Kathmandu. Many unexpected results have emerged in the FIFA World Cup with a history of nearly 100 years. In which weak teams have also given unexpected results against big teams. Argentina and France have a history of losing their first game as former champions.
Cameroon, Senegal, USA, Norway and Costa Rica are famous giant killers of the World Cup. FIFA, the governing body of World Cup football, has released a list of the most unexpected results ever seen in World Cup football.
France 0-1 Senegal (Korea Japan 2002)
This unexpected result came in the first match. Senegal, playing in the World Cup for the first time, beat former champions France 1-0 in the first match. France, which had also won the 2000 European Cup, arrived at the World Cup as a contender. But France was shocked in the first game.
Papa Bouba Diop scored the decisive goal to seal a resounding victory for Senegal. Then he became a national hero. But he passed away in 2020. Aliu Cisse, who played with Diop in the World Cup, is currently the coach of Senegal in Qatar.
After 2002, Senegal qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Where France became the champion for the second time.
Argentina 0–1 Cameroon (Italy 1990)
Four years earlier in 1986, Diego Maradona made Argentina the champion in a single performance. Even in 1990, the whole world had the same expectation from Maradona. But in the first game, former champions Argentina were shocked 1-0 against Cameroon. Francois Omam Bayek scored the winning goal for Cameroon.
Known as ‘The Indomitable’ Lions, Cameroon reached the quarter-finals as group winners, but were knocked out by England. Although Argentina lost the first game, they came back and reached the final. But they lost to West Germany and finished as runners-up.
Italy 0-1 Costa Rica (Brazil 2014)
At the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica was in the same group as the three former winners. Costa Rica was seen as an adventurous team. But Costa Rica shocked the four-time champion Italy.
After defeating Uruguay in the first match, Costa Rica defeated Italy in the second match and drew with England to reach the knockout stage as group winners.
Bryan Ruiz scored the decisive goal to seal the victory for Costa Rica, but goalkeeper Keller Navas did a superb job. Nava moved to Real Madrid after the World Cup.
England 0-1 USA (Brazil 1950)
England, considered the mother of football, was a good team at that time. America was a weak team compared to England. But America beat England 1-0. Forward Joey Gaetjen scored to give the USA the win.
But both the teams could not progress beyond the group stage.
Italy 0-1 North Korea (England 1996)
North Korea was participating in the World Cup for the first time, while Italy were two-time champions. But in the last match of the group, North Korea got an unexpected result against Italy. As a result, Italy were eliminated from the group stage. Pak Do Ek scored the decisive goal for North Korea.
North Korea, which reached the quarterfinals, came close to another unexpected result. But despite taking a 3–0 lead against Portugal, they could not save it and lost 5–3. Since then, North Korea has qualified for the World Cup only once. In 2010, North Korea lost all three group games and was eliminated.
West Germany 1-2 Algeria (Spain 1982)
Two-time champions West Germany were among the title contenders. On the other hand, Algeria was playing its first World Cup.
But Algeria achieved a sensational result by defeating West Germany 2–1 in their first match. Rabah Mazdar and Lakhdar Belloumi set up the victory for Algeria. Jeder then became a star in European football. He scored a goal in the 1987 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich while playing for Porto.
In the next match at the World Cup, although they lost to Austria, Algeria defeated Chile to win their second game. But the goal difference was not enough to qualify for the knockout stage. Algeria, which has played in the World Cup three times since 1982, reached the last 16 in 2014.
South Korea 2-1 Italy (Korea/Japan 2002)
South Korea has reached the last 16 for the first time in the World Cup being played at home. The Italian team had star players and had become champion three times.
Korea, who went undefeated in their group and became group winners, defeated Italy 2–1 in the last 16.
Sol Ki Haon and Ah Jung Hwan scored for Korea. Havan scored in extra time to beat Kawariya. Cristian Vieri took the lead for Italy in the 18th minute but could not save it.
In the quarter-finals, Cavaría defeated Spain in a penalty shoot-out and advanced to the semi-finals. But Korea finished fourth in the World Cup after losing 1–0 to Germany.
Korea had also defeated Germany in the group stage at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Brazil 1-2 Norway (France 1998)
In the last match of the group, former champions Brazil were defeated by Norway. Being one goal behind, Norway came back and won.
Norway was defeated by Italy to reach the last 16 after Brazil. Brazil reached the final but lost to France and finished as runner-up. Tor Andre Flo and Andre Rekdal scored to give Norway a resounding victory.
Norway, which has played in the World Cup three times, has not qualified for the World Cup since 1998.
East Germany 1-0 West Germany (Germany 1974)
At that time Germany was divided into two parts. East Germany made their World Cup debut in this edition. West Germany was aiming to become champions for the second time at home.
But both of them met in the group stage. In which East Germany defeated West Germany 1-0. Jürgen Sparwasser scored the decisive goal in that match.
Both Germany passed the group stage and entered the second round. While East Germany was eliminated, West Germany reached the final and became champions after defeating the Netherlands.
After that, East Germany failed to qualify for the World Cup, and after the reunification of Germany in 1990, the World Cup was played under the name of Germany from 1994.
Spain 2–3 Nigeria (France 1998)
Nigeria was playing its second World Cup. Nigeria made a good impression when they played in the World Cup for the first time in 1994.
Spain, featuring players such as Fernando Hierro, Raúl and Luis Enrique, were considered favourites. But Nigeria beat Spain 3–2. Mutiu Adepuje, Sunday Ogochugwu Oliseh scored for Nigeria, while Spain’s Zubizarreta scored an own goal. Although Hierro and Raúl scored for Spain, it was not enough to win.
After defeating Spain, Nigeria also defeated Bulgaria but lost to Paraguay but reached the knockout stage as group winners. After a draw with Paraguay and a win over Bulgaria, Spain were eliminated at the group stage.
But Nigeria were eliminated in the last 16 after losing 4–1 to Denmark.
…..these two too
The 22nd edition of the World Cup is currently underway in Qatar. But even before the first round of the game is over, some unexpected results have come to the fore. Two former champions Argentina and Germany have lost their opening matches.
Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia (Qatar 2022)
Argentina, one of the title contenders, could not save even after taking the lead. Hardly anyone would have thought that Argentina would be defeated. Argentina took the lead in the first half through captain Lionel Messi’s goal.
But in the second half, Saudi Arabia surprised Argentina by making a spectacular comeback. This was Saudi’s first victory over Argentina. Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari scored for Saudi.
Apart from these two teams, there are also Poland and Mexico in the group. Now the fate of Argentina and Saudi will be decided by the rest of the game.
GERMANY 1-2 JAPAN (QATAR 2022)
The day after the Argentina defeat, four-time champions Germany were defeated by another Asian nation, Japan, with the same result. Until now, when a total of 13 nations, including 8 champions and 5 finalists, played in the World Cup finals, Japan had never defeated anyone before.
But Japan, nicknamed the Samurai Blue, scored two goals in the last 15 minutes to make it 2-1 over Germany. After the victory of Saudi and Japan, the confidence of small countries has also increased.