Biggest upset in World Cup history

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Greatest upset in World Cup history

USA in the semi-final, 1930
0
No votes
USA 1 England 0, 1950
4
40%
Brazil 1 Uruguay 2, 1950
1
10%
DPRK 1 Italy 0, 1966
2
20%
Northern Ireland 1 Spain 0, 1982
2
20%
Cameroon 1 Argentina 0, 1990
0
No votes
Senegal 1 France 0, 2002
0
No votes
Other
1
10%
 
Total votes: 10

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby sjc_three » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:01 am

It's absolutely true about the NI result though. Looking at that list there, I had no idea that the team contained pedigree such as this. Nor did I know that Spain were struggling. I was 7 at the time and do not remember the result at all, only reading about it much, much later. In reality I was basing my vote on the same thing happening today, which would certainly be a pretty big shock.

The biggest one in my living memory is the Cameroon one, which I nearly voted for, and still goes down as one of the most enjoyable games I have ever watched. Cameroon have had a place in my heart ever since.

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:29 pm

nzfooty has no need to apologise, he's doing exactly what I was hoping for, although it's not the subject I was expecting.

sjc_three may be willing to throw in the towel but I'm not (yet). nzfooty makes it sound like Northern Ireland had some sort of wonder team in '82 but at the danger of dragging up painful childhood memories the Spanish team, including several that were in the 1982 squad, went on to the final of the European Championships in 1984. Northern Ireland failed to qualify. In fact Northern Ireland have never qualified for the European Championships, Spain had already won back in 1964. By 1982 Spain already had five times as many World Cup appearances as the Irish.

It's true that English teams were dominating in Europe in the late 70's and early 80's but Spanish football still had plenty of pedigree, as I already mentioned Real Madrid in the European Cup semis in 1980, final in 1981 and Barcelona winning the Cup Winner's in 82. The Spanish coach could have picked the entire Cup Winner's Cup winning side (apart from Allan Simonsen obviously who was cup-tied). That he didn't is partly due to the fact that Real Sociedad were back to back champions in La Liga. Meanwhile Northern Ireland had to rely on two players who were playing for Burnley in the English third division. Billy Hamilton and Tommy Cassidy had both probably played at fashionable Swindon Town that year. George Best had eleven years at Manchester United, one of the best players of all time (the best ever to many Northern irish). He was still playing at the time (in Hong Kong). They could've picked him if number of years at big clubs was all that counted.

The part about being hosts deserves repeating. The Spanish certainly expected to win easily. There have been unexpected defeats for hosts (such as Uruguay in 1950 or East Germany in 1974) but I'm struggling to think of a more embarrassing loss for the hosts. The Irish may be part of the British football catchment zone but they are hardly a major part of it. Despite a couple of successes in the early 80's the Northern Ireland team has by far the worst record in the Home Championship, even Wales have 50% more titles.

I don't understand the point about Catalonia. Catalonia's population is quite a bit bigger than even the whole of Ireland's. Northern Ireland isn't most of ireland, it isn't even all of historical Ulster. It's as if the Canary Islands, with a team made up of players from the likes of Salamanca, Malaga, Xerez and Las Palmas, went to England in 1966 and beat the hosts, and you'd not call that one of the biggest shocks of all time?

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:30 pm

Perhaps the more pertinent question is, what upsets in 2010 could rank with some of the best? if Honduras beat Spain? If DPRK beat Brazil? How about if DPRK beat Brazil 6-0? No one would believe it hadn't been fixed.

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby nzfooty » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:11 am

The point about Catalonia was not the best. Just trying to say that places with relatively small populations can produce a lot of talent if the circumstances are right.

Not sure the argument about 1966 England team being beaten is a valid one here given that as we all know they where World Cup winners in 1966 while Spain just squeezed through to the second round in 1982 where they were eliminated. And the 1982 event was only their second WC since 1966. So we are not talking about equals in that hypothetical scenario.

I do realise that Spain have been more successful on the international stage (though 64 Euro came eighteen years before the World Cup in question) and that they were expected to beat N Ireland. But by the beginning the 1980s they were not the power they are now and while they did do well in 1984 that of course took place *after* the N Ireland match.

I have never argued that the result wasn't a surprise but have questioned the magnitude of the victory when compared to the results involving the USA and N Korean teams from earlier decades - or even the Algeria team from 1982 given that they had beaten the European champions at that tournament (W Germany).

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:26 am

Probably should've had Algeria on the list, although them beating West Germany doesn't really have anything that USA-England or DPRK-Italy doesn't already have years earlier. Northern Ireland beat the hosts. It's not easy to find a World Cup hosted by a major team where the hosts didn't do well, which is why Spain 82 is such an anomaly. If they hadn't lost to the Irish they might well have made the semis and honour would've been preserved (which it wasn't).

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby nzfooty » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:31 am

Reuters Top 10 World Cup shocks

They rate the Nth Ireland v Spain match quite highly. But why they think Ireland 1 Italy 0 warrants being labelled one of the shocks I simply cannot understand...


Reuters Top 10 World Cup shocks

Sun, 20 Jun 18:28:00 2010

Following New Zealand's stunning 1-1 draw with world champions Italy in their Group F match in Nelspruit on Sunday, here are Reuters' Top 10 World Cup shocks:

Sunday's game is the only drawn match included in our list.

1. North Korea 1 Italy 0

Middlesbrough, England, July 19 1966

North Korea, playing in the World Cup for the first time, were given no hope of beating an Italian team containing greats such as Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola and Gianni Rivera.

But Pak Doo-ik consigned them to the greatest World Cup shock defeat of all time with a 42nd minute goal and Italy never recovered, were eliminated and pelted by rotten fruit when they arrived back home.

North Korea led Portugal 3-0 in the quarter-final before Eusebio put an end to their romantic tale, scoring four times in a 5-3 win.

- - -

2. United States 1 England 0

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 29 1950

England, who gave soccer to the world in the 19th century, did not take part in the World Cup until it was held for the fourth time in Brazil in 1950.

England had won their opening match against Chile and were expected to crush the United States and advance to the Final Pool. However, a team containing future World Cup-winning coach Alf Ramsey, Tom Finney and Stan Mortensen lost to a 38th minute goal from Haitian-born Joe Gaetjens.

England were then beaten by Spain in their next match and eliminated.

- - -

3. Cameroon 1 Argentina 0

Milan, Italy, June 8 1990

World champions Argentina began the defence of their crown with a truly shattering 1-0 defeat by Cameroon in the opening match of Italia '90, with Francois Omam Biyik heading the only goal after 67 minutes.

Diego Maradona, skipper of the side that won the title in 1986, could do nothing to stop the loss to the Africans who ended the match with only nine men after Francois' brother Andre Kana Biyik and Benjamin Massing were sent off.

- - -

4. Senegal 1 France 0

Seoul, South Korea, May 31 2002

Twelve years after the world champions lost to an African side in the opening match in 1990, the same thing happened again when France, who were also European champions, lost to World Cup debutants Senegal.

Every Senegalese player was with a French League club, their manager Bruno Metsu was French and Papa Bouba Diop condemned France to defeat with a close-range goal after 30 minutes. France went out in the group stage without scoring.

- - -

5. West Germany 3 Hungary 2

World Cup Final, Berne, Switzerland, July 4 1954

Hungary had not lost for four years, had beaten the Germans 8-3 in the group stages and were 2-0 up after only eight minutes in the final with goals from Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor.

But the Germans were level inside 19 minutes with goals from Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn and in the pouring rain Rahn scored the winner with five minutes to play.

Hungary were dubbed the "best team never to win the World Cup" while in Germany the match became known as "The Miracle of Berne", with a film of the same name made later.

- - -

6. Uruguay 2 Brazil 1

World Cup Final, Rio de Janeiro, July 16 1950

Strictly speaking, this was not the final but it was the match that decided the winners of the Final Pool at the 1950 World Cup which Brazil fully expected to lift on home soil.

Brazil only had to draw to become world champions and were 11 minutes away from the title before calamity struck for them.

They took the lead through Friaca two minutes after halftime but goals from Juan Schiaffino and Alcide Ghiggia gave Uruguay a win that put Brazil in almost a week of national mourning.

- - -

7. Northern Ireland 1 Spain 0

Valencia, Spain, June 25 1982

Northern Ireland, in their first finals since 1958, stunned the hosts with a 1-0 win on a hot night in Valencia that sent a chill through Spain.

Gerry Armstrong is always reminded of his winner by the Northern Ireland fans and, although both teams qualified from the group, Spain never got over the defeat.

They were eliminated in the second round, winning only one of their five matches in their own tournament.

- - -

8. Algeria 2 West Germany 1

Gijon, Spain, June 16 1982

The first shock of the '82 World Cup came when Algeria beat European champions Germany on their debut at the finals.

Rabah Madjer, who scored for Porto with a backheel in the 1987 European Cup final against Bayern Munich, netted the opener and Lakhdar Belloumi the winner after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had equalised for the Germans.

Algeria were eventually denied a place in the second round after the infamous game between West Germany and Austria when both teams appeared to stop trying after the Germans took an early lead. The 1-0 scoreline suited both teams. The Germans went on to lose the final to Italy.

- - -

9. New Zealand 1 Italy 1

Nelspruit, South Africa, June 20 2010

New Zealand, 1,000-1 no-hopers to win the World Cup at the start of the tournament and ranked 78th in the world, held the world champions to a 1-1 draw with a battling performance after Shane Smeltz poked the ball home in the seventh minute.

Italy equalised in the 29th with a Vincenzo Iaquinta penalty after Daniele De Rossi's shirt was tugged but despite pressing for most of the match they could not find a winner.

- - -

10. Ireland 1 Italy 0

East Rutherford, United States, June 18 1994

Ray Houghton's high looping shot beat goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca after 12 minutes and Italy never recovered in the heat of New Jersey in the opening group match.

Ireland went out in the second round to Netherlands while Italy reached the final where they lost on penalties to Brazil.

(Editing by Jon Bramley)

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:45 pm

I'm sorry but you don't deserve to be on the list of top ten of all time unless you actually win. Next we'll see North Korea's "result" against Brazil on the list. And West Germany vs Hungary? The Hungarians had a great team, a great record and had won easily in the groups, sure. But how does the Germans winning shock anyone? They'd only just stopped trying to take over the entire world. That doesn't really fulfil my idea of an underdog. The country was devastated by war and foreign occupation, but so was Hungary. The Hungarians lost 120,000 men at Stalingrad themselves. If there had been a dodgey Russian linesman who knows what way he would've given his decisions (the referee of course was English with Welsh and Italian linesmen.) It's incongruous on the list because it's the only one that wouldn't remotely be called a shock if it happened today (or at any other time in the past 50 years). The Germans talk it up because they had to. I don't think the rest of us need to go along with it.

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby njs » Thu May 22, 2014 7:06 pm

I dunno, the Italians seemed pretty upset. 8)
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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Thu May 22, 2014 7:07 pm

Bumping this old thread and a few others as there's not much going on at the moment and several newer members might not have seen them and might want to vote. Also the World Cup wouldn't be the World Cup without endless discussions about past tournaments, it's all part of the build-up. :wink:

There's a couple of other World Cup threads that can't be bumped and might be locked, but worth looking at and maybe the mods could unlock them.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2094&p=27946#p27842

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2325&p=33337#p33337

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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby SaintsCanada » Thu May 22, 2014 7:57 pm

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27127106

20 May 2014 Last updated at 10:57 GMT
World Cup stories: Ghiggia - the 'ghost' who silenced the Maracana
By Bruce Douglas
BBC Sport, Rio de Janeiro
Sixty-four years after scoring the World Cup-winning goal for Uruguay against Brazil at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, Alcides Ghiggia remembers with absolute clarity the moment nearly 200,000 spectators fell into a deathly hush.
"There was complete silence. The crowd was frozen still . It was like they weren't even breathing," he recalls. "They couldn't even raise their voices to cheer on Brazil. That was when I realised they weren't going to do it and that we'd won."
The slicked-back hair is thinner now, the pencil-thin moustache grey. But at 87, Ghiggia, the sole survivor from that 1950 winning team, is still recognisable as the pivotal figure of arguably the greatest upset in World Cup history.
Alcides Ghiggia waves to the crowd before attending a premiere of the documentary 'Maracana' in March 2014
Few expected a Uruguay victory. Certainly, no Brazilians did. A day earlier, São Paulo's Gazeta Esportiva newspaper proclaimed: "Tomorrow we will beat Uruguay!" Rio's O Mundo printed a photo of the Brazilian squad accompanied by the caption: "These are the world champions."
After a goalless first half, one minute into the second period Brazil took the lead through Friaca. But in the 66th minute, Uruguay's Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalised after connecting with Ghiggia's cross into the box.
The goal quietened the partisan crowd. But as victory in this World Cup was determined by points, rather than knock-out phases, a draw would still have seen Brazil crowned champions.
Ghiggia, a gifted right-winger in his prime, able to dribble the ball at great speed, has told the story of what happened next thousands of times. He tells it sparingly, matter-of-factly, with no sentimental indulgence.
"I took the ball on the right," he recalls. "I dribbled past Bigode [the Brazilian left-back] and entered the box. The goalkeeper [Moacyr Barbosa] thought I was going to cross it, like with the first goal, so he left a gap between himself and the near post. I just had a second so I shot low between the keeper and the post."
The ramifications of that moment, 11 minutes from the end of the match, are still felt acutely to this day.
For Brazil the result was considered a national catastrophe. The match remains etched solemnly on the national consciousness as O Maracanaço (a Portuguese term roughly translated as 'The Maracana Blow', which became synonymous with the match). With just a touch of hyperbole, not to mention bad taste, the Brazilian writer Nelson Rodrigues referred to the defeat as "our Hiroshima".
Vilified by their fans, many of the squad slunk into retirement; others were never selected again. With the home strip, a white shirt with a blue collar, now considered jinxed, Brazil then adopted its famous yellow and green uniform. Five World Cup victories followed, but they have never fully erased the trauma of that defeat.
Barbosa, the Brazilian goalkeeper, never got over it. His miscalculation made him the obvious scapegoat. Despite a long career with the Rio de Janeiro club Vasco, he only played once more for the national team. Colleagues shunned him. After he was barred from visiting the Brazilian squad ahead of the 1994 World Cup, he told reporters, "In Brazil, the maximum penalty for a crime is 30 years; I've spent 44 years paying for a crime I didn't even commit."
Alcides Ghiggia pictured at his home in Las Piedras, Uruguay
Ghiggia says he thinks Barbosa was blamed unfairly. "I spoke to him years after the World Cup. I told him football is 11 men against 11 men. Goalkeepers are always under-appreciated. You can play well the whole match, but you let in a goal and they blame you. My marker didn't stop me, why didn't they blame him? Barbosa died [in 2000] with the ingratitude of the Brazilian people."
No match in Brazil's football history has been as analysed as the Maracanaço . Every 16 July is a time of reflection and introspection. Last year, the 63rd anniversary was marked with the publication of "Dossier '50", yet another contribution to the publishing empire built on critiques of the defeat.
A line drawing of Alcides Ghiggia as a 24-year-old, signed by all the members of the Uruguayan squad
Ghiggia has remarked previously that "sometimes I feel like I am Brazil's ghost. I'm always there in their memories."
Yet, given the pain he inflicted, the country's citizens seemingly bear him no ill-feeling. "They are always very affectionate towards me. Despite all that happened, people in Brazil still recognise me, they still come to talk to me about it. Recently, I was in Bahia for the World Cup draw and everyone treated me well."
Ghiggia travelled there from his home in the small city of Las Piedras, about an hour north of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.
Between two of its central streets, down a narrow whitewashed alley, the World Cup winner lives in a modest semi-detached bungalow, with his 40-year-old wife, Beatriz, and their large German shepherd dog.
On the walls of the front room hang the many trophies he collected in a career spanning 24 years, six clubs, and two countries. Above the fireplace is a line drawing of the player in profile, aged 24, signed by all the members of the Uruguayan squad. Opposite, an oil painting of the Maracana, as seen from above, on 16 July 1950, the day of their famous victory.
For Ghiggia, who scored in each of the four matches he played in that World Cup, the overriding memory is one of joy. "I remember the happiness that we felt. That's what I remember the most. The satisfaction of beating the whole world."
The celebrations, by today's standards, were modest. "We looked for the team treasurer but we couldn't find him, so we had a whip round among the players and bought some sandwiches and a beer. Then we went to the dormitory to celebrate." It was Uruguay's second, and last, World Cup victory.
Ghiggia remained in the Uruguayan squad for the next two years, but never added to his tally of international goals. In 1952 he left the Uruguayan side Penarol to become one of the first South American players to move to Europe, spending eight years at AS Roma in Italy.
In 200 league games Ghiggia scored 19 goals, though Roma never finished higher than third in Serie A during his time there. He became a naturalised Italian citizen in 1957, which made him eligible to play for the national side. The following year he was selected to play for Italy in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup; he scored one goal in five appearances, but it was the only time the Azzurri failed to qualify.
Ghiggia the history man
In 1950 Ghiggia became one of only two players - the other to date being Brazilian legend Jairzinho, in 1970 - to score in every game of a World Cup

Did he feel divided loyalties playing for two different countries? "It was difficult, but I was also very proud. Of course my Italian inheritance qualified me, but it was something very special for them to select someone who had been born and brought up in another country."
After a short spell with AC Milan, Ghiggia returned to Uruguay in 1963, where he played six seasons for Danubio, before retiring in 1968, just days before his 42nd birthday.
Following their retirement from football, all the members of Uruguay's World Cup-winning team were given jobs by the government. Ghiggia's was to ensure gamblers did not try to cheat the Casino Montevideo. On leaving that post, in 1992, he was entitled to a state pension of around $700 a month.
To make ends meet, he moved from Montevideo to Las Piedras. He even sold his World Cup winner's medal, but a Brazilian-Uruguayan business magnate bought it and returned it to him. He supplemented his income giving occasional driving lessons. Beatriz, his third wife, was his first student.
Alcides Ghiggia is paraded around the pitch before a Uruguay World Cup qualifier in November 2013
Ghiggia's World Cup exploits did not make him rich, but he will be forever revered. His image adorned a special postage stamp on his 80th birthday with the words 'Ghiggia nos hizo llorar' ('Ghiggia moved us to tears'), and a mould of his feet lies alongside Pele, Eusebio and Franz Beckenbauer at the Maracana's walk of fame.
Brazil will play host to a very different World Cup this time, Ghiggia believes. "Before, football was more of a spectacle. It was friendlier, more beautiful. Now football is about business. There's a lot of money in the game. That's why football has changed so much."
But with Uruguay and Italy in the same World Cup group, alongside England and Costa Rica, he will have a keen eye on events.
Ghiggia expects Uruguay and England to qualify - "Italy are not so good at the moment" - but despite a high regard for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Paris St-Germain forward Edinson Cavani, elsewhere he thinks the Uruguay squad is due an overhaul. "They will have to refresh the team," he adds. "There are a few of them who have been playing for years and they shouldn't be there anymore."
Maybe they are holding on for their own shot at World Cup immortality, their own moment to silence those who have dismissed their chances. Ghiggia, the great survivor, could tell them a thing or two about that.
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Re: Biggest upset in World Cup history

Postby eujin » Fri May 23, 2014 7:38 pm

Good stuff. It's interesting with Ghiggia going on to play for Italy, that another famous goalscorer from the 1950 World Cup, Joe Gaetjens, who scored the winner for the US against England, never actually became a US citizen and was more German than American.


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