Great World Cup shocks

2014-07-09 10:21

Belo Horizonte - Review the biggest World Cup shocks in history after Germany's 7-1 rout of hosts Brazil in Tuesday's semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

United States 1 England 0 (1950)

England arrived at their first World Cup finals appearance hailed as potential winners having lost just four times in 30 matches. Faced with a team of part-timers, England selectors rested star player Stanley Matthews. It proved to be a fatal error as with substitutes not yet permitted Matthews sat helplessly on the sidelines and a goal by Haiti-born Joe Gaetjens, who earned his keep as a dishwasher upper in a restaurant, secured the Americans a 1-0 win.

Uruguay 2 Brazil 1 (1950)

The game that came to be known as the 'Maracanazo' but may be seen as less of a traumatic defeat now after Tuesday's hammering. Hosts Brazil were drawing 1-1 and under the old format were just 10 minutes from winning their first World Cup in the Maracana. However, their hopes and that of a nation were dashed as Alcides Ghiggia lashed in a shot to make it 2-1. Despite there being 200,000 fans packed into the stadium Ghiggia, who is now 87 and the only member of the two teams still alive, told AFP the crowd were reduced to a 'great stunning silence'.

North Korea 1 Italy 0 (1966)

Pak Do-Ik entered World Cup folklore by striking the only goal of the game to secure the hermit Stalinist state a remarkable 1-0 victory over Italy in a group match in the unglamorous setting of Middlesbrough in north-eastern England. It did not presage a golden era in football for North Korea as they had to wait till 2010 for their next appearance at the finals. However, for Pak it opened up a whole new world. "I learnt that playing football can improve diplomatic relations and promote peace," he said when he made an emotional return to Middlesbrough in 2002. North Korea went on to lose 5-3 to Portugal in the quarter-finals.

East Germany 1 West Germany 0 (1974)

One of the most politically charged matches in World Cup history, with the Cold War raging and intense rivalry between the two states reaching a peak as West Germany hosted the tournament. The two -- divided since World War II -- fought constantly for supremacy in the sporting arena but this was the most high profile meeting. West Germany were packed with household names but the East Germans arrived boosted by Magdeburg's Cup Winners Cup victory. Striker Jurgen Sparwasser scored the only goal of the game and provoked wild celebrations back in the communist state. West Germany, though, were to have the last laugh as they went on to win the trophy while East Germany bowed out in the next round.

Algeria 2 West Germany 1 (1982)

The North Africans were appearing in their first World Cup finals and were given little chance against the reigning European champions in the clash in Spain. The German players thought it was done and dusted. "One player even said that he would play against us with a cigar in his mouth," Algeria's full-back Chaabane Merzekane told The Guardian later. The over confidence of the Germans came back to haunt them as the Algerians prevailed 2-1 with Rabah Madjer opening the scoring nine minutes into the second-half. The Germans pulled level through Karl-Heinz Rummenigge only for a stunning move by the Algerians to culminate in the decisive goal by Lakhdar Belloumi.

Cameroon 1 Argentina 0 (1990)

Argentina as defending champions opened the 1990 tournament in Italy against a Cameroon side that had few recognised stars. However, Francois Omam-Biyik's headed goal, helped by an awful goalkeeping error by Nery Pumpido, gave them an astonishing 1-0 win in a game that their raw tackling saw them reduced to nine men. "We hate it when European reporters ask us if we eat monkeys and have a witch doctor. We are real football players and we proved this tonight," said Biyik. Cameroon exited the tournament in the quarter-finals, heads held high and one of the few bright spots of the finals.

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