As the first match of the world’s biggest sporting event draws near, hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at the massive 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in the capital of Moscow to a no doubt sold out crowd. World Cup opening matches are notorious for teams playing on the side of caution, as not to take too many risks and get kicked out of the tournament early. However, in the 20 opening games that have been played throughout the World Cup’s history, a few have stood out to fans and pundits alike. We take a look at the best top 5 in history. Who’s your money on in the world cup odds to win? Let us know!
1990 Argentina 0-1 Cameroon
Despite Argentina being the considerably stronger team with regards to World Cup performances, a ten man team in the form of Cameroon managed to slip an easily defendable free kick past the Argentinian goalkeeper to take the lead and eventually win the match in this opening match shocker from 1990.
1994 Germany 1-0 Bolivia
The 1994 World Cup was held in the USA, with the opening match taking place in Chicago in front of an electric crowd of 63,000 strong. A foolish move by the Bolivian goalkeeper allowed German hero Jurgen Klinsmann to near enough walk the ball in, placing Germany in the lead for the rest of the match.
1998 Brazil 2-1 Scotland
Despite holding their own against one of the best teams in the world, Scotland sadly came out last after a humiliating but purely accidental own goal, in which a Brazilian shot was deflected by the keeper, only to be then deflected off an unsuspecting Scottish player straight back into the net, causing Scotland to lose their equalizer and in turn, the game.
2002 Senegal 1-0 France
This World Cup, held in South Korea started with upset for one of the most well-known World Cup teams, France. Despite what seemed like almost every single goal attempt firing off of the bar in one way or another, Senegal managed to score the first goal of the 2002 World Cup around the 30 minute mark. The goal was initially saved by the French keeper, but he couldn’t hang onto it for long enough, allowing it to slip directly into the fancy footwork of the Senegal team.
2006 Germany 4-2 Costa Rica
Six goals in an opening match is almost unheard of, so it’s no surprise this opening match from 2006 featuring hosts Germany went down so controversially. Despite putting up a solid performance throughout the game, catching Germany out twice, Costa Rica couldn’t hold off an absolutely soaring 4th goal, as Central midfielder sent the winning goal flying past the entire Costa Rican team to secure Germany’s victory.