Other Sport

5 of the biggest shocks in sport history

2016-06-28 10:33
jesse kriel, japan
Jesse Kriel from the Springboks stunned after Japan loss (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Iceland’s shock victory over England on Monday in the last 16 of Euro 2016 - a result that has stunned the entire footballing world - joined the list of the biggest upsets in sport history.

England, ranked 11th, went into the European tournament as one of the favourites, but failed to make it past the quarter-finals as they were outclassed by Iceland, a team ranked 30th.

Here are five of the biggest shocks in sport history:

Mike Tyson knocked out by Buster Douglas

In 1990 Mike Tyson was in his prime, a 100 percent record from 37 fights with 33 of them coming by way of knockout. So when Tyson took on James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo, the odds were heavily stacked in Tyson's favour. Tyson started off steady, but in the eighth round Douglas landed an uppercut which exposed Tyson’s vulnerability. Two rounds later Tyson was knocked out cold and then rest is history...

North Korea 1 Italy 0 - Soccer World Cup 1966

North Korea already surprised by qualifying for the 1966 World Cup in England, but when they came up against Italy, one of the more illustrious sides in the sport, the result was expected (or was it?). Pak Doo-Ik, who became a football legend back home, scored the only goal that sealed Italy's fate, knocking them out the tournament and helping North Korea to progress to the quarter-finals. The North Koreans almost dished out another upset in the knock-out phase, eventually losing 5-3 to Portugal, after leading 3-0.

Senegal 1 France 0 - Soccer World Cup 2002

Senegal defeated France, who were the reigning World Cup holders, in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup in Seoul. Although the French team were without Zinedine Zidane, the African country’s surprise 1-0 win over the then-second ranked team, ultimately saw the defending champions eliminated at the group stage.

Bangladesh’s victory over Australia

While today Bangladesh are a cricket team to be wary of, back in 2005 they were fortunate enough to even play in a tri-series against two world-class teams - Australia and England. In the second one-day international (ODI) in Cardiff, Bangladesh stunned the world No 1 team (Australia) beating them by five wickets after chasing 250 for victory. Australia's Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Glenn McGrath couldn't tame the Tigers and the match went down in the annals as one of the biggest upsets in cricket.

Japan 34 Springboks 32 - Rugby World Cup 2015

It’s a defeat the Springboks - nor their fans - will never forget as they were left stunned after their group stage defeat to Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. Heading into the match, the odds of a Japanese victory stood at 40/1, with the 1995 and 2007 World Cup-winning Boks looking to get their campaign off to a winning start. However ... Karne Hesketh scored a late try as Eddie Jones' side pulled off a stunning upset in Brighton.

Can you think of any other sporting shocks? Mail us at mysport@sport24.co.za with your suggestions.

Read more on:    sport


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.