Top 10 Shocks - Part 1

Top 10 Shocks - Part 1

10. Bulgaria 2-1 Germany, 1994 – A penalty early in the second half, dispatched by skipper Lothar Matthaus, seemed as though it would be enough to put 1990’s runners-up through to the next round. Bulgaria had different ideas though, and turned the game on its head in 3 shocking minutes when Hristo Stoitchkov (75) equalised with a stunning free kick and Yordan Letchkov (78) put the tie to bed, getting his bald head on the end of a cross from Yankov – to the astonishment of everyone involved.

9. Cameroon 1-0 Argentina, 1990 – Francois Omam-Biyick made himself an instant household name when he scored the winning goal against World Cup holders Argentina in their Group B opener in Italia 90. Goalkeeper Nery Pumpido should have saved it, but the Cameroon forward seemed to hang in the air to get on the end of a free kick and a (lucky?) flick from Makanaky. African minnows Cameroon held on for the final 20 minutes against the best team in the world to record a victory no one could have predicted.

8. South Korea 2-1 Italy, 2002 – World Cup veterans Italy thought they’d got off lightly when the draw for the second round of World Cup 2002 paired them with Guus Hiddink’s hardworking Korean outfit. From the start the action was intense, a fact supported by the number of cautions issued in addition to the dismissal of Francesco Totti. The favourites took an expected lead inside 18 minutes, which lasted until Seol Ki-Hyeon leveled in the 89th minute. With little more than 2 minutes of extra time to be played, Ahn Jung-Hwan sent the home crowd into rapture with a goal, and the underdogs had done it. No need to mention the laughable performance by the referee.

7. Scotland 3-2 Netherlands, 1978 – The Scots had to win by three clear goals, against one of the best teams in the world, if they wanted to progress out of the group stage. An early Dutch penalty made the task even tougher, but goals on either side of half time put Scotland in the driving seat and instilled some hope. Archie Gemmill bagged Scotland’s third, but the Dutch pulled another one back 4 minutes later. The Scots won the match but failed to progress to the next round. The Dutch went all the way to the final where they lost, after extra time, to hosts Argentina.

6. Senegal 1-0 France, 2002 – Reigning European and World Champions France were wholly expected to beat World Cup debutants Senegal. Considering that the best Senegalese players were already representing France, the Africans were written-off by everyone. Enter Papa Bouba Diop to spoil the party on the half hour, scoring the only goal of the game. France went on to draw their next group game against Uruguay and a 2-0 defeat by Denmark left them bottom of the group with a solitary point and no goals scored. The holders had fallen at the first fence, while Senegal progressed to the last 8.

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