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Five great football shocks

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Nice, France | AFP |

Iceland’s 2-1 victory over England in the last 16 of Euro 2016 on Monday was one of the biggest upsets in the history of world football. Here are five other shocks:

USA 1 England 0 – 1950 World Cup

Some of the US team had only recently arrived in the United States and most of the side at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil were part-timers — goalkeeper Frank Borghi, who saved a penalty, drove a hearse at his uncle’s funeral parlour. In the 37th minute of the game in Belo Horizonte, England goalkeeper Bert Williams saved one shot but Joe Gaetjens somehow pushed the rebound into the net. The United States held on for a 1-0 win and the rest is history that has even been made into a movie, “The Game of Their Lives”.

North Korea 1 Italy 0 – 1966 World Cup

At the height of the Cold War, North Korea had already created one shock by qualifying for the 1966 World Cup in England. Italy were one of the most illustrious sides in the sport’s history. In their final group game, Pak Doo-Ik became a football legend by scoring the goal that knocked Italy out of the tournament and put North Korea into the quarter-finals. The Koreans went on to take a 3-0 lead over Portugal in the quarter-finals before Eusebio scored four goals in Portugal’s 5-3 win.

Uruguay 2 Brazil 1 – 1950 World Cup

In the decisive match of the 1950 World Cup, played in a round-robin format on Brazilian soil, a richly talented Brazil side were widely expected to win the trophy for the first time and only needed a draw to do so. But in front of a crowd of almost 200,000 in the Maracana, Brazil were beaten 2-1 by unfancied South American rivals Uruguay. The match was dubbed the “Maracanazo”, which roughly translates as “The Maracana Blow”.

Senegal 1 France 0 – 2002 World Cup

France arrived in South Korea as World Cup holders but were stunned 1-0 by Senegal in the opening match in Seoul. The French badly missed the injured Zinedine Zidane and Papa Bouba Diop’s goal upstaged the rest of their cast of stars in a match that set the tone for a wretched tournament for Les Bleus who exited at the group stage.

Germany 7 Brazil 1 – 2014 World Cup

Brazil spent billions hosting the World Cup but their dream of winning back the global crown on home soil was snuffed out in humiliating fashion by eventual winners Germany. Brazil were weakened by the absence of Neymar, but no-one foresaw the thrashing that lay in wait. Amid a calamitous defensive performance by Brazil’s David Luiz, Thomas Mueller scored first, then Miroslav Klose made it 2-0. Within 179 seconds, Toni Kroos had scored twice more and then Sami Khedira had added a fifth. Andre Schuerrle rounded it off with two more goals. Oscar’s goal was meaningless. Brazilian fans sobbed in the stands.

One comment

  1. I find the categorisation of the england Vs Iceland match in the top 5 “shocks” rather ironic!

    For starters, england have never been and will never be a great “footballing” nation. If it hadn’t been for their loud mouth media (print & electronic), no body would’ve recognised them.

    I stand to be corrected but apart from “the stollen” 1966 World Cup, which major tournament has england ever won?

    If being over hyped makes “you” great then Wayne Rooney and George Best are the greatest footballers to ever grace football as a sport and Mo Farah is the greatest athlete to walk the earth as is Andy Murray being the greatest tennis player.

    Just as it is for Uganda, england qualifying for such big tournaments is an over achievement.

    By falling to Iceland, england fell to their more organised, determined, thirsty for glory peers/equals.

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