Cruel as it may be, we have been witness to many fascinating FIFA World Cup playoff over the decades, where the victor of the knockout two-legged tie has made it to the finals of the tournament, while the loser has left with nothing to show for their efforts through qualifying.
Here is a list of 5 such memorable World Cup playoff ties:
5. Argentina vs Australia (1993)
After a horrid qualifying campaign that saw them succumb to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat against Columbia, Argentina had a chance to salvage some pride when they faced Australia in a playoff to reach the finals of the ’94 USA World Cup. Diego Maradona, who had been banned 15 months for drug use, returned and set up Abel Balbo’s first goal in Sydney, but Australia equalised to keep the scores level going into the return leg.
Australia fought well in Argentina, but lost out in the most cruel of fashions, as Gabriel Batistuta’s cross hit Alex Tobin before looping over the Aussie keeper into the net, the goal helping the South Americans claim a massive win.