The World Cup has produced other incredible surprises; while Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia is a significant setback for Lionel Messi’s team, let us share with you one of the biggest that had an impact on the victor.
A few surprises, controversies, and physical assaults against Pele—possibly the greatest player to ever live—were produced in 1966.
But the biggest surprise came when the North Koreans beat one of the biggest teams in football at the time, the Italians, to qualify for the World Cup.
Following their shocking loss to the tiny pawns of a communist nation, the Italian team received a “tomato” welcome from their supporters.
As for the North Koreans, it was their very first appearance in the popular competition.
It happened after Fifa decided to put all African and Asian countries in one group to decide which one would qualify for the World Cup.
The Asian and African nations boycotted the elimination rounds, dissatisfied that only one of them would be selected for the competiton.
The North Koreans were left to play the Australians, and to everyone’s surprise, the North Koreans won both games and qualified for the World Cup.
After an early defeat by the Soviet Union in their group match, everybody thought the Koreans would pack their bags after meeting the Italians.
But Pak Doo-ik made history with his lone goal that shock two-time winners Italy at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough.
North Korea have only been back to the World Cup once, at South Africa 2010.
Saudi Arabian Glory
The much anticipated win by the Argentinians turned sour after the Saudis woke up in the second half, playing a very different football than what they displayed in the first half and started attacking the Argentinians.
While Messi scored their lone goal, he had one goal rejected for off-side and the Argentinian side saw another two by Lauturo Mrtinez chalked off for offside. This must have been very frustrating for them as they were leading 1-0 through Messi’s penalty in the 10th minute.
However, we believe the biggest upset in the World Cup will remain the 7-1 defeat of the mighty Brazilians against the Germans in 2014. The crushing defeat occurred on Brazilian soil and there is nothing the Brazilians can do to erase this complete bashing.
However, we are not finished with the North Korean shocker in 1966. Rumours had it that the North Korean national television station on that day played the moment the North Korean scorer netted the goal
The TV station then allegedly said North Korea had won the World Cup by beating the Italians in the final of the competition. It was time for a great celebration.
For the Saudi Arabians, this victory is also savoured as the biggest in their football annals, with the country announcing a public holiday on Wednesday.
The public holiday will be for all state employees “and the private sector, and male and female students in all educational stages”, the government announced on Tuesday evening.
Fans were seen in Qatar celebrating the victory and on YouTube, the players were also seen celebrating their first win in their opener in the World Cup.
How will the Argentinians receive Messi and his mates if they fail to qualify for round two? No tomatoes we hope.
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