On one side, there was complete quiet, while on the other, there was astonishment, delight, and happiness. It seemed as if there was an error with the scoreboard since the information it displayed was incomprehensible. Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia. The Asian squad had just beaten Lionel Messi’s Argentina to get off to a strong start in the World Cup. This victory was considered to be one of the most shocking of all time.
Since a result, Argentina now has an uphill battle, as their next two matches are scheduled against Mexico and Poland, two teams who are far more talented than Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the World Cup is the place where unexpected outcomes like this are most likely to occur. A smaller, less talented club has often beaten the odds to claim victory against a larger, more talented opponent and write themselves into the annals of football’s past.
It is due in part to this factor that the FIFA World Cup continues to be regarded as football’s most prestigious competition. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 most surprising underdog victory in the history of the FIFA World Cup.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia ended 1-2.
Prior to the 2022 World Cup, Saudi Arabia had a record of losing their first match in the World Cup for the previous five consecutive times by a total score of 24-0. On that particular day, though, in the Lusail Stadium, everything changed. The game got off to a fantastic start for Argentina, as they were awarded a penalty kick inside the first 10 minutes, which Lionel Messi calmly converted. They were successful in scoring free kicks throughout the first half, but each time they were caught in the offside trap that the Saudis had set up. In spite of this, the Asian squad managed to go to halftime down by just one goal.
However, Saudi Arabia came out as a different team in the second half and pressured Argentina deep within their own territory. Salah Al Sheehri was the one who scored his team’s first goal. Despite this, Argentina remained optimistic about their chances of winning the match since they have the star power necessary to do so. However, what transpired after that is a moment that will forever be remembered in Saudi Arabian football history. Salem Aldawsari took advantage of an incredible first touch to gain control of the ball and then proceeded to slice and dice his way through the Argentine defense like a hot knife through butter before firing the ball past an oblivious Emiliano Martinez after a goal-bound shot from the Saudis was saved and went high into the air and fell to him. After that, the Saudis were able to score. Saudi Arabia was able to maintain their lead for the remainder of the game, ensuring their place in football legend.
Uruguay won the 1950 World Cup against Brazil with a score of 2-1.
Imagine a team being so heavily favored in the championship match that a newspaper declares them the winners before the match even begins, and even the President of FIFA plans to deliver his address in Portuguese since that is the language that the majority of the country’s population speaks. The final four teams in the 1950 FIFA World Cup were placed in a round-robin system, and the World Cup was awarded to the team that had accumulated the most points at the end of the tournament. And the World Cup was decided by a match between Brazil and Uruguay, with Brazil requiring just a draw to win the tournament, while Uruguay needed a victory to take home the trophy.
Everyone considered Brazil to be the favorites, and President Jules Rimet of FIFA had written his address in Portuguese, which is the language that is most often spoken in Brazil. Nevertheless, Uruguay would make a comeback after going down 1-0 and scored two goals to quiet the 200,000 spectators into shocked silence. This would happen after Uruguay had fallen behind 1-0. There were a lot of people who refused to accept that Brazil had really lost, and even though they’ve won the World Cup five times, it still hurts.
West Germany faced up against Hungary in 1954. The World Cup of FIFA
The contest that ultimately resulted in the establishment of a dominant force in football, When Germany came in Switzerland for the 1954 FIFA World Cup, very few people believed that they had a chance of making any kind of impact in the competition. After earning victories against Turkey and South Korea, but falling short against the tournament favorites Hungary, they ended in second place in the group. After that, they advanced to the final by defeating Yugoslavia and Austria, but Hungary was already there waiting for them.
The East European team, headed by the outstanding Ferenc Puskas, emerged victorious in the competition. The squad was undefeated over a streak of 31 matches, earning them the nickname “Mighty Magyars.” They seemed to be in a precarious position in the championship match when Hungary scored two goals in a span of eight minutes. On the other hand, the Germans began their counterattack under the command of Fritz Walter.
Maximilian Morlock opened the scoring, and then ace striker Helmut Rahn added another to tie the game. Helmut Rahn’s goal put the contest on even keel. The following 66 minutes consisted of back-and-forth action between the two sides as they searched for the game-winning goal. And Rahn scored the winner for Germany in the 84th minute, bringing a whole nation to its feet. It had been less than a decade after the end of World War II when West Germany became the first country to win the World Cup. This victory provided the nation with a tremendous confidence boost.
USA against England, 1966 The World Cup of FIFA
The encounter between Uruguay and Brazil in the 1950 FIFA World Cup was one of several in which the outcome was unexpected. When England came in the 1950 World Cup, they were considered to be one of the favorites along with the host nation of Brazil to win the championship. Greats on the English squad were Roy Bentley, Stan Mortensen, Jimmy Mullen, Alf Ramsey, John Aston, and Billy Wright, who captained the team. John Aston was also a member of the team.
On the other hand, the United States of America fielded an amateur team that included athletes with day jobs like as teaching, dishwashing, and driving. In point of fact, one of the players, Ben McLaughlin, was forced to pull out of the competition because he was unable to acquire permission from his employer to take time off work and attend the World Cup. As a direct consequence of this, the United States coach Bill Jeffrey said to the press that the squad did not have a chance.
And England got off to a strong start in the match by creating eleven opportunities in the first half as their opponents, the United States, battled to keep up with their opponents’ speed. In spite of this, the United States of America seized the lead in the 37th minute when a diving header from Joe Gaetjens was able to go past the English goalkeeper Bert Williams.
The “Kings of Football,” also known as England at the time, made a valiant effort from that point on, but the United States goalkeeper, Frank Borghi, had an outstanding performance in the second half, including a magnificent save from a Jimmy Mullen header. The United States of America prevailed in the end. It came as such a surprise that many people refused to accept it, and one newspaper even got the result incorrect, saying that England had won 1-0.
1966 FIFA World Cup match between North Korea and Italy
At the time when North Korea participated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, very little expectations had been set for them. At that time, football was dominated by teams from Europe and South America, and the little country in Asia was not regarded as a serious power by any of the elite teams competing in the tournament. On top of that, they were placed in a group containing Chile, a team who reached the semi-finals of the Global Cup in 1962, the Soviet Union, and Italy, a team that has won the world championship twice.
The Korean team was defeated by Lev Yahsin’s Soviet Union in the first match, but they were able to get a draw against Chile. Therefore, the choice was cut and dried: either beat Italy in the game or pack your bags and go home, with everyone anticipating the latter outcome.
And the Italians opened the match on the offensive, earning many opportunities, but they were unable to convert any of them into goals. However, Azzurri’s poor luck continued as midfielder Giacomo Bulgarelli suffered an injury and had to leave the field. As a result of the fact that substitutes were not permitted during that time period, Italy was forced to play the opening game with 10 men.
Utilizing this to their advantage, the North Koreans launched an offensive and quickly assumed the initiative via Pak Doo-Ik. Doo-Ik was able to beat Enrico Albertosi to the ball after receiving a long pass from one of the other team’s defenders. The Italians put in a lot of effort, but they were unable to draw even, and they were eliminated from the group stage since they came in third place.
In the meanwhile, North Korea would go on to play Eusebio’s Portugal in the quarterfinal, and although racing to a three-goal lead inside the first quarter of the game, they would lose.