World Cup history is full of memorable David vs Goliath wins, dramatic comebacks and defending champions suffering embarrassing defeats, as tournament dreams are made and broken.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia memorably featured Croatia’s push to the final, and holders, Germany, ruthlessly knocked out in the group stages. Now Qatar 2022 offers a host of potential shocks in the Middle East, just in the first week, with the hosts featuring in their first-ever World Cup, and defending African champions Senegal even tipped to be the continent’s first-ever World Cup semi-finalist…
Now as you read this, we’re left with jaws dropping as unfancied Saudi Arabia pulls off an indescribable, unbelievable 2-1 win over Argentina. This definitely sets the stage for more biggest upsets ever and you can look ahead to more potential shock results at Qatar 2022.
But the “big boys” shouldn’t get the unnecessary shivers with the group results as Spain showed in 2010 when they lost 1-0 to Switzerland before going on to ultimate glory in South Africa. Yet the early morale-boosters in the opening round of fixtures will be crucial for smaller nations to gain a psychological advantage at the 2022 World Cup, especially with complacency from the favourites often a key feature in their opening matches.
Looking in hindsight, isn’t this the rip-roaring beauty of World Cup Finals matches? In my view, it’s early days yet, but the potential upsets can be expected from Qatar (world rank 48), Costa Rica (34), Ghana (50) and Saudi Arabia (51).
Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor
Send in your scoops to email@example.com