The World Cup has presented extraordinary matches since it was first held in 1930. This is a tournament that can surprise in its outcome.
Indeed, there are teams that are favored to be able to win matches, but the dark horse teams also sometimes manage to show extraordinary performances and achieve surprising wins.
In this article, we take a look at the 16 most shocking results in World Cup history.
Germany v Japan: Group E – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages
Germany dominated the game in the first half and scored through Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty. Results lasted until half the first round.
In the second half, Germany continued to put pressure on the Japanese defense. The game changed after Japan made a substitution. The two players who entered the field managed to score two winning goals.
Korea Republic v Germany: Group F – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages
Germany needs a win to qualify for the last 16 after winning only four points in the previous two matches. Meanwhile, South Korea has certainly not escaped.
As predicted, Germany played on the attack and repeatedly terrorized the South Korean goal guarded by Cho Hyun-woo, but nothing worked.
When it looked like the match would end 0-0, Korea counterattacked, and finally scored against Manuel Neuer in the 92nd minute through Kim Young-gwon. Tottenham star Son Heung-min added to Germany’s misery after scoring Korea’s second goal in the 96th minute.
Germany not only failed to qualify for the last 16, but they are also in last place in Group F behind Sweden, Mexico and South Korea.
WORLD CUP-1950-BRAZIL-TEAM / STAFF/GettyImages
Brazil was the favorite national team to win the 1950 World Cup tournament. They were a team that was able to appear sharp and often won big wins throughout the tournament.
But with the group format in the finals, the number of goals scored is not more important than the number of points accumulated by the team. It was successfully exploited by Uruguay, which is also in the finals.
Uruguay and Brazil meet in the final match to determine who has the right to take first place. In that match, Uruguay managed to surprise the whole world by winning 2-1 over Brazil.
Switzerland won against Spain in the 2010 World Cup / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages
Spain is the seed to win the 2010 World Cup, having previously won Euro 2008. But in their first game, they got disappointing results.
Spain faced Switzerland in their first game in the 2010 World Cup. They failed to show good performance until they lost with a score of 0-1.
Fortunately, Spain managed to get up after that, and was able to win victory after victory until it won the tournament.
Spain v Netherlands: Group B – 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil / Jeff Gross/GettyImages
After winning the previous World Cup, of course Spain is back to being the seed at the 2014 World Cup. The Netherlands on the other hand is still a strong team, but they are not seen as equal in strength to Spain.
The match went on, and the Netherlands were surprisingly able to give a very good performance, and their attacks were able to sting sharply.
The match ended in a 5-1 win for the Netherlands, and it was an embarrassing moment for Spain.
The FIFA World Cup / National Historical Photo Library./GettyImages
West Germany does have a great history at the World Cup, but at the 1954 World Cup Hungary was a scary team. They are a team that has one of the best attackers of all time Ferenc Puskas.
Ahead of the match, Hungary was the superior team, but West Germany was surprisingly able to show a very good performance.
West Germany managed to win with a score of 3-2, and this result was certainly not expected by many spectators of that year’s World Cup.
Scottish supporters sing and support Scotland during a World Cup match in Argentina / Getty Images/GettyImages
Scotland is indeed a team that is no stranger to the World Cup, but the Netherlands were finalists in the previous edition of the tournament, so they are clearly the favorites to win this match.
Unfortunately, the Netherlands failed to deliver an inspiring performance against Scotland and lost 3-2.
This is of course a surprising defeat for the Netherlands, because on paper their team is more star-studded than Scotland.
FBL-WC-1974-GDR-FRG / -/GettyImages
It was a game that should have been unequal, with West Germany being one of the best teams in the world. They are a team strengthened by legends such as Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller.
However, East Germany was the team that played better in this match, and managed to win with a score of 1-0.
Luckily for West Germany, this defeat did not affect their mentality, and they still managed to win the 1974 World Cup tournament.
FBL-WC-2022-SPAIN-LOGO / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages
Spain is certainly the favored team to win in the game against Northern Ireland. They are a team with many star players, including Jose Antonio Camacho.
But in this match, Spain couldn’t prove that they were the better team, and had to lose with a score of 0-1.
In the end, Spain did not manage to secure first place in their group, and had to settle for second.
Ahn jung-hwan became South Korea’s hero against Italy in the 2002 World Cup / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages
South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup, and this is a tournament known for its controversy over refereeing.
One of the controversial matches was when South Korea faced Italy, where the referee was considered by most to favor the home team.
South Korea eventually won with a score of 2-1, and they eventually made it to the semifinals.
Argentina v Saudi Arabia: Group C – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / Matthias Hangst/GettyImages
The 2022 World Cup has only been rolling for a few days, but there are already very surprising match results. Argentina, reinforced by Lionel Messi, had to swallow a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia.
Argentina took the lead through Messi’s penalty, but Saudi Arabia showed excellent defense and counterattacked quickly.
The team from Asia finally managed to get two goals, and make Argentina bow at the end of the match.
Argentina v Cameroon – FIFA World Cup Italy Group B / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages
Argentina just won the 1986 World Cup tournament, so it’s only natural that they are very favored to beat Cameroon. But in fact, it was the African team that managed to achieve a surprising victory.
Argentina failed to penetrate Cameroon’s defense, despite having star players like Diego Maradona and Abel Balbo.
Overall Cameroon performed well in the 1990 World Cup, and made it to the quarter-finals.
England v USA / Keystone/GettyImages
England is a country that has a much bigger football history than the United States. Therefore, they are the favorite team to win this match.
Unfortunately, England were unable to provide a performance commensurate with their big names. England lost with a score of 1-0 which surprised many parties.
England was only able to collect two points in the group stage and had to settle for being in second place.
The FIFA World Cup 2002 / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages
France is a team that has a row of star players. Even though they couldn’t play Zinedine Zidane in this match, France was still very favored to win.
Senegal was having their golden generation at that time, and managed to surprise France with their good performance.
In the end France lost with a score of 0-1 and failed to qualify from the group stage.
North Korean national soccer team players celebrat / STAFF/GettyImages
North Korea had never qualified for the World Cup before 1966, while Italy had won the tournament twice.
This fact makes Italy the favorite to win a convincing victory in this match. But in fact North Korea performed well and managed to win with a score of 0-1.
Due to this defeat, Italy failed to progress from the group stage, and it was an embarrassing result for them.
Brazil v Germany: Semi Final – 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil / Buda Mendes/GettyImages
Brazil and Germany are teams on the same level, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Germany managed to win. But with a score of 1-7? That is a different matter.
Germany literally broke the hearts of the crowd in the stadium by scoring goal after goal in such a short space of time in the first half.
It was as if Brazil couldn’t believe what was happening on the field, and that defeat still has a strong impression to this day.