Nations Who Have Won the World Cup After Failing to Win in Their Opening Game


Saudi Arabia claimed the unlikeliest of victories in opposition to pre-tournament frontrunners Argentina within the World Cup Group C opener, with many hailing it as one of many largest upsets within the competitors’s historical past.

The final two groups to beat Argentina on the World Cup have gone on to win the competitors (Germany in 2014 and France in 2018) – Saudi to win in 2022 anybody?

With Lionel Messi and La Albiceleste broadly touted as potential World Cup winners in Qatar given that they had remained unbeaten since July 2019, this opening recreation shock has left many questioning whether or not they can muster any type of momentum of their subsequent group matches in opposition to Mexico and Poland.

This acquired us pondering right here at Sportslens, has anybody did not win their opening match and nonetheless gained the World Cup?

England – 1966

England’s first and solely style of worldwide glory got here in 1966, defeating West Germany in extra-time courtesy of a hat-trick from Geoff Hurst – the one participant to attain such a feat all through World Cup historical past.

Nonetheless, regardless of claiming some memorable wins over Argentina within the quarter-final and Eusebio’s Portugal within the final 4, the host nation did not win their opening fixture.

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This was the primary time this phenomenon occurred within the then-36-year historical past of the World Cup, and England’s most beloved footballing reminiscence began with a 0-0 stalemate in opposition to two-time winners Uruguay, in entrance of a packed out Wembley Stadium.

Relatively extremely, a match report from Norman Giller claimed the South People ‘performed with 9 males on the again’ and ‘the Uruguayans celebrated on the remaining whistle as if that they had gained…it was not a fairly sight.’

RELATED: World Cup Outright Betting: England Into 7/1 Second Favourites After Shock Argentina Defeat

Italy – 1982

Gil Azzurri followers will look again on 1982 with heat emotions of nostalgia.

Their first win within the ‘trendy period’ noticed the Tricolore declare their third World Cup win, the primary two coming again within the Thirties, with Paulo Rossi having fun with what stays one of many match’s most prolific particular person performances with six targets.

WC 1982

Towards the backdrop of sun-kissed stadiums within the first World Cup to be hosted in Spain, Italy marched to the ultimate in opposition to West Germany finally successful in entrance of 90,000 spectators in Madrid.

The Italians started their marketing campaign in somewhat underwhelming trend nonetheless, drawing 0-0 in opposition to Poland of their opening group recreation earlier than registering an extra two share of the spoils in opposition to Peru and Cameroon.

This additionally made them the primary nation to develop into world champions having did not win a single group recreation.

Traditional Italy.


Spain – 2010

Maybe the best worldwide facet the world has ever seen, the World Cup successful Spain crew of 2010 stay the one facet to lose their first fixture and nonetheless go on to win the match.

After claiming the title at Euro 2008 two years prior, La Roja went on to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in addition to one other European Championship two years later, which stays an unprecedented interval of dominance in worldwide soccer.

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Nonetheless, the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and David Villa succumbed to defeat within the opening recreation of the 2010 World Cup, shedding out 1-0 to Switzerland.

That shock defeat was rapidly amended because the Spanish went from strength-to-strength  sweeping apart each opponent thereon, finally successful the title in opposition to the Netherlands courtesy of a memorable extra-time strike from Andres Iniesta.

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