2010 FIFA World Cup: 10 Biggest World Cup Wins in History
Portugal’s hopes of qualifying for the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was given a real boost with a resounding 7-0 victory against North Korea.
This was the fourth seven-goal victory and the joint third highest winning margin in World Cup history.
We look back at the biggest thrashings from World Cups past.
No. 10: Turkey 7 South Korea 0 (1954)
North Korea’s southern neighbors have also been on the wrong end of a 7-0 score line.
In its first ever World Cup, South Korea’s defense conceded seven against Turkey.
Striker Burhan Sargun scored a hat trick.
Unfortunately for South Korea, this wasn’t the worst defeat it suffered in 1954. As we shall see.
No. 9: Uruguay 7 Scotland 0 (1954)
Defending champions Uruguay showed it would not relinquish its world title easily with this humbling of World Cup debutants, Scotland.
Uruguay’s Carlos Borges opened the scoring after 17 minutes and went on to complete a hat trick.
No. 8: Poland 7 Haiti 0 (1974)
Having opened its World Cup campaign by beating Argentina, Poland proved itself as World Cup dark horses with a thrashing of Haiti.
The losing team was appearing in its first ever World Cup.
Haiti had almost caused a sensation in its opening game when it took the lead against Italy, before eventually losing 3-1.
There were no such heroics against Poland, who led by five goals at half time.
Striker Andrzej Szarmach completed his hat trick five minutes into the second half.
No. 7: Portugal 7 North Korea 0 (2010)
After North Korea's battling performance in its 2-1 opening game defeat to Brazil, not many people expected its defense to suddenly become so generous.
Especially to a Portuguese team that only managed one shot on target in its opening game against Ivory Coast.
Most of the action occurred in the second half.
Portugal led 1-0 at half-time thanks to a goal from Raul Meireles.
The floodgates opened early in the second half when Portugal scored three goals in 10 minutes.
The final glut of goals happened in the final 10 minutes and included Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his first goal for his country since February 2009.
This is the only game in our list that did not feature a hat trick.
No. 6: Sweden 8 Cuba 0 (1938)
Though this eight-goal rout happened at the quarterfinal stage of the 1938 World Cup, it was Sweden’s first match of the tournament.
The competition was played as a straight knockout and Sweden was drawn with Austria in the first round.
However, the Anschluss, when Nazi Germany annexed its neighboring country, meant the highly fancied Austria withdrew from the World Cup and Sweden received a bye to the next round.
Sweden booked its place in the semifinals against hapless Cuba, with hat tricks from Tore Keller and Gustav Wetterstrom.
No. 5: Uruguay 8 Bolivia 0 (1950)
After both Scotland and Turkey withdrew from the 1950 World Cup, only two teams remained in Group 4.
Uruguay’s convincing win in the group’s decisive and only match featured a hat trick from striker Oscar Miguez, who is his country’s all-time leading World Cup goal scorer.
Uruguay’s good form continued and the team lifted the World Cup beating host country Brazil in the decisive match.
No. 4: Germany 8 Saudi Arabia 0 (2002)
Unusually, Germany was not amongst the favorites going into the 2002 World Cup.
However, this opening game thrashing of Saudi Arabia showed the team meant business and Germany went on to reach the final, which they lost to Brazil.
German striker Miroslav Klose scored a hat trick and finished as the tournament’s joint second top scorer with a total of five goals.
No. 3: Hungary 9 South Korea 0 (1954)
We told you South Korea had worse days at the 1954 World Cup.
The 7-0 defeat at the hands of Turkey was an improvement on the Korean's previous match.
At least this 9-0 thrashing was administered by Hungary, whom most people regarded as the best team in the world at the time.
Amongst the goal scorers for the Magnificent Magyars were the legendary Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor, who scored a hat trick.
Hungary went on to reach the final, but was surprisingly beaten 3-2 by West Germany.
No. 2: Yugoslavia 9 Zaire 0 (1974)
In its first and only World Cup appearance, Zaire (now Congo DR) played a significant part in deciding the outcome of a tight Group Two.
However, with Brazil, Scotland and Yugoslavia each drawing their matches against each other, the group was won by whichever team put the most goals past Zaire.
Yugoslavia took that honor with this nine-goal rout, which featured a hat trick by Dusan Bajevic.
Scotland was the unlucky side as it only managed to score twice against the Africans and Brazil’s three was enough to qualify for the second round as runners-up.
No. 1: Hungary 10 El Salvador 1 (1982)
Hungary’s 1982 team matched the achievements of 1954’s Magnificent Magyar with this nine-goal victory over El Salvador.
A hat trick from striker Laszlo Kiss helped his team reach double figures.
However, that proved to be Hungary's only win and the team was eliminated in the first round after drawing the final group game with Belgium.