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7 teams that shocked Germany

Ireland are bidding to upset the Germans on Tuesday, and they can take inspiration from these clips.

IRELAND PLAY GERMANY tomorrow night and go into the game as clear underdogs.

However, in the unlikely event that the Germans do slip up, it won’t be the first time they’ve been shocked by an ostensibly inferior team, as these results illustrate…

Tunisia (1978) 

Source: gr8footy/YouTube

A Tunisian team comprised of several part-time players improbably managed to hold West Germany to a 0-0 draw in the group stages in their first-ever World Cup finals appearance in 1978. They still narrowly missed out on qualification from the group, but not without handing the Germans a considerable scare.

 Algeria (1982)

Source: gr8footy/YouTube

The second successive World Cup in which the Germans suffered a poor result at the hands of an African team, Algeria managed an incredible 2-1 victory over the then-European champions. They subsequently suffered a controversial group stage exit, which is still discussed to this day, while West Germany — in true you-can-never-write-them-off fashion — made it all the way to the final in spite of this setback, where they were beaten by a Marco Tardelli-inspired Italy.

Bulgaria (1994)

Source: dstuart82/YouTube

Going into the 1994 World Cup, along with Brazil, Germany were considered pre–tournament favourites. They were the holders and their reunification ostensibly made them even stronger.

When they got paired with Bulgaria in the quarter-finals, the Germans were confident, with the underdogs having already been beaten 3-0 by Nigeria and scraping past Mexico on penalties in the last 16.

Yet Hristo Stoitchkov and Iordan Letchkov had other ideas, as their goals cancelled out a Lothar Matthäus penalty and guided the Bulgarians to an unlikely place in the semi-finals.

Croatia (1998)

Source: Azra2769/YouTube

Playing in their first-ever World Cup finals, having not even been eligible for the 1994 equivalent as their soccer federation didn’t form in time, Germany’s tournament experience was widely expected to be too much for Croatia’s novices.

However, goals from Robert Jarni, Goran Vlaovic and Davor Suker handed their side a shock win, after German defender Christian Woerns had been sent off in the 40th minute.

Croatia goalkeeper Drazen Ladic summed up the inevitable euphoria that this stunning result created in his country, telling reporters: “I think we can say we’re the best team in the world tonight.”

Latvia (2004)

Source: SiR OMARTV/YouTube

Latvia were widely considered as the worst team in the tournament at Euro 2004, while Germany had finished as runners-up in the 2002 World Cup.

The Latvians had much-maligned Arsenal defender, Igors Stepanovs, in their side, and had lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic in their opening game.

The Germans, meanwhile, had seemingly done the hard work, after earning a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in their opening match, however this catastrophic result coupled with a loss to Czech Republic contributed to a rare early exit for Rudi Voeller’s side.

As the then-Germany manager told reporters after the game: “You’re disappointed after a match like this, a match everyone expects you to win.”

Argentina (2014)

Source: Football Daily News/YouTube

The first signs that all may not be well in the German camp following their World Cup triumph earlier last summer.

Granted, a loss to Argentina in itself, particularly in a friendly, can hardly be classed as an upset.

However, it was the manner of the defeat and the circumstances behind it that contributed to the sense of shock.

Only 52 days after beating them in the World Cup final, the world champions were blown apart by their opponents in front of a home crowd, as they found themselves 4-0 down inside 50 minutes.

An André Schürrle strike and an own goal by Federico Fernandez salvaged some pride for the Germans, yet the emphatic nature of the loss set alarm bells ringing, as Joachim Löw’s men suffered their first defeat in 15 months.

Poland (2014)

Source: FootGoalHDTV/YouTube

Confirmation following the bad signs in the Argentina match that Germany were struggling to recapture their World Cup-winning form.

In a manner not dissimilar to the shocks suffered by the Spanish team in recent times, Germany dominated possession but could not find a way past the stubborn Polish rearguard, with the hosts ultimately prevailing thanks to two breakaway goals.

To put this shock in perspective, it was the Poles’ first win in 19 meetings with Germany.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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