third goal against the first-timer, Algeria. The shocking reality was that the final score was 2-1 in favor of Algeria. The West German team came tumbling down once the Algerian attacking midfielder Lakhdar Belloumi scored an impeccable goal. This was, without a doubt, Germany’s biggest loss to date.
Ghana vs. Czech Republic (2006)
Group E was nicknamed the Group of Death in Germany’s FIFA World Cup 2006. And every true football fan knows that it was filled with stunning surprises. However, the face-off between Ghana and the Czech Republic was among the bigger World Cup upsets of the tournament.
The Czech Republic had just annihilated the United States with a score of 3-0. And now they were about to face Ghana, a team that Italy had just defeated. Despite these facts, the Czechs did not face an amateur team. Ghana scored their first goal in the first 70 seconds of the match. And a little later in the match, midfielder Sulley Muntari of Ghana scored the second goal for his team, ultimately securing Ghana’s victory over the Czech Republic.
Uruguay vs. Brazil (1950)
The 1950 FIFA World Cup tournament brought with it an unusual twist. There were only two stages in the tournament, and no single-match final was being played. Instead, the champions of each group played against the champions of other groups.
The 1950 FIFA World Cup was hosted by the football nation Brazil. And almost everyone already believed Brazil to win the entire World Cup. Brazilians were quite confident about their win against Uruguay that Brazilian officials and the press were already considering them as the victors of the match.
The score was tied at 1-1 late in the second half. And even a tie would be enough for Brazil to win the entire thing. However, just 11 minutes before game time, Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia scored an unbelievable goal against Brazil that shocked the audience. For Brazil, this has to be among the biggest World Cup upsets of all time.
South Korea vs. Germany (2018)
Korea beats Germany; it does not sound natural when one reads it, right? However, this is exactly what happened in the FIFA World Cup 2018 hosted by Russia. The tournament brought South Korea and Germany against one another on the group stage. South Korea was only lucky enough to proceed from the group stage twice until then. And Germany, being the defending champions, had always proceeded from the group stage in the last 80 years.
This year came as a shock when South Korea defeated the Germans with a final score of 2-0, ultimately breaking Germany’s 80-year streak. As far as stunning World Cup upsets are concerned, this was the biggest for Germany.
Senegal vs. France (2002)
Senegal is among the less likely teams to even win against a medium-tiered team, let alone France. Though, history was made in the FIFA World 2002 when the match between Senegal and France made it into the list of the biggest FIFA World Cup upsets. The Lions of Teranga defeated the defending champions, France, with a final score of 1-0 in the first game of the group stage.
On a Final Note
These are some of the most shocking and breathtaking FIFA World Cup upsets known to football fans. And for any possible World Cup upsets in the future, make sure to stay tuned to the FIFA World Cup 2022, currently taking place in Qatar.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many upsets in the first round of the FIFA World Cup 2022?
So far, Argentina vs Saudia Arabia football match is the biggest upset of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
What is the biggest World Cup upset?
Saudi Arabia’s winning against Argentina is the biggest FIFA World Cup upset in history.