Biggest World Cup upsets, ranked: Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia in the top five, with France’s 2002 loss No.1

The World Cup is already underway, but the fun doesn’t really start until we’ve been treated to our first surprise of the tournament. It’s safe to say that after Tuesday’s shock result which saw Saudi Arabia beat Lionel Messi and one of the tournament favorites, Argentina, the madness began. We don’t want to be prisoners of the moment, but neither do we want to diminish the magnitude of this shock result. The World Cup is nearly 100 years old and we’ve seen quite a few stunning results over the years, so let’s pick our top five upsets to see where Argentina’s defeat compares to the rest.

And while you’re at it, subscribe to our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including daily World Cup updates, here.

1. Senegal 1-0 France in 2002

It was the tournament opener in Japan and South Korea. France had just won the 1998 World Cup on home soil. They had Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane in their prime against a Senegal side who had never reached the World Cup before this game. Papa Bouba Diop, who sadly passed away in 2020, scored the winning goal, took his shirt off and put it on the ground near the corner flag before his teammates joined him for a dance. It was one of the most iconic moments in the history of this tournament as the Senegalese reached the quarter-finals on their first appearance.

2. Cameroon 1-0 Argentina in 1990

Who can forget what Roger Milla and the Indomitable Lions achieved in Italy. Their Cinderella run to the quarter-finals was a first for any African nation. And yet, to date, no African team has ever reached the semi-finals. Francois Omam-Biyik scored the winner to topple the defending 1986 champions.

3. North Korea 1-0 Italy in 1966

The Italians already had two World Cup titles to their name and the North Koreans were making their first appearance. Pak Doo-Ik scored the game’s only goal to pull off the upset. In the same tournament, the North Koreans came close to pulling off another feat, taking a 3-0 lead over Eusebio’s Portugal in the round of 16 before remarkably squandering their lead by conceding five goals to pull out of the tournament at Liverpool. .

4. Saudi Arabia 2-1 Argentina in 2022

What can you say about the Saudis here. A defensive masterclass from the baseline with countless offside traps and goalkeeper, Mohammed Al Owais, who did everything in his power to keep his side in position to pull off an incredible upset. Argentina saw their unbeaten run which lasted 36 games since 2019 come to an end. Will this be a sign of things to come in Messi’s last hurray or will the Albiceleste bounce back and finish the group with six points?

5. Switzerland 1-0 Spain in 2010

Normally one European team beating another European team shouldn’t be enough to crack the list, but this is just a testament to the magnificence of the Spanish team before, during and after this tournament. In a 52nd-minute breakaway, Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok beat Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Gelson Fernandes, a Cape Verde-born defensive midfielder, came out of the scrum to score the game’s only goal . Spain are the only team to have lost their opening World Cup match and won the title while the Swiss failed to make it out of their group.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *