World Cup history is filled with David’s memorable victories against Goliath, dramatic comebacks and defending champions suffering embarrassing defeats as dreams of the tournament are made and shattered.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia memorably featured Croatia’s push to the final and defending champions Germany being ruthlessly eliminated in the group stage.
Now Qatar 2022 offers a number of potential shocks in the Middle East, in week one alone, with the hosts heading into their first-ever World Cup, and reigning African champions Senegal even aiming to be the first semi-finalist of the continent’s World Cup. .
Now as you read this, we gasp as the unexpected Saudi Arabia score an indescribable, incredible 2-1 victory over Argentina. This certainly sets the stage for the biggest upsets ever and you can look forward to more potential shock results at Qatar 2022:
But the ‘big boys’ shouldn’t get unnecessary thrills with group results, as Spain proved in 2010 when they lost 1-0 to Switzerland before reaching final glory in South Africa.
Yet early morale boosts in the opening round of matches will be crucial for smaller nations to gain a psychological edge at the 2022 World Cup, especially with the complacency of the favorites often a key feature in their opening matches.
Looking back, isn’t that the overwhelming beauty of the World Cup Finals matches?
It’s still early days in my view, but potential upheavals can be expected Qatar (world ranking 48), Costa Rica (34), Ghana (50) and Saudi Arabia (51).
* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sportscaster who is also a qualified international coach and instructor of international referees
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