World Cup Upsets: Group Stage


By Alexandro Rangel

After the second round of the group stage of the World Cup they were some huge upsets that shook the world. The probability of these teams getting a result were low as they had many doubters, but managed to pull some points in their favor. These teams were faced with the deficit of defeat in every possible way but the sensation of the World Cup brings the team and country together making it another reason why soccer is considered the beautiful game. Hard work, passion, courage, skill, bravery, belief, and the support of millions is what brought these upsets alive. Now, here are some of the biggest upsets of the tournaments so far. 

Iceland vs Argentina

With Messi coming onto the World Cup winning 2 out of the 3 tournaments he participated in with Barcelona and the potential of this World Cup being his last one would think Argentina would be able to shrug off Iceland in their first game of the tournament. However, Iceland thought differently with their work ethic throughout the whole game providing a little or no space to the Argentine players and their ability to push players forward with their counterattack abilities to score an equalizer after being 1-0

Soccer Football – World Cup – Group D – Argentina vs Iceland – Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia – June 16, 2018 Argentina’s Lionel Messi looks dejected REUTERS/Carl Recine

down in the first 20 minutes. Argentina was also given a penalty kick that was saved by the Iceland keeper to keep it tie 1-1. Iceland should not be discredited for their team performance as they have been a strong force to cope with in the last couple of years as they upsetted England in the Euro 2016 as well as placing first in their qualifying group that possessed teams like Croatia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Even though Argentina were not playing its best soccer through the road to Russia as they needed a hat-trick from Messi in the last game of their qualifying stage against Bolivia to book a ticket to the World Cup it came to shock to the world as a country with only a population of only 334,252 can tie with a team of of Argentina’s history and the talent they hold in their squad. 


Germany vs Mexico

Germany was one of the favorites to win the World Cup coming into Russia, so it was staggering to see the Germans fall 1-0 against Mexico in their first game. They had already had faced each other in the 2017 Confederations Cup as Germany became victorious with a 4-1 deficit while also placing a B team for that tournament. With that being said the odds were in Germany’s favor as they placed a squad full of depth in all areas of the field for the World Cup. All eyes were on Germany, but when they went down 1-0 in the first 35 minutes from a great setup from Javier Hernandez to Hirving Lozano that led to some great individual play that created the only goal of the game. The first half belonged to Mexico as Germany seemed to be stunned by how fearless the Mexicans were playing as well as the support they were receiving from the fans. From the first kick of the game to the end Mexican fans were singing, chanting, and screaming. Although, Germany were able to create some chances in the second half they weren’t able to break even from some great goalkeeping and defensively play. Mexico’s combination of experienced players and

Mexico’s forward Hirving Lozano celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 17, 2018. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

youth can lead to one of their best World Cups they have had in a while as they are seeking to break the curse of the 5th game. Germany being the powerhouse of the World Cup as they won 4 and have consistently made it through to the semi-finals in the last 3 World Cups. Now, Germany has the opportunity to qualify to the round of 16 after their last minute winner against Sweden when the play South Korea. 



Japan vs Colombia 

Colombia came into the tournament hoping to leave off where they ended after a very successful 2014 World Cup. However, that didn’t occur to start of the tournament as they were stunned after a 2-1 loss against Japan. Sanchez was sent off in the first 3 minutes after he blocked a goal scoring opportunity with his hand and Kagawa was able to score from the spot to make it 1-0. Playing the rest of the game with a man down and without one the best players in the squad, James Rodriguez, was huge lost for the team from coming back. Although, they were able to tie with an absolute stunning of a free kick from Quintero at the end they weren’t able to get the result they wanted. Japan’s efforts towards their effort towards winning the game and not defending once Colombia equalized showed that Japan are fearless towards any opponent they face and hope to get out of the group stage. Coming into the tournament Colombia was one of the favorites to pass the group alongside Poland, but Japan and Senegal had different ideas. Japan with their playmaker Shinji Kagawa who is one of their most notable players after his move from Manchester United back to Borussia Dortmund will aspire to continue their successful display after a 2-2 draw against Senegal in the second game. 

Poland vs Senegal 

Who would have thought this group will be this tough? In the first game of group h both favorites received losses and turn the table around. Poland were ranked 8th in the FIFA rankings coming into the World Cup and everyone thought they could have been the dark horses of the tournament with Robert Lewandowski leading the line as he had an exceptional season with Bayern Munich. However, it seemed like

expectations were too high as Poland were startled by the Senegal side as they were fortunate to score a goal by a deflection, but just like my coach use to tell me if you don’t shoot you’ll never score. The Polish side created a couple of chances but were unlucky to equalize as Senegal secured a second goal while a player was receiving treatment outside the field and the referee allowed him to enter onto the field beating the defender leaving the goalkeeper on a 1v1 situation. Poland were able to get a goal back in the 86th minute but couldn’t equalize leaving them with their first lost of the group stage. It hasn’t been the first side Senegal has pulled an upset against European teams as they beat France 1-0 in the 2002 World Cup after France just had won the 1998 World Cup. Senegal has a promising side in them as they are led by Sadio Mane the Liverpool star who had an amazing season at Liverpool and will aim to do the same for Senegal as they tied 2-2 against Japan in their second fixture. Sadly, for Poland that’s all she wrote for them as they bounced out of the World Cup after a crushing 3-0 loss against Colombia, but its up in the for Senegal, Colombia, and Japan on who will go through to the next round.

Croatia vs Argentina 

Argentians look away cause the national team made onto the list again. Oh no! After the Iceland draw everyone thought Argentina will come back alive and get a result they truly needed, but that is not what occured. Argentina were crushed by Croatia in a 3-0 loss where Rakitic and Modric gave the Argentine midfielders a schooling as they both scored. Argentina had an early chance when a Enzo Perez was given an opportunity with no goalkeeper and one defender protecting the box. Argentina would have loved to get that back, but there fortune ran out luck as their goalkeeper, William Collabro, gives up a goal in his attempt to clear the ball. Give credit to the volley as Ante Rebic technique towards the shot left the stadium stunned. Argentina seemed to be desperate for a goal but it will be Luka Modric who will find a second as the Argentine players were struggling to come back and Modric was able to find some space outside of the box to score an absolute screamer. At this point, Argentine players were stunned as the cameras zoomed into their faces and one would agree that it was game. However, Croatia would scored another one as Rakitic scores a sitter to in the dying seconds of the game to make it humiliating lost for Argentina, but a historical win for Croatia.

South Korea vs Germany

Down goes Germany! Down goes Germany! Who would have thought that Germany would enter this list twice as it was the first time ever they didn’t pass towards the round of 16. After coming out of a last minute winner against Sweden one was certain that Germany was back to their normal selves and be contenders for the World Cup. However, that was not the outcome as Germany was desperate to get a result while Sweden was thrashing Mexico in the other game. The doors were open for Germany to qualify to the next round as they just needed a win against last place South Korea, but South Korea had other plans. The Germans worked hard to get the goal that they desperately needed, but the South Korean goalkeeper,

H.W. Cho, made some unbelievable saves that kept them equal throughout the whole 90 minutes of the game. Until the unbelievable occurred as South Korea were given a goal due to video assistance that would open the mark 1-0 in the 92nd minuted and crushed Germany dreams from making it to the next round. Minutes later South Korea will find their second and send Germany packing while giving Mexico their birth in the round of 16 for a seventh consecutive time.

Denmark vs France

The anticipation for this matchup was high as it seemed like the French giants were finally going to get tested by a good Denmark side. France is considered to be one of the favorites in this tournament but cruised against Australia and Peru. Peru being eliminated already going to this game but was playing against Australia in the other game as they needed a win to qualify to the next round. Not knowing the outcome of that game most fans will expect France and Denmark to bring more energy as well as excitement to the game. Christian Eriksen had a great season with Tottenham Hotspurs and has been having a great tournament so far creating a huge headline for this game against the likes of players that French team possesses. However, fans will be disappointed as it was a mediocre game, to say the least as both teams didn’t seem to go for it and France seemed to okay with the draw. They were some good saves by both goalkeepers, but one can see fans yawning and furious over the outcome of the game. Fortunately for Denmark, they were able to get bailed out for their display as Peru were able to beat Australia 2-0 giving Denmark the ticket to the round of 16. This game made the list, not because of good reasons but for being one of the most boring games of the World Cup so far that became an upset to fans who witnessed it.


So many great countries and so many great players. We love them all!  And you what is your favorite team? Stay tuned, we will cover the event If you are visiting Russia for the World Cup and have some free time between the games visit, you will find al kind of great tours and activities!

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