While we are only a few days into the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament, the matches have been lit with thrilling performances. We have seen huge one-sided results, smooth draws and, most of all, surprising upsets. From Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over the World Cup Betway sports betting favorite Argentina to Japan’s surprising victory over football powerhouse Germany, here are the greatest World Cup upsets in the 2022 Qatar tournament.
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia (1-2)
The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup is proving to be a great campaign for underdogs. The 22nd of November will be remembered as one of the greatest days in Saudi Arabia’s football history. Following their surprising victory, the Saudi King announced a day’s holiday in the team’s honor.
In one of the greatest surprises in the history of soccer, Saudi Arabia surprised Betway World Cup sports betting favorites, Argentina, by beating them 2-1 in a highly contested match. As expected, Argentina played quite well during the first half, with Lionel Messi scoring a goal. However, Saudi Arabia scored two goals to take the lead early in the second, but even their star player (Messi) couldn’t help them recover.
Argentina hadn’t lost in 36 matches before falling prey to Saudi Arabia’s well-calculated gameplay. That was the first time in six attempts that the Saudi Arabia Green Falcons won their World Cup opening match. The Falcons rank 31st out of the 32 participants in the world cup.
Germany vs. Japan (1-2)
In a tale of fleeting football, bold substitutions and a relentless attitude, Japan surprised the football world with their well- deserved 2-1 victory over football powerhouse Germany in their World Cup opener. The Blue Samurais used all their 26% possession to give Germany their first upset in 26 games.
While Ilkay Gundogan gave Germany an early lead with his calm penalty with 33 minutes on the clock, Japan launched several counterattacks, which should have alerted the Germans of what was coming. By halftime, Germany dominated the game with 80% possession and 14 shots, with five being on target. Unfortunately, that didn’t matter in the end.
Often criticized for negatively setting up his men, Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu made attacking changes in a flip second. At one point, two wingers were playing as full-backs, which made it look like Moriyasu was organizing a rugby team. However, Japan managed to slice through Hansi Flick’s men during the second half and kept growing in belief.
Japan’s main man, Junya Ito, continued chasing the ball and causing trouble for Germany’s defense, which paid off in the end.
Belgium vs. Morocco (0-2)
In another thrilling and surprising match in Qatar, Morocco weathered a heavy first-half storm to claim their first World Cup win since 1998 as they crashed Belgium 2-0 in Group F. Morocco fans raucously celebrated the win at the Al Thumama Stadium after the match.
While Belgium dominated the first half, they could not convert that dominance into goals. During the second half, Morocco’s substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri curved a free kick past Belgium’s talented goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. At stoppage time, another substitute, Zakaria Aboukhlal, secured the win for Morocco to give them the lead in Group F with four points, a point above their opponents.