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Biggest Shock Upsets in International Soccer History

  • Post category:Football
  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post last modified:March 18, 2024

Soccer is without a doubt the biggest and most popular sport in the world and although club football gets all the attention most of the season, there’s nothing quite like a major tournament.

Competitions such as the World Cup, UEFA Euros, and the Africa Cup of Nations draw in hundreds of millions of viewers and billions of dollars of bets. You can find the latest soccer betting odds online, but in this article, we’ll be talking about the biggest shock upsets.

While there are always favorites in every tournament, results can often be harder to predict. At international tournaments, it’s much more than just which team has the best players. Sometimes, a team simply has more desire to win the game, and in these cases, they can upset the odds.

England vs Iceland 2016

England has the oldest soccer association in the world and is one of the most respected international teams. Despite this, the country has often floundered at tournaments, never lifting a major trophy since their World Cup win back in 1966.

At the 2016 Euros, England had a great chance to progress in the tournament when they entered the knockout rounds and faced Iceland, a country with a population of less than half a million people.

Shockingly, England failed to beat the marauding Icelandic team, falling to a 2-1 defeat that saw them knocked out of the competition.

England’s only goal came from a Wayne Rooney penalty, and it proved to be the end of head coach Roy Hodgson’s tenure in charge as he resigned following the defeat.

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South Korea vs Italy 2002

Italy were one of the teams to beat at the World Cup in 2002 but they came undone when they faced plucky underdogs South Korea.

As co-hosts of the tournament, you could say that the Koreans had a slight advantage going into the game, but few experts could predict what happened next. Despite going ahead in this last 16 tie, Italy failed to capitalize and conceded two goals to lose the match 2-1.

After missing an early penalty, South Korea went behind but pulled a goal back late on to go to extra time. The penalty kick taker, Ahn Jung-hwan then made up for his miss by scoring the golden goal, sending his team through to the next round.

However, there was some controversy over the result, with some claiming South Korea received favorable treatment from the referees.

Germany vs Brazil 2014

Probably one of the most famous World Cup soccer results of all time, this is one that every Brazilian fan will want to erase from their memory. In 2014, Brazil were the World Cup hosts and almost every expert picked them to be the eventual champions.

They had a brilliant squad although they had lost their talisman and captain Neymar to injury. Germany would always be a tough game in the semi-finals, but on home turf, they had the advantage.

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Germany didn’t just beat Brazil, they humiliated them scoring goals for fun with a score of 5-0 after halftime. The game ended 7-1, with Brazil’s single consolation goal coming at the very end of the match after Germany had taken their foot off the gas. The defeat remains the heaviest suffered by Brazil in soccer and led to riots in the streets by disgruntled fans.

Germany vs South Korea 2018

Making our list for the second time, the Taeguk Warriors are clearly not to be underestimated. In 2018, Germany were still considered one of the top international soccer sides, but they were sent home from the World Cup in the group stages after they were beaten 2-0 by South Korea.

The game involved a series of calamitous performances from some of Germany’s top players, as well as brilliant talent and hard work from the South Korean squad. As for German fans, they were disappointed though no doubt relieved to see the back of Joachim Low.

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Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart.