World Cup 2022

How does Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina rank in the terms of the biggest World Cup upsets

Saudi Arabia produced the most unthinkable of results by defeating Argentina and here’s how it ranks in terms of biggest World Cup upsets ever...


The World Cup witnessed one of its greatest-ever upsets this morning as Saudi Arabia stunned one of the tournament’s favorites Argentina.

The team ranked 51st in the world managed to defeat the side who are ranked 3rd in the FIFA world rankings.

Lionel Scaloni’s men had been on a staggering 36-game unbeaten run which extended over three years.

But Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari’s second-half goals stunned the world and Messi & co.

Following the first-half, Argentina led 1-0 but looked pretty uncomfortable at times with Saudi playing a very high line.

In the second half, the story changed as Hervé Renard’s side managed to come from behind and expose La Albiceleste’s defensive weaknesses.

Following Aldawsari’s epic strike, Saudi Arabia put bodies on the line to hold out for the biggest result of their lives.

Now the Saudis have produced one of the biggest World Cup shocks ever, 101 Great Goals takes a look at the other major upsets...

France 0-1 Senegal (Group stage, South Korea & Japan 2002)

One of the most memorable upsets was Senegal defeating France in the first match of the 2002 World Cup.

The French went into the tournament as defending champions whilst Senegal were debutants and one of the lowest-ranked teams.

The late Papa Bouba Diop netted the only goal of the game to stun the reigning world champions.

England 0-1 USA (Group stage, Brazil 1950)

England headed to their first-ever World Cup with expectations very high as the Three Lions were regarded as “the Kings of Football”

They had won 23 of their 30 matches post World War II and were at odds of just 3-1 to lift the trophy.

Meanwhile, their opponents the USA were at a massive 500-1 to win the whole thing.

The American team also consisted of all semi-professionals whilst England had the mercurial talent of Sir Stanley Matthews.

However, it was the semi-pros who shockingly came out on top, winning 1-0 in Belo Horizonte.

Joe Gaetjens netted the only goal of the game to stun Walter Winterbottom’s England side.

Italy 0-1 North Korea (Group stage, England 1966)

North Korea stunned the world back in 1966 by not only defeating Italy but also reaching the knockout stages.

They had already done the impossible by even qualifying for the tournament as they beat Australia to do so.

Following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Soviet Union, Myung Rye-hyun’s team looked destined to drop out.

Although, in the following match, a shock 1-1 draw with Chile along with Itlay suffering a defeat to the Soviet Union, left the door ajar for a possible shock on the final matchday.

Regardless, this was expected to be a formality for the Italians who were seen as one of the strongest teams at the 1966 tournament.

But the North Koreans produced one of the biggest ever World Cup shocks as Pak Doo-ik scored the only goal of the game to win it for them.

Cameroon 1-0 Argentina (Group stage, Italy 1990)

Argentina entered Italia 90′ as the reigning world champions and one of the favourties to lift the trophy again.

The Argentines were also led by the incredible Diego Maradonna and the San Siro was expecting a straightforward win for the footballing giants.

But the longer the game went on, Cameroon managed to keep holding on, and in the 68th minute, Francois Omam Biyick scored the winning goal.

Just a few moments later, it then looked all too good to be true, as Andre Kana Bijick was shown a red card.

At that point, Carlos Bilardo’s side looked set to turn the game on its head, however, the African team managed to hold on.

Another win over Romania saw them go on to reach the Round of 16 as Group B winners.

South Korea 2-1 Italy (Group stage, Korea & Japan 2002)

South Korea were one of the surprise packages at their own World Cup back in 2002.

Guus Hiddink’s team shocked everyone as they made it all the way to the semi-finals.

En route, they managed to eliminate Italy in the Round of 16.

The game was riddled with controversy surrounding the officiating and ended with late drama.

The Azzurri finished the game feeling totally aggrieved having had two goals very dubiously disallowed for offsides, a clear foul inside the box waved away, a penalty awarded to the hosts and a red card shown to Francesco Totti.

Following a 1-1 draw in normal time, South Korea ended up winning the game in the 117th minute with a golden goal netted by Ahn Jung-hwan.

The South Koreans then went on to beat Spain in the quarter-finals and eventually lost to Germany in the semis.

Read more here:

Revealed: Why we are seeing so much added time at the World Cup

Arsenal sensation Bukayo Saka among six players to score in their World Cup debut in Qatar


Jamie Brown

Jamie Brown

Writer for 101 Great Goals since 2017. Founder of @Daily_Hotspur.



Related Content