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World Cup greatest shocks

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PARIS - The young, inexperienced Socceroos will need to pull off a huge upset if they are to record a win against their World Cup group opponents Chile, Netherlands and Spain, but such surprise results do happen. Here's a guide to some of the biggest shocks in the history of the World Cup ahead of the 2014 tournament which starts in Brazil on June 12.

USA 1 England 0 (1950)

England arrived hailed as potential World Cup winners, having lost just four times in 30 matches. Faced with a team of part-timers, England selectors rested star player Stanley Matthews. It proved to be a fatal error. Matthews sat helplessly on the sidelines as a goal by Haiti-born Joe Gaetjens, earned the Americans a 1-0 win. The match was immortalised in a book and in a film called the Miracle Game.

Uruguay 2 Brazil 1 (1950)

The game that came to be known as the Maracanazo. Brazil were levelled 1-1. Their hopes were dashed as Alcides Ghiggia lashed in a shot to make it 2-1.

North Korea 1 Italy 0 (1966)

Pak Do-Ik entered World Cup folklore by striking the only goal of the game to secure the hermit Stalinist state a remarkable 1-0 victory over Italy in a group match in the unglamorous setting of Middlesbrough in north-eastern England.

East Germany 1 West Germany 0 (1974)

The two divided since World War II fought constantly for supremacy in the sporting arena. West Germany, though, were to have the last laugh as they went on to win the trophy while East Germany bowed out in the next round.

Algeria 2 West Germany 1 (1982)

The North Africans appeared their first World Cup finals. Over-confidence came back to haunt the Germans. The Germans won 1-0 with an early goal, neither side taking chances as they knew both would qualify at Algeria's expense.

Northern Ireland 1 Spain 0 (1982)

Unfancied Northern Ireland crashed Spain's World Cup fiesta, beating the hosts 1-0 through a Gerry Armstrong goal early in the second-half.

Cameroon 1 Argentina 0 (1990)

Francois Omam-Biyik's headed goal, helped by an awful goalkeeping error by Nery Pumpido, gave them an astonishing 1-0 win in a game that their raw tackling saw them reduced to nine men.

South Korea 0 Spain 0 — South Korea won 5-3 on penalties (2002)

These two teams went to penalties as the Koreans followed Dutch coach Guus Hiddink's instructions to the letter, harrying the skilful Spaniards all over the pitch.

Senegal 1 France 0 (2002)

In a repeat of 1990, another talented but largely unknown African team up against the defending champions who possessed a global superstar in Zinedine Zidane. The Senegalese, rattled their opponents from the start when midfielder Pape Bouba Diop popped up to score in the 30th minute.

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