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A Retrospective on the Greatest World Cup Upsets of All Time

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The World Cup is the pinnacle of international football. It's a quadrennial celebration of the world's most popular sport. It is a tournament that has seen its fair share of upsets over the years, with smaller nations taking down footballing giants and causing shockwaves around the world. In this article, we will take a retrospective look at some of the greatest World Cup upsets of all time.

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

USA 2-1 England (1950)

This match, which took place in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, is widely considered one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. The United States, who were not even considered a footballing nation at the time, shocked the world by defeating England, who were one of the favourites to win the tournament. The match, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the US, is still remembered as "The Game of the Century."

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

North Korea 1-0 Italy (1966)

In the 1966 tournament, North Korea pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by defeating Italy, one of the giants of international soccer. The match, which took place in England, ended in a 1-0 victory for North Korea, with Pak Doo-ik scoring the decisive goal. The result sent shockwaves around the world, and it is still remembered as one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history.

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

Senegal 1-0 France (2002)

In the 2002 tournament, Senegal caused one of the biggest upsets in recent memory by defeating France, the reigning world champions. The match, which took place in South Korea, ended in a 1-0 victory for Senegal, with Papa Bouba Diop scoring the decisive goal. The result was a huge shock, as France were one of the favorites to win the tournament, and Senegal had never before qualified for the World Cup.

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

South Korea 2-1 Italy (2002)

In the same World Cup, South Korea pulled off another major upset by defeating Italy, another one of the favorites to win the tournament. The match, which took place in the round of 16, ended in a 2-1 victory for South Korea, with Ahn Jung-hwan scoring the decisive goal. The result was a huge shock, and it sent South Korea through to the quarter-finals, where they were eventually eliminated by Germany.

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

Iceland 1-1 Argentina (2018)

In the 2018 tournament, Iceland pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory by drawing 1-1 with Argentina, one of the favourites to win the tournament. The match, which took place in Russia, saw Iceland hold Argentina to a draw, with Alfred Finnbogason scoring the equalizing goal. The result was a huge shock, and it sent Iceland through to the round of 16 where they were eventually eliminated by Croatia.

a-retrospective-on-the-greatest-world-cup-upsets-of-all-time

Saudi Arabia 2 - 1 Argentina (2022)

Saudi Arabia caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history in 2022 when they defeated Argentina 2-1 in a stunning result. The match, which took place in Qatar, saw Argentina take the lead through a Lionel Messi penalty before second half goals from Al-Shehri and Al Dawsari sent Saudi Arabian fans into pandemonium. The result sent shockwaves around the world as Argentina were one of the heavyweights of international football; they eventually went on to win the tournament. It is a result that will go down in history as one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history.

These are just a few examples of the greatest World Cup upsets of all time. The beauty of the World Cup is that it is a tournament that is wide open, and anything can happen on the pitch. It is a reminder that, in soccer, anything is possible.