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FIFA World Cup: The Greatest Upsets

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FIFA World Cup: The Greatest Upsets

Upsets.  One of the many reasons why the FIFA World Cup is the greatest sporting event on the globe.  However, it wasn't until the fourth ever World Cup that the first upset occured. 

Here is my list of the top 10 biggest and greatest upsets in World Cup History.

10. Senegal 1 - France 0 (2002) Senegal, playing in its first ever World Cup, defeated the overconfident French squad in the tournament opener.  France had won the previous World Cup.  Goal Scorers: Papa Bouba Diop (SEN) 30'

9. Cuba 2 - Romania 1 (1938) Cuba wasn't even supposed to be in the World Cup until Mexico withdrew from the tournament.  The Cuban squad wasn't predicted to even score a goal, yet they prooved the critics wrong by pulling off a massive upset over Romania.  The two squads met earlier in the tournament playing to a 3-3 draw.  Goal Scorers: Stefan Dobay (ROM) 35' Hector Socorro (CUB) 51' Carlos Oliveira (CUB) 57'

8. Northern Ireland 1 - Spain 0 (1982) Northern Ireland barely hung onto their one goal lead over Spain despite playing a man down in the last half hour of the match.  Northern Ireland never lost a match in the first round that year.  Goal Scorers: Gerry Armstrong (NI) 47'

7. Bulgaria 2 - Germany 1 (1994) The German squad seemed to be on its way to reaching its fourth consecutive World Cup final when they met Bulgaria in the quarter-finals.  Germany scored the first goal of the match via penalty kick early on in the second half, but Bulgaria answered the Germans by scoring back to back goals late in the match.  Goal Scorers: Lothar Matthaus (GER) 47' Hristo Stoichkov (BUL) 75' Yordan Letchkov (BUL) 78'

6. Algeria 2 - West Germany 1 (1982) Algeria was competing in its first ever World Cup and were listed as having a 1000-1 shot at winning the whole thing, while the West Germans were the favourites with a 3-1 shot. Goal Scorers: Rabah Madjer (ALG) 54' Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (WG) 67' Lakhdar Belloumi (ALG) 68'

5. East Germany 1 - West Germany 0 (1974) The East Germans barely managed to squeak out a win against the heavily favoured West German team in this politically charged thrilller.  West Germany and Franz Beckenbauer went on to win the World Cup that year.  Goal Scorers: Jurgen Sparwasser (EG) 77'

4. Korea Republic 2 - Italy 1 (2002) If you don't believe in home field advantage watch this game, you'll be sure to change your tune.  The host Koreans managed to pull off a massive upset in extra time against the Italian powerhouse, eliminating them from the World Cup. Goal Scorers:  Christian Vieri (ITA) 18' Seol Ki-Hyeon (KOR) 88' Ahn Jung-Hwan (KOR) 117' - Golden Goal

3. Cameroon 1 - Argentina 0 (1990) Cameroon was able to defeat the defending World Cup champions Argentina, who were the favourites to win again in 1990.  Despite finishing the game with only 9 players and having to face Diego Maradona, Cameroon was able to hold onto its lead. Cameroon carried the momentum from the big win and became the first African nation to reach the quarterfinals.  Goal Scorers: Francois Omam-Biyik (CAM) 67'

2. Korea DPR 1 - Italy 0 (1966) Pak Doo Ik is a name that will always be remembered in both North Korea and in Italy as he scored the game winning goal in what I consider to be the second biggest upset in World Cup history as Korea DPR defeated one of the favourites to hoist the World Cup trophy.  Goal Scorers: Pak Doo Ik (PRK) 42'

1. USA 1 - England 0 (1950) It was dubbed the, "Miracle on Turf".  The United States had lost seven straight international matches by a combined score of 45-2 coming into this one, so you can easily see why they would have been considered the underdogs.  However, the English players were a little to0 cocky for their own good.  But this was America's only win at the World Cup that year, but who cares.  Goal Scorers: Joe Gaetjens (USA) 38'

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