The Best World Cup Debut Campaigns: Senegal ’02 and Croatia ’98 Feature on Our List


2022 hosts Qatar fell effectively wanting the mark of their opening recreation, dropping 2-0 to Ecuador of their first ever World Cup fixture.

The tiny Gulf nation are the one group among the many 32 who’re making their debut marketing campaign at this 12 months’s event, and as they go head-to-head with Senegal this afternoon who loved a spectacular inauguration manner again in 2002, it acquired us pondering right here at Sportslens

Who’re greatest World Cup debutants in historical past?

The Best World Cup Debut Campaigns

Croatia 1998: Rising as a Battle-Torn Unbiased Nation

Following 10 years of bloody battles within the Balkans, Croatia emerged as an impartial nation after the break-up of Yugoslavia, and so a brand new footballing nation was born.

Having stormed to a memorable quarter-final two years prior at Euro 1996, the likes of former Arsenal striker Davor Suker and ex-Actual Madrid full-back Robert Jarni have been on the forefront of an unbelievable World Cup debut marketing campaign for Croatia in France 1998.

After sweeping apart well-established favourites Germany within the quarter-finals, they fell to eventual winners and hosts France within the final 4 after a late Lillian Thuram winner.

They would go on to defeat a star-studded Netherlands aspect within the third-place play-off, with Suker including to his tally of their last recreation and choosing up the Golden Boot with six objectives.

Senegal 2002: An Complete Continent Gripped By The Lions of Ternaga

Senegal’s 2002 group will go down as probably the most memorable, and maybe probably the most extensively supported at any given World Cup.

Their debut marketing campaign started with the unlikeliest of victories over reigning champions France as Papa Boupa Diop, then of Lens however who would go on to characteristic for 3 Premier League golf equipment, scored the one purpose of the sport to offer little fancied Senegal their first win at a World Cup.

Senegal celebrate France 2002 World Cup Football Plazza

After escaping the group having held Denmark and Uruguay to a single level, they claimed a marathon victory over Sweden as former Wolves and Wigan striker Henri Camara notched in a Golden Purpose to ship them to the ultimate eight.

They would go on to lose to Turkey after extra-time, however their debut in Korea/Japan in 2002 is the joint-best end together with Cameroon and Ghana of any African aspect at a World Cup.

Costa Rica 1990: Los Tico Tip-Toe to the Knockout Stage

Italia ’90 is thought to be one of many best editions of the World Cup thus far, and one of many extra memorable tales of the marketing campaign noticed a tiny Central American nation with a inhabitants of simply over three million qualify for the primary time.

The Costa Rica group of 1990 has impressed latest generations to turn out to be a well-established worldwide aspect, qualifying for all however one of many twenty first century World Cups.

Costa Rica 1990 2 Football Plazza

Pitted towards Brazil, Scotland and Sweden of their group, they managed to defeat the latter two whereas nullifying the-then three-time champions to a single purpose victory.

They would finally fall to Czechoslovakia within the knockout stage, however they captured the hearts of tens of millions watching throughout the globe and it stays one of many nice fairytale tales of the World Cup.

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Nigeria 1994: Excessive-Flying Tremendous Eagles Take The USA By Storm

Recent off the again of their second Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria lastly certified for the World Cup after a lot expectation from their followers at house.

Their solely defeat of the group stage would come towards an Argentina aspect that includes Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta, however spectacular wins over Bulgaria and Greece introduced the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha to the world stage, and their vibrant following within the US was in contrast to something seen earlier than.

66028aad3b715fb072d26813cc7a76b457c5b4b7 Football Plazza

They have been probably the most entertaining sides on the 1994 World Cup, displaying flamboyant trickery and racking up the objectives all of the whereas with gleaming smiles, however their journey would finally come to an agonising finish to eventual finalists Italy after Roberto Baggio equalised within the 88th minute, earlier than scoring an extra-time winner.

Algeria 1982: The Shame of Gijon

Having gained revenge over Nigeria by qualifying at their expense following a defeat to the Tremendous Eagles within the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria’s World Cup debut was nothing wanting spectacular.

Up till the 1982 version in Spain, no African aspect had delivered a efficiency of such high quality and muster that the Fennec Foxes would go on to register.

Winners of the event eight years prior, 1974 champions West Germany introduced Algeria their first stern take a look at of the event, to which they replied in emphatic style profitable 2-1.

They would fall to defeat towards Austria 5 days later earlier than bouncing again to assert a hard-fought second victory towards the Chileans to offer themselves an opportunity of qualifying.

With Austria and West Germany set to face one another within the last fixture of the group, the previous and Algeria have been stage on factors with 4 (two factors for a win).

What occurred subsequent would go down as one of many World Cup’s most notorious episodes, which has traditionally been labelled because the ‘Shame of Gijon.’

With Algeria and Chile having performed the day earlier than, a win by one or two objectives for West Germany towards Austria would safe protected passage for each groups on the expense of Algeria.

The Germans took the lead after 10 minutes, and the match was mentioned to have progressively deteriorated as time went on, finally ending 1-0. Spectators would accuse either side of match fixing, though FIFA discovered no indication of such allegations.

Nevertheless, after an identical occasion occurred within the earlier event of 1979, they revised the group system for future tournaments, in order that the ultimate two video games in every group could be performed concurrently.

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