Fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage. Here are eight upsets that shocked the world of soccer.   

By 90Min
March 09, 2018

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

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Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

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Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?


Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

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Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

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Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

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And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

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The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

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Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.


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