Looking at the Biggest FIFA World Cup Upsets in History

Looking at the Biggest FIFA World Cup Upsets in History originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 FIFA World Cup just keeps surprising us.

After Saudi Arabia’s incredible upset win over Argentina on Tuesday, Japan delivered another shocker by defeating Germany on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia’s comeback 2-1 win was quickly categorized as one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. Japan similarly rallied with two second-half goals to beat Germany one day later.

Outside of Argentina and Germany’s stunning losses this week, here’s a look at five of the other biggest upsets in World Cup history:

2002: Senegal 1, France 0

Fresh off a World Cup victory in 1998, France’s title-defense was quickly thwarted. In the opening match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, France lost 1-0 to Senegal in a thrilling contest. Bouba Diop scored for Senegal in the 30th minute, while goalkeeper Tony Sylva held off the dominant duo of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira. France was eliminated in the group stage.

1990: Cameroon 1, Argentina 0

Another defending champion went down in their opening match in 1990. Similar to 2022, Argentina entered their first game in 1990 as a heavy favorite before coming up short. Cameroon ended up winning the group, while Argentina narrowly advanced after finishing in third place. Diego Maradona’s squad turned it around and made the final before losing to West Germany.

1982: Algeria 2, West Germany 1

World Cup debutant Algeria defeated two-time champions West Germany in the Opening Match of the 1982 World Cup. Algeria took the lead in the 54th minute on a goal by Rabah Madjer. The Germans tied it in the 67th minute, but Alergia quickly regained the decisive lead one minute later. West Germany, like Argentina in 1990, lost in the final after their opening upset loss.

1966: North Korea 1, Italy 0

In their World Cup debut, North Korea upset Italy in the third and final match of group play. The game determined who would advance to the knockout stage alongside the Soviet Union, which made this upset even larger. Italy won the World Cup in 1934 and 1938, with a rich history of football in the nation. It was the fifth straight World Cup where Italy failed to reach the knockout stage after their consecutive titles.

1950: USA 1, England 0

A United States squad filled with part-time players defeating the nation that invented the game? Yeah, that’s a huge upset. This was England’s World Cup debut because they weren’t a FIFA member during the first three tournaments, but they entered as one of the favorites. Both nations failed to advance out of Group 2 after each posted a 1-2 record.