World Cup's greatest upsets: Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia joins corridor of disgrace


Argentina noticed their 2022 World Cup marketing campaign get off to a catastrophic begin as Lionel Messi & Co. suffered a shock 2-1 defeat towards Saudi Arabia within the opening sport of Group C.

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Unbeaten of their earlier 36 video games heading into the event — a streak that stretched again to July 2019 and was simply behind Italy‘s world file 37-game run — Argentina took the lead after simply 10 minutes when Messi transformed from the penalty spot. That regarded like being the primary of a number of objectives for the Albiceleste who dominated and had a number of objectives dominated out for offside.

Nevertheless, the Saudis fought again and ultimately took the lead shortly into the second half through two quick-fire objectives from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari — the latter an early contender for aim of the event. In yet one more sport that stretched effectively past the 100-minute mark, Herve Renard’s facet then held on for greater than 40 minutes as wave after wave of Argentine assaults have been resiliently thwarted.

The ultimate whistle sparks scenes of elation contained in the Lusail Iconic Stadium as Argentina surrendered their lengthy unbeaten run to an unfancied facet exterior the highest 50 within the FIFA world rating.

Argentina can maybe take some coronary heart from the truth that they’ve misplaced their first sport at a World Cup earlier than, recovered and ultimately gone on to make the ultimate (extra on that in a second). However the loss to Saudi Arabia in Qatar goes straight into the annals of probably the most seismic upsets in event historical past, together with these different shock outcomes.

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It won’t look like a very main shock by trendy requirements, however the results of this group stage match in Brazil continues to be cited as one of many greatest, if not the most important, upsets in World Cup finals historical past. England’s staff boasted a number of large stars of the day in Tom Finney, Stan Mortensen and Billy Wright whereas the US XI was a free assortment of unfamiliar semi-pros who had solely performed with one another as soon as beforehand. The conflict was anticipated to be a formality for England however the one aim of the sport got here from Joseph Gaetjens, who deflected a shot from Walter Bahr into the again of the online.

Italy: 0-1 vs. North Korea, 1966 World Cup

The day that Pak Doo-Ik wrote his title into soccer folklore without end, and at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough of all locations. Whereas Boro’s previous floor is lengthy gone, a bronze forged of Pak’s boot nonetheless stays inside the housing property that changed it in tribute to the ahead who dumped a star-studded Italy out of the 1966 World Cup. North Korea went on to face Portugal within the quarterfinals however finally got here unstuck towards the nice Eusebio, who scored 4 objectives and supplied an help for the opposite in a 5-3 win. In the meantime, the Azzurri have been left to creep again house beneath the duvet of evening however nonetheless managed to seek out themselves confronted with a unstable “welcome” on their return: irate followers pelting the staff with tomatoes as they emerged via Genoa airport.

There have been different massive World Cup upsets involving Italy, reminiscent of losses to Republic of Eire in 1994, to 2002 co-hosts South Korea and the playoff defeat to North Macedonia earlier this yr that blocked their highway to Qatar, however the humbling by the hands of North Korea stays their nadir.

Argentina: 0-1 vs. Cameroon, 1990 World Cup

A grisly, bodily duel that’s maybe finest remembered for Benjamin Massing’s notorious hatchet deal with on Claudio Caniggia — a “challenge” emblematic of the tough techniques on show all through the sport. Argentina, reigning World Cup champions, have been as soon as once more led by the mercurial skills of Diego Maradona and the Albiceleste have been closely backed to win once more at Italia ’90.

Against this, Cameroon have been 500-1 outsiders, however that did not cease the Indomitable Lions from giving completely all the pieces they needed to topple the massive pictures, regardless of being lowered to 9 males by the tip of play. The techniques labored — simply — as Francois Omam-Biyik scored the decisive aim with a header within the 67th minute to grab the hardest-fought of wins.

Regardless of shedding their first sport, Argentina did rally to succeed in the ultimate, solely to lose out towards West Germany by a single aim in Rome.

France discovered themselves on the mistaken finish of one of the crucial memorable upsets in World Cup historical past once they have been crushed by Senegal within the opening fixture of the 2002 finals. Papa Bouba Diop slid in to attain the one aim of the sport after El Hadji Diouf broke via Les Bleus‘ line of defense, leaving the startled reigning champions questioning what had simply occurred.

The defending champions by no means recovered, with Thierry Henry getting despatched off in a 0-0 draw with Uruguay earlier than a 2-0 loss to Denmark assured them an early return house. It was the same story eight years later when, with the camp marred by in-fighting, 2006 runners-up France have been eradicated on the group stage after losses to Mexico and hosts South Africa.

Having grow to be accustomed to successful each event they entered, reigning world and European champions Spain got a stern actuality test in Brazil when Netherlands ran riot in Bahia. The rating was stage at half-time however an excellent second-half efficiency from the Dutch noticed them come from a aim all the way down to crush Vicente del Bosque’s males with a flurry of objectives, together with an impressed long-range diving header from Robin van Persie.

With Spain looking for to win their fourth consecutive main worldwide trophy, the defeat should absolutely rank as their most deflating on file (particularly being the primary time they’d conceded 5 objectives in a world match since 1963). Nevertheless, Gerry Armstrong would most likely argue in any other case, because it was his aim that earned plucky Northern Eire their well-known 1-0 shock win towards La Roja on the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Brazil: 1-7 vs. Germany, 2014 World Cup

Whereas getting crushed by neighbours Uruguay on house soil within the closing of the 1950 World Cup is a robust contender to be Brazil’s most painful worldwide embarrassment of contemporary instances, the entire world was not watching it dwell as they have been 64 years later. The yr was 2014, the stadium was the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, and Germany have been the staff answerable for dumping the Selecao from the semifinals of their very own World Cup in probably the most brutal method possible.

Even earlier than the match kicked off, the house facet regarded too emotional for their very own good as they paid prematch tribute to star participant Neymar, lacking with a again harm sustained within the quarterfinal win over Colombia. They have been unable to concentrate on the duty at hand, permitting Thomas Muller to open the floodgates after simply 11 minutes and discovering themselves 5-0 down at half-time.

Germany: 0-2 vs. South Korea, 2018 World Cup

Germany have been reigning world champions once they have been knocked out of the 1994 World Cup quarterfinals by Bulgaria — a sport that was probably their lowest second on soccer’s greatest stage, till 2018.

Low was on the helm as Die Mannschaft — who have been as soon as once more defending their world title — went crashing out of the 2018 World Cup on the group stage following a devastating and dramatic loss to South Korea, who scored each of their objectives after the 90-minute mark. Son Heung-Min rolling the ball into an empty internet with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stranded on the different finish of the pitch was an unforgettable second.

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