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The biggest shocks in the group stage in World Cup history

The first legs of the group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2022 had ended, and there had been many surprises, including Germany and Argentina's shock defeats. Are these losses the most shocking matches of the group stage in FIFA World Cup history? Let's look out for the biggest shocks in the group stage in World Cup history.
By: Leey
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1. Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia (Group Stage 2022)

Of the 32 teams participating in the 2022 World Cup, Saudi Arabia (ranked 51st) has the second lowest position on the FIFA rankings of the tournament, just above Ghana (ranked 61st). The Asian team was not appreciated before the tournament, while Argentina (3rd place) was considered the leading candidate for the championship.

Lionel Messi and his teammates seemed to have an easy match against the West Asian representative. However, after having the leading goals from the penalty line and 3 goals that were not recognized because of offside, Messi and his teammate had to receive 2 continuous goals, and through them, Saudi Arabia suddenly came back, winning 2-1.

Former England player Gary Lineker's assessment of Saudi Arabia's victory over Argentina at the 2022 World Cup will go down in history as one of the unexpected results of the World Cup group stage, where there is a large level difference between the teams. recruited from many continents.

2. Germany 1-2 Japan (Group Stage 2022)

After the disappointing performance in the FIFA World Cup 2018, where Germany was eliminated from the group stage, many people are hoping that The Tank will come back to the FIFA World Cup 2022 with the same strength of football as they had in the past. The match against Japan will be a match where they can easily gain 3 points, which will be the motivation for them to confront Spain in the next matches.

However, every prediction was reversed. The goal from Ilkay Gundogan's first-half penalty seemed to make Germany forget that Japan is not an easy opponent. They squandered too many opportunities and were somewhat subjective when overwhelming the game, letting Japan come back in less than 10 minutes in the last 10 minutes of the match, creating the second "seismic" at the 2022 World Cup.

Ritsu Doan equalized the score at 1-1 in the 75th minute with a precise cushion after goalkeeper Neuer punched the ball.The goal seemed to add strength to Japan's unexpected sublimation. In the 83rd minute, Asano dribbled on the right wing before hitting a tight shot from a tight angle, making it 2-1.

Despite their best efforts, they were unable to score a goal in the final ten minutes. This loss is a shock for football fans and a nightmare for Germany because they will have to face Spain, which destroyed Costa Rica with a score of 7-0.

3. South Korea 2-0 Germany (Group Stage 2018)

The promise that the defending champions would be eliminated in the next World Cup was kept by Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2018.Germany came into Russia as the champions of the World Cup 2014, but they had a disappointing performance in the group stage of the biggest football tournament of 2018.

After the 1-0 loss to Mexico, Germany needed a win against South Korea to have a ticket to the next round. The kimchi team was still taken aback when they defeated the reigning world champions 2-0 at the time, thanks to goals from Kim Young Gwon and Son Heung Min. This win made Germany's 2018 World Cup journey come to an early end.

4. Spain 1-5 Netherlands ( Group Stage 2014)

The 2014 World Cup was also a forgettable tournament for the world champions, Spain.

Spain brought the FIFA World Cup 2014 squad, including most of the players who contributed to their title in 2010.

They faced the opponent they defeated in the final four years ago in the first match.At the time, no one could believe that the defending champions had been defeated by a score of 5-1.

Spain was anticipated to go from strength to strength after Xabi Alonso's penalty in the 27th minute, but this was not the case. The score was tied at 1 after 44 minutes thanks to a goal by Robin Van Persie.

The second half of the match was expected to be tough, but the Netherlands prevailed by a score of four thanks to goals from Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, and Stefan de Vrij.

5. Slovakia 3-2 Italy (Group Stage 2010)

The series fact about the defending champions' season ending early did not skip Italy.

Italy hoped to win two consecutive titles with such a strong squad, but their dream was dashed. Following two draws with Paraguay and New Zealand, Italy was defeated 3-2 by Slovakia. This result also meant that Italy finished the group stage with 2 points and was eliminated from the tournament in Brazil with the final place in group F. This was their first failure to advance to the knockout stages since 1974. 

6. France 0-1 Senegal (Group stage, 2002)

France came into the 2002 World Cup as the defending champions and possessed a very strong force. Even without Zidane, who was injured, they were expected to have the most outstanding achievement in this tournament.

However, in the first match of the tournament, Senegal shocked football fans.

Papa Bouba Diop's 30-minute goal helped Senegal beat France 1-0 on the opening day of the 2002 World Cup.

This loss had a great effect on France when they were eliminated from the group stage with just one point, while Senegal became only the second African side in the tournament's history to reach the quarterfinals.

7. Cameroon 1-0 Argentina (Group Stage 1990)

Before the shock loss to Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2022, Argentina also had to suffer a surprising failure in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup in 1990.

They won the 1986 World Cup and qualified for the 1990 World Cup. At this tournament, their squad owned the best players. However, Cameroon left the champions of 1986 stunned.

Francois Omam-Biyik scored the only goal of the game for the Cameroonian side. Diego Maradona and his teammates even played better in the 61st minute but lost in the 81st minute. Cameroon was also kicked out one more time in the 88th minute, but the result stood. 

8. Algeria 2-1 West Germany (Group Stage 1982)

Germany was the European champions and football's colossus at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.Confronting West Germany seemed to be the obsession of any team. They also have a good lineup of players, including Hansi Mueller, Wolfgang Dremmler, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and Lothar Matthaus.

However, Algeria, which played in the first World Cup, had a win against one of the brightest candidates for the champions of this tournament.

At the 54th minute, West Germany had a goal to lead Algeria. At that moment, they were confident that they would have three points after ten minutes. However, they were made to pay for their complacency. Algeria had equalized after 13 minutes and had a goal to make the score 2-1. This was also the final goal in this match, and Algeria had a historical win against West Germany.

9. North Korea 1-0 Italy (Group Stage 1966)

Italy was one of the strongest contenders for the World Cup title in 1966. At this time, Asian football is not highly evaluated. North Korea, the only Asian representative in this tournament, is predicted to be eliminated with 0 points. In the last matches, they also showed their weakness by losing 0-3 to the Soviet Union and drawing 1-1 with Chile.

The Italy team went into their group-stage match against North Korea with the confidence of advancing to the knockout stages. However, Pak Doo Ik's goal changed every prediction. It was the unique aspect of this match, and the Azzurri suffered a humiliating early exit.

10. USA 1-0 England (Group stage 1950)

After World War II, England, with stars Alf Ramsey, Tom Finney, and Billy Wright, was one of the candidates for the world championship trophy. Meanwhile, the US team gathered a group of amateur players with many other jobs, such as drivers, mailmen, or teachers.

In this tournament, the matches are in the group stage. Nobody could believe that England, one of the strongest contenders for the Champion title, had been defeated by the amateur United States.The USA team, on the other hand, stunned football fans around the world by defeating England, thanks to the goal of Haitian-born striker Joe Gaetjens.

Written by: Leey
Leey is the reporter for Betimate. She currently has a series of articles about football. She specializes in researching football data to come up with evaluations about the tournament and predictions about the matches.

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Premier League
Overall table PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1 Arsenal 50 19 16 2 1 45 16 29
2 Man City 45 20 14 3 3 53 20 33
3 Newcastle 39 20 10 9 1 33 11 22
4 Man Utd 39 20 12 3 5 32 25 7
5 Tottenham 36 21 11 3 7 40 31 9
6 Brighton 31 19 9 4 6 37 27 10
7 Fulham 31 21 9 4 8 32 30 2
8 Brentford 30 20 7 9 4 32 28 4
9 Liverpool 29 19 8 5 6 34 25 9
10 Chelsea 29 20 8 5 7 22 21 1
11 Aston Villa 28 20 8 4 8 23 27 -4
12 Crystal Palace 24 20 6 6 8 18 27 -9
13 Nottm Forest 21 20 5 6 9 16 35 -19
14 Leicester 18 20 5 3 12 28 35 -7
15 Leeds 18 19 4 6 9 26 33 -7
16 West Ham 18 20 5 3 12 17 25 -8
17 Wolverhampton 17 20 4 5 11 12 30 -18
18 Bournemouth 17 20 4 5 11 19 42 -23
19 Everton 15 20 3 6 11 15 28 -13
20 Southampton 15 20 4 3 13 17 35 -18