The World Cup has reserved other incredible surprises; while Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia is a significant setback for Lionel Messi’s side, we share with you one of the biggest that impacted the victor.
Some surprises, controversies and physical attacks against Pele, perhaps the greatest player who ever lived, were produced in 1966.
The North Korean surprise
But the biggest surprise came when the North Koreans beat one of the biggest soccer teams of the time, the Italians, to qualify for the World Cup.
After the shocking defeat against the tiny pawns of a communist nation, the Italian team received a “tomato” welcome from their fans.
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 would qualify for the World Cup.
Asian and African nations boycotted the elimination rounds, dissatisfied that only one of them would be selected for the competition.
The North Koreans were left to face the Australians and to everyone’s surprise the North Koreans won both games and qualified for the World Cup.
After an early loss to the Soviet Union in the group match, everyone thought the Koreans would pack up after meeting the Italians.
But Pak Doo-ik made history with his only goal which shocked two-time winners Italy at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough.
North Korea has only returned to the World Cup once, a South Africa 2010.
Glory of Saudi Arabia
The long-awaited victory of the Argentines turned sour after the Saudis woke up in the second half, playing a very different kind of football than they showed in the first half and started attacking the Argentines.
While Messi scored their only goal, he had a goal rejected for offside and the Argentine side saw two more from Lauturo Mrtinez scored for offside. This must have been very frustrating for them as they led 1-0 thanks to Messi’s 10th-minute penalty.
However, we believe the biggest upset of the World Cup will remain the mighty Brazilians’ 7-1 defeat by the Germans in 2014. The crushing defeat occurred on Brazilian soil and there is nothing the Brazilians can do to erase this full blow.
However, we are not done with the North Korean shocker in 1966. The North Korean national television station was said to play that day at the moment the North Korean goalscorer scored the goal
The broadcaster would later claim that North Korea would win the World Cup by beating the Italians in the final of the competition. It was time for a big party.
For the Saudis, this victory is also savored 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 at all levels of education”, the government announced on Tuesday evening.
Fans were seen in Qatar celebrating the win and on YouTube, the players were also seen celebrating their maiden win in the first match of the World Cup.
How will the Argentines Messi and his companions receive if they fail to qualify for the second round? No tomatoes, hopefully.
More stories related to the FIFA World Cup here.