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The greatest FIFA World Cup upsets Part 2

Chuck Blake

Updated: Nov 15, 2022 03:51

The greatest FIFA World Cup upsets Part 2

Brazil-1-2-Norway

The FIFA World Cup has produced some major shock results over the years

Argentina and France have both lost opening matches as reigning champions

Cameroon, Senegal, USA, Norway and Costa Rica among the tournament’s most famous giant killers

The FIFA World Cup, which was first played almost a century ago, has gained popularity among football fans in part because it frequently produces unexpected outcomes. A few of these surprises have now become part of football mythology.

The most well-known upsets from the competition are examined by FIFA+, including a handful of defending champions' stumbling starts.

Clevpicks.com will introduce you The greatest FIFA World Cup upsets...

West Germany 1-2 Algeria, Spain 1982

West-Germany-1-2-Algeria

How big a shock was it?

West Germany, a two-time world champion, was one of the tournament favorites. This was Algeria's first-ever World Cup game as a debutant.

What happened next?

Algeria overcame Chile in their penultimate game before losing to Austria in their subsequent contest. However, their total of four points was insufficient to advance them. That's because in a contentious encounter in which both teams agreed on a score that qualified them for the next round, Germany defeated Austria 1-0. West Germany eventually made it to the championship game, but Italy defeated them.

One-hit wonders?

Since then, the Algerians have competed in three World Cups and came close to defeating Germany once more in Brazil in 2014. They played the eventual champions in a thrilling matchup during their one and only Round of

What became of the heroes?

The scorer of one of his side’s two goals in Gijon, Rabah Madjer, became a star of European football in the 1980s. The forward clearly had a liking for German opposition, scoring a memorable goal for Porto against Bayern Munich in the 1987 European Cup final.

Korea Republic 2-1 Italy, Korea / Japan 2002

Korea-2-1-Italy

How big a shock was it?

Korea Republic's first tie in six outings came in the Round of 16. Star players from the most competitive league in the world at the time made up the Italy starting lineup.

What happened next?

Co-hosts Korea Republic eliminated Spain in the quarterfinals before falling to Germany in the semifinals. After losing to Turkey in the third-place playoff, they came in at fourth.

One-hit wonders?

At South Africa 2010, the Koreans lost to Uruguay but once again advanced to the round of 16. At Russia 2018, they lost in the group stage, but not before shocking the defending champions Germany and eliminating them.

What became of the heroes?

Ahn Jung-hwan, the player who scored the winning goal in extra time against the Italians, had a career full of highs and lows playing for teams in France and Germany with varied degrees of success. Park Ji-sung, a teammate, played seven seasons for Manchester United.

Brazil 1-2 Norway, France 1998

Brazil-1-2-Norway

How big a shock was it?

The Norwegians’ comeback came in the last match in Group A, with Brazil having won their first two matches and Norway drawn theirs. It was only the Scandinavians’ second victory in a World Cup match.

What happened next?

Norway advanced to the Round of 16, but Italy defeated them. Brazil won its group, progressed to the final, but lost to the hosts France.

One-hit wonders?

Norway's last victory in the competition came in Marseille, where it achieved history. Since then, they have been unable to advance to the World Cup.

What became of the heroes?

Tore Andre Flo, who scored Norway's opening goal against the Brazilians, enjoyed a successful club career and played for teams like Glasgow Rangers and Chelsea. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a fellow forward who was substituted in Marseille, ended up becoming a fan favorite at Manchester United.

East Germany 1-0 West Germany, Germany 1974

East-Germany-1-0-West-Germany

How big a shock was it?

While their western neighbors were established World Cup heavyweights and were vying for a second world championship, this time on home soil, East Germany was making its World Cup debut.

What happened next?

Both teams advanced to the second group stage, where East Germany finished last after failing to win a match and falling short of the Netherlands and Brazil. Following this setback, West Germany won their next four games to claim the illustrious trophy.

One-hit wonders?

Never again did East Germany compete in the World Cup. Germany resumed international competition as a single country in 1994 after its 1990 reunification.

What became of the heroes?

That evening in Hamburg, Jurgen Sparwasser scored the only goal. After the World Cup, he had a modest career with Magdeburg and worked briefly as an assistant coach at Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1980s.

Spain 2-3 Nigeria, France 1998

spain-2-3-nigeria

How big a shock was it?

Only their second World Cup, Nigeria was participating. Although they had impressed in their previous tournament four years prior when they advanced to the Round of 16, they were not anticipated to challenge a powerful Spain team that had players like Fernando Hierro, Raul, and Luis Enrique.

What happened next?

Spain dominated Bulgaria after drawing with Paraguay in their second group game, but they were still eliminated. Nigeria made it to the round of 16, but was eliminated by Denmark.

One-hit wonders?

Nigeria made it to the same stage in Brazil 2014, but their last significant World Cup victory came at the hands of Spain.

What became of the heroes?

Midfielder Sunday Oliseh, who scored the game's finest goal, later played for teams like Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. Several Nigerian players, like Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu, who sat on the bench in that match, have prosperous careers in Europe.

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