World Cup 2018: 3 big upsets which shocked the footballing world
The just concluded 2018 World Cup will go down as one of the best in recent memory. Fans were treated to breath-taking action, lots of late goals, disallowed goals, own goals and even theatrics from top goalkeepers.
All but one of the 64 matches ended with at least one goal. The use of video technology to review key decisions also played a part in shaping the outcome of matches.
What also stood out from this World Cup was the many number of upsets by the so called 'smaller' nations. Many betting companies surely got good value for their trade during the World Cup.
Any sort of past dominance and football pedigree was left by the wayside in Russia. It was a tournament for new forces to emerge and put the old guards in their place. Who could have predicted that a nation like Croatia would contest in a World Cup final?
The unpredictable nature of the World Cup kept fans entertained and there was no telling which side would prevail. These three upsets left fans in disbelief and epitomised what unfolded in football's biggest tournament.
#3 Mexico 1-0 Germany
World champions Germany were one of the tournament favourites heading into the competition. They had a near flawless run in the qualifying round and were the top ranked side in the world. The only glitch for the Germans was the inclusion of Manuel Neuer in the squad as he was out injured for nearly a year and did not play competitively.
The Mexicans played with passion and lots of energy as the underdogs in this encounter at the Luzhniki Stadium Moscow.
Germany as expected bossed matters for majority of the match but it was the Mexicans who were more dangerous on the counter attack. In football, it is said that it only takes one chance to change a game and this was manifested in the match.
In the 35th minute, Sami Khedira was dispossessed off the ball by Hector Herrera deep into the Mexican half. This initiated a quick counter attack on the other end with Hector Moreno feeding Javier Hernandez.
The West Ham striker interchanged passes with Andres Guardado before running at the German defence and squaring the ball to Hirving Lozano on his left.
Lozano easily dummied Mesut Ozil to his right before firing past the hapless Neuer. The Mexicans held on for the win and defended bravely.