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Top 5 forgotten upsets in World Cup history

The match thEnter caption
The match that Spain lost in 2010
Modified 17 Jun 2018, 20:31 IST
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Spanish national football team reached its zenith at the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. The reigning European Champions would dispatch heavyweights Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands to win their only World Cup to date and establish Tiki-taka as the most talked about football concept in the last 30 years.

But do you remember Spain's first match in that glorious campaign? It ended in a surprising 0-1 reverse at the hands of lowly Switzerland - a statistic that has been conveniently forgotten due to La Fury Roja's brilliant subsequent performances.

There are plenty more upsets that have flown under the radar in retrospect - Sweden's elimination of Argentina from the 1934 World Cup is a virtual unknown compared to Cameroon's group stage defeat of the Albiceleste in 1990.

Take a look at five more World Cup upsets that you might have forgotten:

5. Romania 2-1 England: 1998

Romania would surprisingly beat England 2-1 in 1998
Romania would surprisingly beat England 2-1 in 1998

The 1998 World Cup is pretty underrated when it comes to stunning World Cup upsets - Which is unfair considering the number of matches that saw favourites biting the dust.

While the best underdog performance in 1998 must surely be attributed to debutants Croatia - who beat Germany and the Netherlands to finish third - another dark horse was Romania. Placed in a group alongside perennially overhyped England and a strong Colombian side, second place seemed to be the best option for the Carpathians.

When Beckham and co took on the Romanians in the second round of matches in Group G, both teams had won their opening matches. The Three Lions seemed ready to ensure qualification to the knockout stages but quickly fell behind in Toulouse.


A teenage Michael Owen would seemingly get England back on track with his first ever World cup goal nine minutes from time, but Dan Petrescu would beat David Seaman in the final minute of normal time to give Romania a 2-1 victory.

Romania would win the group while consigning England to the runner-up spot - a scenario which would set up the latter's infamous clash with Argentina in the Round of 16.

Fun fact: Romania would beat England once again in the next major tournament (Euro 2000) with another 90th-minute goal which would see the Three Lions exit that tournament in the group stages.

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Published 17 Jun 2018, 20:31 IST
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