The biggest upsets at the World Cup so far and we are just halfway through the group stage matches with several underdog teams coming out in big games. This World Cup has proven that no team should be taken lightly, and anyone has a chance to win.
Here are some of the biggest upsets at the World Cup thus far:
- Saudi Arabia 2-1 Argentina
The odds of Saudi Arabia taking the win were +1200, giving them no chance against the number three ranked team. Argentina struggled to get shots in goal with 15 shots (six on target). Their only goal came from the penalty spot which Messi completed. However, he failed to put another one behind the net with four shots (three on target). An Argentina team that had a 36-game unbeaten streak, the team looked completely depleted after the embarrassing upset on the world’s biggest stage.
The new offsides technology had a lot to do with Argentina’s loss with two of Lautaro Martinez’s goals ruled offsides. This loss was the biggest upset at the World Cup and one of the biggest in World Cup history. However, Saudi Arabia couldn’t continue their glorious run with a 2-0 loss to Poland. Also with Argentina picking up the win a 2-0 against Mexico, both nations still have a chance to come out of the group stage with every team still with everything to play for come Wednesday in Group C.
- Japan 2-1 Germany
Germany looked like they were cruising to a win last Wednesday with their complete dominance over Japan. However, like Argentina, Germany’s only goal came from the penalty spot made by Ilkay Gundogan. They failed to get a goal from set pieces or counterattacks even with their 26 shots (nine on target). The Germans fell asleep in the back twice with goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano within eight minutes of each other. The Germans could not respond and let Japan pull the upset.
The stats after the match were crazy with Germany maintaining 72% of the possession and completing 663 passes over Japan’s 28% possession and 182 pass completion. Props go to Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda, who has eight important saves and three clearances to help Japan pull one of the biggest upsets at the World Cup. This gives Germany a difficult task to get out of the group stage with them currently sitting in last place.
- Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
Group A was supposed to be an easy group stage for the Netherlands, but after struggling against Senegal, it opened the doors for Ecuador to possibly take first place in the group stage. All the Netherlands needed was a win against Ecuador and they qualify for the Round of 16. However, they couldn’t penetrate the Ecuadorian defense and only totaled two shots (one on target) all match. However, they got lucky early with a wonderful goal by Cody Gakpo in the sixth minute.
Ecuador was the better team by far with a total of 15 shots (four on target). They finally got their goal in the 49th minute from Ecuadorian legend Enner Valencia, his third of the tournament. As it stands the Netherlands and Ecuador are in first place with four points. It will all come down Tuesday to determine who will take that first place in the group stage. The Dutch will face the eliminated host nation Qatar and Ecuador will take on a Senegal side.
- England 0-0 United States
England were the favorites by far to win the match after coming off a thrashing 6-2 win against Iran. However, the U.S. team with a ton of young talent put up a show against one of the favorites. England dominated the first 15 minutes until the Americans figured out how to counterattack and pressure England’s defense. The closest opportunity in the match was Christian Pulisic’s shot that hit the crossbar. He was inches away from doing the unthinkable and scoring against England.
This draw was a huge win for the Americans and a big disappointment for England. Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson, and Tim Ream did an exceptional job holding up Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Bukayo Saka. If it wasn’t for Harry Maguire’s heroic performance in the back, the U.S. would have taken the win with brilliant performances from Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah in the attack. England will still make it out of the group with a win or draw against Wales, and all the Americans must do to make it through is a win against Iran.