The 2022 FIFA World Cup has no doubt produced biggest upsets in the history of football during the opening and other stages of the competition currently being played in Qatar. It all started during the Group C opening game between Saudi Arabia and Argentina.
- Saudi Arabia vs Argentina
Saudi Arabia, ranked 53rd in the world, coming from behind to stun Argentina 2-1. Lionel Messi had given the Albiceleste the lead from the penalty spot but Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari had other ideas as they made themselves national heroes.
Argentina took the lead after an early penalty conversion by Messi, and looked comfortable to add to that with three goals disallowed for offside among other chances created. They lost all control in the second half, though, and Saudi Arabia struck as fast as lightning to equalize and take the lead. Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari’s goals stunned the Argentines, and forced Scaloni to make changes.
It was only a one-hit wonder performance from the Saudi team, but one for the record books.
2. Japan vs Germany
Then there was Japan. They shocked the four-time World Cup champion after they again behind to a penalty against four-time winners Germany but going on to win by the same scoreline as the Saudis did. Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, who ply their trade in the Bundesliga, scored the goals with a delicious narrative flourish.
3. Belgium 0-2 Morocco
A vibrant performance from Morocco exposed the aging backline of Roberto Martinez’s side as the Belgian team ranked second in the world fell to 22nd in FIFA ranking Morocco. They went ahead to top Group F ahead of Croatia while Belgium’s tournament ended after they finished third in the group.
4. France 0-1 Tunisia
Even though Didier Deschamps made nine changes to the team that faced Tunisia, it did reveal some gaps in the Armour of the defending World champions, France. Their loss was still unexpected.
5. Brazil 0-1 Cameroon
Brazil’s Coach also made nine changes to the starting lineup that faced Cameroon but they were not immune to a surprise result. The win though was not enough to get Cameroon into the round of 16 of the tournament.
In the end, nations from six continents made the knockout stages for the first time. As the knock out stage resumes on Saturday, will wait to see if there would be more upsets.