International Football: The Magic Of The Upset

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2009

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18:  Mohamed Homos #12 of Egypt scores a goal against Gianluigi Buffon #1 goalie of Italy during the FIFA Confederations Cup between Italy and Egypt, at Ellis Park Stadium on June 18, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Fans of the game were stunned today as they saw Egypt down the World Champion Italians 1-0 in the Confederations Cup. The Italians had looked shaky in the lead up with a scrambled 4-3 win over south sea minnow New Zealand. 

In their first group game they beat a reasonably organised USA side that were unlucky that one players petulance cost them a result.

This happened as Brazil beat Egypt in a thrilling game of football that gave a glimpse of the World Cup matches of yesteryear. It was 4-3 at the final whistle and the last kick of the game by Kaka won the Brazilians the day, after an Egyptian defender was seen to use his arm to block a shot.

A penalty to decide a thrilling game in which the Brazil side was in control before being stunned by two equalisers before launching an ferocious assault on the Egyptian goal late in the match and capitilising with a penalty in the last minute.

So by no means a bad side, evidently, were the Egyptians.

The win over the Italians for Egypt was built on belief and hard work and on the day they had the luck and the desire to achieve the result.  

The best thing about a result like this is that it keeps alive the belief in the heart that burns in the footballer and fan to always believe in the result and the chance it can be achieved.

Great upsets have been a feature of football throughout the history of the game.

Highly skilled Italy would have been expected to even grind out a result here based on the quality of their midfield alone. Unfortunately for them they were harried into frunstration and their luck was not with them.

Interestingly enough North Korea have qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1966 where they were also responsible for upsetting the Italians. Adopted by the Middlesbrough crowd for their enigmatic style they were a popular side for the locals and the fact their number one kit was red would have helped also.

They famously played a fast brand of attacking football and stunned everyone by playing football that rivalled the best teams in the world, after beating Italy in the group they were three goals to the good against highly fancied Portugal when one of the most famous footballers in world history, Eusebio, stepped in to score four goals and the Portuguese overpowered the North Koreans 5-3.

But again their thrilling run was an example of the amazing results that have occured and still do as people grow too complacent of form guide and team cohesion.

Many fancied the Italians for the mere reason the they were world champions and their players were more well known internationally than the Egyptians. They were sorely mistaken as they were beaten in the style that Italy made so famous over the years.

All in all a magic and tragic day for many people, but one that will remembered for many years to come.

There is nothing like a good upset.