Argentina 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.
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 among the favorites 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.
Action Images / ReutersDylan Martinez
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 canceled 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 a 1-0 win over Austria.
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 favorites 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 underestimating little-fancied opposition. Pak Doo-Ik grabbed the only goal as the Italians were not only humbled but also 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.
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East Germany 1 West Germany 0, Hamburg, 1974
In this first-round clash, East Germany upset their Western neighbors, 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 squad. One of the most politically charged matches in soccer history.
Belgium 1 Argentina 0, Barcelona, 1982
Champions Argentina were stunned in the opening game of their title defense as Erwin Vandenbergh scored the only goal. It was also the first goal in the opening match of a World Cup since 1962.
Getty ImagesSteve Powell
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 quarterfinals. 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.
Getty ImagesRick Stewart
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 quarterfinals. Korea's chance looked to have gone as Ahn missed an early penalty and Christian Vieri gave Italy the lead but Ki-Hyeon Seol equalized 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.