After the Selecao suffered a chastening capitulation in their semifinal with Germany, Goal takes a look back at teams that have seen similar embarrassment on the World Cup stage.
However, few would have predicted such a remarkable first-half collapse against Germany.
Joachim Low's side scored five goals in just 18 minutes on the way to securing a 7-1 win, silencing the Belo Horizonte crowd and ended Brazilian hopes of lifting the trophy for a sixth time.
That said, Luiz Felipe Scolari's Selecao are far from the first side to endure the disgrace of a thrashing at international football's most prestigious event.
|Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia
Germany recorded its biggest ever World Cup win with an 8-0 thumping of a desperately poor Saudi Arabia. Miroslav Klose scored a hat trick, as Michael Ballack, Carsten Jancker, Thomas Linke, Oliver Bierhoff and Bernd Schneider all joined in the rout. Germany had 15 shots on target; its opponents had none.
The defeat set the tone for both teams’ tournaments, as Rudi Voller's side went on to be beaten 2-0 in the final by Brazil and the Saudis exited at the group stage after losing to Cameroon and the Republic of Ireland.
The 8-0 scoreline represented the worst loss by a team in the World Cup since 1982 and the largest margin of defeat without scoring a goal since 1974.
Saudi Arabia’s -12 goal difference was the third worst goal in World Cup history, matching El Salvador’s showing in 1982. Head coach Nasser Al Johar was sacked following the tournament, and the Green Falcons have yet to qualify for another tournament since.
|Hungary 8-3 West Germany, 1954
From 1950, Hungary boss Gusztav Sebes instilled a ruthless streak in the Magyar's game. The team with the attacking 3-2-1-4 formation played 50 games between 1950 and 1956, winning 42, drawing 7 and losing just once.
Hungary started its World Cup campaign in Switzerland with a 9-0 defeat of South Korea and found West Germany barely more of a contest in their second game.
The Mighty Magyars lived up to their formidable reputation by thrashing an admittedly unseeded and weakened West German side. Sandor Kocsis scored four, ending the World Cup as top scorer with eleven, Nandor Hidegkuti got two and Ferenc Puskas and Jozsef Toth added the remainder.
Hungary has long held a place in the pantheon of the greatest teams to ever play the game and demonstrated that in Switzerland, only blemishing that impression with a defeat in the final to the previously vanquished West Germany.
|West Germany 6-1 Austria, 1954|
After wobbling against Hungary, West Germany only managed to escape the group stage after a 7-2 playoff win over Turkey. However, Sepp Herberger’s side had apparently been rejuvenated after its earlier humiliation.
Following a 2-0 defeat of Yugoslavia 2-0 in the quarterfinals, the West Germans turned their attention to neighbor Austria and dished out an impressive display. Inspired by Max Morlock, they completed a reversal in fortunes by scoring six with Hans Schafer, Ottmar Walter, two penalties from Fritz Walter and one from Morlock himself.
They progressed to the final where it appeared that the Hungarians were an unstoppable force en route to the Jules Rimet trophy. However, West Germany triumphed against its illustrious opponents, despite being 2-0 down after only eight minutes. The ‘Miracle of Bern’ as the game came to be known saw a historic 3-2 turnaround as the West Germans won their first ever World Cup.
|Yugoslavia 9-0 Zaire, 1974|
Zaire entered the World Cup in West Germany with high hopes. Promoted and bankrolled by Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, the Leopards were African Cup of Nations champions and the first sub-Saharan side to make it to the prestigious arena of the World Cup.
However, after an opening 2-0 defeat to Scotland, Zaire put in an awful display. 3-0 down after less than 20 minutes, an ignoble loss was likely to be on the cards. Dusan Bajevic starred as he grabbed three goals for the Blues and consigned the team coached by his fellow countryman, Blagoje Vidinic, to a heavy loss in Gelsenkirchen.
Zaire’s miserable tournament was brought to an end after a 3-0 defeat to Brazil, leaving it without a point, without a goal and a goal difference of -14, an all-time low better than only South Korea’s -16 in 1954. Zaire’s 1974 remains a low point for African football in the tournament.
|Argentina 6-0 Peru, 1978|
On the face of it, Argentina’s 6-0 thumping of Peru in 1978 could be heralded as one of the most incredible results in the tournament’s history. The reality, however, was considerably murkier.
The Peruvians were reigning Copa America champions and the Albiceleste needed an improbable 4-0 win to reach a World Cup final on home soil. The second-round game in Rosario saw them surpass even that milestone. Mario Kempes and Leopoldo Luque scored twice and Alberto Tarantini and Rene Houseman grabbed one each as the South Americans sealed a miraculous victory on the way to defeating the Netherlands in the final.
Far from being regarded as a humbling defeat, the game is a far more serious humiliation amid accusations that Argentinian dictator Jorge Videla and Peru’s then-president Francisco Bermudez had struck a deal. The game has been mired in controversy ever since, considered by some as the World Cup’s biggest ever fix.