Biggest World Cup upsets as Saudi Arabia stun Lionel Messi’s Argentina
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    Saudi Arabia's stunning World Cup victory over Lionel Messi's Argentina, who were unbeaten in 36 matches, makes our list of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.

    Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari found the net after the break to cancel out Lionel Messi's opening goal – holding on for three points despite the best efforts of the favourites.

    That result between the top and fourth seeds of Group C goes straight into Daily Star Sport's top seven World Cup upsets – which includes English heartbreak.

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    7 – Switzerland vs Spain, 2010

    Switzerland beat reigning European champions Spain in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup to shock the world.

    Gelson Fernandes scored the only goal of the game, with Spain regrouping to beat Honduras and Chile to go on and win the tournament.

    Switzerland, however, lost their next fixture and drew their third to finish third in the group and go out.

    6 – USA vs England, 1950

    When the United States beat England at the 1950 World Cup, English media thought it must've been a mistake and guessed it was 10-1 to England instead of a 0-1 reverse.

    England had won their opening contest against Chile with the United States losing to Spain – with both sides crashing out as Spain topped Group 2.

    The sides met again in 2010 with it finishing all square – and go head-to-head in Group B at the 2022 World Cup in their second fixture.

    5 – Saudi Arabia vs Argentina, 2022

    Saudi Arabia went into their clash against tournament favourites Argentina looking to try and claim an unlikely point – and left with all three.

    Having scored through Messi and had two goals ruled out, Argentina didn't turn up for the second-half and paid the price with their unbeaten record gone.

    Lionel Scaloni's side failed to match Italy record unbeaten international run – and now face a tricky task to reach the knockout stages.

    4 – Senegal vs France, 2002

    Unfancied World Cup debutants Senegal took on the reigning world champions France at the 2002 World Cup – and stunned them to win 1-0.

    The late great Papa Bouba Diop's tap-in was enough to see off a French side that featured Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Patrick Vieira among others.

    France went on to finish bottom of Group A with a single point as Senegal reached the quarter-finals as they were narrowly beaten by Turkey.

    3 – East Germany vs West Germany, 1974

    Back in 1974, huge underdogs East Germany managed to win against rivals West Germany who had the likes of Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller in their ranks.

    Jurgen Sparwasser scored the only goal of the game as the East Germans topped Group 1 – although their rivals had the last laugh by going on to win the tournament.

    East Germany were an international side between 1952 to 1990, when the national teams reunited as one.

    Which is your favourite World Cup upset? Tell us in the comment section below.

    2 – Northern Ireland vs Spain, 1982

    Billy Bingham's tactical masterclass helped Northern Ireland to a momentus win over Spain at the 1982 World Cup – with Gerry Armstrong's strike the different.

    A green and white army of fans celebrated into the night following the Mestalla history – with the win enough to progress after draws with Yugoslavia and Honduras.

    However, a defeat to France and draw with Austria in the next phase led to elimination.

    1 – Brazil vs Uruguay, 1950

    At one is a result that shocked the world back in 1950, with Uruguay winning 2-1 at the Maracana thanks to Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia.

    The match was dubbed the The Maracana Smash thanks to the upset, which was watched by an estimated crowd of over 200,000 – the most watched fixture in history.

    One Englishman happened to be on the pitch at the time, referee George Reader.


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