Five of probably the most memorable World Cup shock packages


Qatar 2022 has already been full of shocks and shock, with no scarcity of unfancied groups producing outcomes to recollect.

Japan have impressed to beat each Germany and Spain within the group stage, whereas Morocco have topped a tricky-looking group containing Croatia and Belgium in unbeaten trend. With Australia additionally within the knockout phases for simply the second time, there’s potential for an underdog to proceed ripping up the script this winter.

In tribute to their successes to date, we glance again at 5 memorable World Cup shock packages.

Cameroon (1990)

Cameroon introduced their arrival on the world stage in gorgeous trend at Italia ’90, springing one of many World Cup’s biggest surprises with an upset of world champions Argentina within the opening fixture.

Regardless of being decreased to 9 males, Cameroon edged the Argentines 1-0 in a World Cup basic, with François Omam-Biyik heading dwelling a well-known winner. Pre-1990, African groups had been considered as little greater than individuals on the World Cup stage, however Cameroon’s marketing campaign helped modified perceptions in regards to the continent’s most interesting expertise.

After beating the holders, the Indomitable Lions beat Romania and progressed as group winners regardless of defeat to the Soviet Union of their ultimate fixture. Colombia have been edged within the final 16 after a double from Roger Milla, earlier than Cameroon’s World Cup got here to an finish after an entertaining encounter with England within the final eight.

Valery Nepomnyashchy’s have been seven minutes from reaching the semi-finals, earlier than Gary Lineker’s penalty compelled extra-time. A second spot-kick from Lineker sealed progress for England within the added interval, although Cameroon departed having grow to be the primary African workforce to succeed in the quarter-finals.

Five of the largest World Cup shocks ever

Bulgaria (1994)

Few fancied Bulgaria to make an impression on the 1994 World Cup, having snuck into the event in dramatic trend with a last-gasp qualification upset of France in Paris.

A complete 3-0 defeat to Nigeria of their opening fixture added to that principle, however Bulgaria bounced again to get pleasure from a outstanding run in the USA.

Bulgaria thrashed Greece 4-0 of their subsequent fixture, earlier than a 2-0 win over Argentina sealed their progress to the knockout rounds. Mexico have been then crushed on penalties within the final 16, to arrange a quarter-final showdown with world champions Germany.

Bulgaria fell behind to a Lothar Matthaus penalty, however star man Hristo Stoichkov introduced the perimeters degree with a incredible free-kick. Three minutes later, Yordan Letchkov headed dwelling a second to finish the comeback and ship the Bulgarians into the final 4.

Italy proved a step too far within the semi-finals, although Bulgaria bowed out after a best-ever end on the World Cup. Stoichkov claimed the Golden Boot after scoring six targets and was later named as winner of the Ballon d’Or.

90s Hitmen: Hristo Stoichkov – Barcelona’s Balkan bull

South Korea (2002)

South Korea have been the co-hosts of the 2002 World Cup alongside Japan, with the event heading to the Far East for the primary time.

Few had backed both of the host nations to make a major affect, however South Korea upset the chances – eliminating Italy and Spain – to succeed in the semi-finals, a run that no Asian workforce has ever emulated.

Guus Hiddink’s aspect topped a gaggle containing Portugal, Poland and the USA to exceed early expectations, earlier than their momentum continued within the knockout rounds. Nonetheless, it was a run shrouded in controversy.

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Towards a much-fancied Italy workforce within the final 16, South Korea gained 2-1 in extra-time courtesy of Ahn Jung-hwan’s late header. Nonetheless, the Azzurri have been left enraged on the officiating within the contest, as a number of crude challenges from the South Koreans went unpunished.

Francesco Totti was additionally despatched off for an alleged dive, whereas Damiano Tommasi had a purpose wrongly dominated out for offside. Such was the anger from the Italians, goalscorer Ahn Jung-hwan noticed his profession curtailed at Serie A aspect Perugia after proprietor Luciano Gaucci cancelled his contract.

Spain have been subsequent to be angered as conspiracy theories circled, following two disallowed targets of their quarter-final exit to the co-hosts. After a goalless draw South Korea gained 5-3 on penalties with Joaquin lacking the decisive kick for the Spanish.

South Korea’s run ultimately ended within the final 4, as Michael Ballack’s purpose earned Germany a 1-0 win and a spot within the ultimate.

Turkey (2002)

Turkey secured qualification to the World Cup for the primary time in 48 years in 2002, navigating a playoff with Austria to succeed in the event for simply the second time.

After dropping their opening fixture to Brazil, Turkey bounced again with outcomes in opposition to Costa Rica and China to succeed in the knockout rounds for the primary time of their historical past.

Senol Gunes’ gifted aspect – that includes the likes of Hakan Şükür, Hasan Şaş and Yildiray Bastürk – gained momentum within the final 16 with a win over co-hosts Japan, earlier than edging fellow shock aspect Senegal within the final eight.

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A semi-final rematch with Brazil proved a bridge too far as Ronaldo’s purpose secured the South Individuals passage into the ultimate, however Turkey regrouped to defeat South Korea within the third-place playoff.

It was a incredible run for Turkey, who haven’t certified for the World Cup within the 20 years since their storied success within the Far East.

Costa Rica (2014)

Costa Rica might need been cursing their luck when the draw for the 2014 World Cup was made, pitted in a Group of Demise in opposition to Italy, England and Uruguay.

Every of their three opponents have been ranked inside FIFA’s prime ten, however the outsiders upset the chances to prime the group and attain the knockout rounds.

Costa Rica got here from behind to beat Uruguay 3-1 of their opener, earlier than a second shock surprised Italy and put them accountable for the group. A goalless draw with England confirmed progress as group winners, the place Greece awaited within the final 16.

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Regardless of conceding a stoppage-time equaliser, Costa Rica gained on penalties to succeed in the quarter-final for the primary time.

Jorge Luis Pinto’s unfancied aspect then pushed the Netherlands all the way in which within the final eight, earlier than bowing out on penalties following a goalless draw.

Learn – Ronaldo’s redemption on the 2002 World Cup

Learn Additionally – Five world-class gamers who by no means featured at a World Cup

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