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Top Ten Upsets

Tom Finney's shot is saved and England lose to a team of USA part-timers

Top Ten Upsets

Papa Bouba Diop's goal embarrassed the French on the opening day of the 2002 World Cup

Top Ten Upsets

1966 and North Korea celebrate a miraculous victory that sent the Italians on an early flight home

Top Ten Upsets

Seoul 2002: Buffon can't reach this header and Italy are out by a Golden Goal

Top Ten Upsets

West Germany come back from 2 goals down to beat the Hungarians

Top Ten Upsets

East meets West - and the underdogs came out on top with this strike

Top Ten Upsets

Argentina may well have been put off by Belgium's garish kit

Top Ten Upsets

Algeria shocked the Germans in 1982

Top Ten Upsets

Francois Omam-Biyik heads Cameroon into the history books with an incredible leap

Top Ten Upsets

Bulgaria celebrate the winner - an unforgettable header from Letchkov, just moments after Stoichkov had levelled

Top Ten Upsets

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  • 5 brings you 10 of the most memorable FIFA World Cup upsets that stunned the footballing fraternity.

USA 1 England 0, Belo Horizonte, 1950

England were humiliated in their first World Cup by an unheralded American team boasting just one full-time professional. England had the likes of Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion, Billy Wright, Alf Ramsey and Stan Mortensen in their side - and rested Stanley Matthews - but paid the price for their complacency in the heat of Belo Horizonte. Joe Gaetjens scored the only goal to condemn England to one of the most embarrassing results in their history.

West Germany 3 Hungary 2, Bern, 1954

The 'Magnificent Magyars' of Hungary, led by the incomparable Ferenc Puskas, were hot favourites for the World Cup having gone unbeaten for four years, a period which included a 6-3 thrashing of England at Wembley. They scored 17 goals in their opening two matches of the tournament in Switzerland, including an 8-3 hammering of West Germany. But it all went wrong when they met again in the final. Hungary raced into a 2-0 lead inside eight minutes but the Germans fought back to claim their first world title.

North Korea 1 Italy 0, Ayresome Park, 1966

After England had lived with the ignominy of losing to USA for 16 years, another European heavyweight finally learned the price of under-estimating little-fancied opposition. Pak Doo-Ik grabbed the only goal as the Italians were not only humbled, but sent on an early flight home. The public made their displeasure clear in no uncertain terms as they pelted the team with tomatoes on their return.

East Germany 1 West Germany 0, Hamburg, 1974

In this first round clash, East Germany upset their Western neighbours, who were, to make rivalry that little bit spicier, the hosts of the tournament. Jurgen Sparwasser was the hero, or villain depending on where your allegiances lie, as he struck in the 77th minute to ensure the East Germans advanced as group winners, above Helmut Schoen's charges. One of the most politically charged matches in footballing history.

Belgium 1 Argentina 0, Barcelona, 1982

Champions Argentina were stunned in the opening game of their title defence as Erwin Vandenbergh scored the only goal. It was also the first goal in the opening match of a World Cup since 1962.

Algeria 2 West Germany 1, Gijon, 1982

Lakhder Balloumi scored the winner as West Germany were caught out in their first match. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge looked to have eased nerves when he cancelled out Rabah Madjer's 53rd-minute opener but Balloumi hit straight back. The Germans went on to reach the final however, getting through the opening group stage at the expense of Algeria after 1-0 win over Austria allowed both them and their neighbours, not the Africans, to progress.

Cameroon 1 Argentina 0, Milan, 1990

Argentina again flopped as champions in their opening game, losing to nine-man Cameroon. Francois Omam Biyik headed the only goal and the Africans, who captured the public imagination throughout the event, held on after the sendings off of Benjamin Massing and Andre Kana-Biyik for dreadful tackles. Argentina bounced back to scrape through the group as one of two third-best teams and reach the final.

Bulgaria 2 Germany 1, New York, 1994

Bulgaria, who had never won a World Cup match before USA 94, caused a major upset as they knocked out champions Germany at Giants Stadium in the quarter-finals. Lothar Matthaus put the Germans on course for a place in the last four with a penalty early in the second half but Bulgaria turned the game on its head with two goals in three minutes from Hristo Stoichkov and Iordan Letchkov.

Senegal 1 France 0, Seoul, 2002

After winning the World Cup in 1998 and following up with success at Euro 2000, France were once again amongst the favourites in the Far East. Their tournament was a disaster, however, starting with an opening-day defeat by Senegal. Papa Bouba Diop scored the only goal after half an hour as Senegal announced themselves as the latest African force.

South Korea 2 Italy 1, Daejeon, 2002

Jung-Hwan Ahn scored a dramatic golden goal winner as joint-hosts South Korea dumped out Italy to reach the quarter-finals. Korea's chance looked to have gone as Ahn missed an early penalty and Christian Vieri gave Italy the lead but Ki-Hyeon Seol equalised after 88 minutes. Ahn, a Perugia player, then delighted his home nation - but angered his club president - with his 126th-minute winner after Francesco Totti was sent off.

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Vladimir Lenin (Atletico Madrid fan) says...

Germany 2 Netherlands 1 WC Final 1974 That's the clew of all teams that deserves the title!

Posted 09:40 12th February 2010

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