El Salvador became the first Central American nation to qualify for the World Cup twice when they made it to Espana ’82, but it was to prove to be an unhappy experience. La Selecta lost all three matches, and were on the receiving end of the biggest ever World Cup margin when they were slammed 10-1 by Hungary in Elche.
Laszlo Kiss bagged a hat-trick, while Tibor Nyilasi, Gabor Poloskei, Laszlo Fazekas (2), Jozsef Toth, and Lazar Szentes completed the rout. Incredibly Hungary failed to qualify from the first group stages, as they then lost to Diego Maradona’s Argentina and drew with Belgium.
2) Hungary 9-0 South Korea – 1954
South Korea’s first ever World Cup finals game, and it was a baptism of fire as they faced the legendary Magical Magyars team in Zurich. Greats Ferenc Puskas (2), Sandor Kocsis (3), Zoltan Czibor, as well as Peter Palotas (2) and Mihaly Lantos inflicted the damage in a 9-0 trouncing.
3) Yugoslavia 9-0 Zaire – 1974
Yugoslavia produced some exciting players in the late 1960s and early 1970s, none more so than legendary winger Dragan Dzajic who was on the scoresheet along with Dusan Bajevic (3), Ivica Surjak, Josip Katalinski, Vladislav Bogicevic, Branko Oblak, and Ilija Petkovic as the Blues thrashed Zaire 9-0 in Group 2.
4) Sweden 8-0 Cuba – 1938
Cuba have only qualified for the World Cup once in their history – way back in 1938. In France, the Caribbean nation beat Romania in a replay in the first round before being pummelled 8-0 by Sweden in the quarter finals. Tore Keller and Gustav Wetterstrom both helped themselves to hat-tricks, with Arne Nyberg and Harry Andersson scoring the others.
5) Uruguay 8-0 Bolivia – 1950
Uruguay produced one of the greatest shocks in football history in 1950 as they won the World Cup after an astonishing final victory over red-hot favourites and hosts Brazil. Most people forget, though, that the 1930 winners boasted an outstanding squad with legends such as Juan Alberto Schiaffino. The future Milan star scored twice in their only game of Group 4 as fellow South Americans Bolivia were humiliated. Oscar Miguez (3), Ernesto Vidal, Julio Perez and Alcides Ghiggia fired home the others.
6) Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia – 2002
Germany surprisingly made it all the way to the final in the much-maligned 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan despite a very modest team. In their opening match against Saudi Arabia Die Mannschaft obliterated their opponents 8-0 at the Sapporo Dome. Miroslav Klose hit a treble, with the other five goals shared between Michael Ballack, Carsten Jancker, Thomas Linke, Oliver Bierhoff and Bernd Schneider.
7) Turkey 7-0 South Korea – 1954
South Korea’s first appearance at a World Cup in 1954 was a miserable one as they lost both games, scored no goals and conceded a whopping 16 strikes. This included a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Turkey, for whom Burhan Sargun (3), Suat Mamat (2), Erol Keskin and the impossible-to-pronounce Lefter Küçükandonyadis scored the goals.
8) Uruguay 7-0 Scotland – 1954
Holders Uruguay followed up their 8-0 win over Bolivia in 1950 with another big score four years later in Switzerland. Scotland were the recipients this time in the second game of Group 3 at the St Jakob Stadium in Basel. Miguez (2), Carlos Borges (3) and Julio Abbadie (2) were the goalscorers as Uruguay progressed to the semi finals where they lost 4-2 after extra time to Hungary.
9) Poland 7-0 Haiti – 1974
Poland had a fantastic 1974 World Cup, eliminating England in the qualifiers before roaring all the way to third place in the real thing by beating the likes of Argentina, Italy and Brazil. In the first group stages they also pummelled Haiti 7-0 thanks to goals from legends Grzegorz Lato (2), Kazimierz Deyna, Andrzej Szarmach (3), as well as Jerzy Gorgon.
10) Portugal 7-0 North Korea – 2010
After drawing their first Group G game 0-0 against the Ivory Coast, Portugal stamped their mark on South Africa 2010 with a 7-0 thumping of minnows North Korea in Cape Town. Raul Meireles, Simao, Hugo Almeida, Tiago Mendes (2), Liedson and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the goals as Portugal all but booked their place in the last 16.
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