Giant Killings: Football teams that upset the odds
Football is not only the beautiful game, it can also be the most surprising. The history of the sport is dotted with spectacular comebacks on the field, where teams upset the odds and, in a matter of a few adrenaline-filled minutes, transformed an almost inevitable defeat into a crushing victory.
In this article we take a look at six of the biggest killings made on the pitch by teams who didn’t even think it was possible themselves.
Tottenham 3 – Manchester Utd 5 (Premier League 2001)
Fans were in shock after the Red Devils mounted an unprecedented offence against the seemingly invincible Tottenham during this exciting match from the 2000/1 season of the Premier League. Everything seemed lost right from the outset for reigning champions Man Utd, who somehow conceded three goals to the Spurs during the first half of the game.
Incredibly, when it seemed all but a sure thing that Tottenham was heading for the win, a reinvigorated Man Utd managed to reverse their desperate situation and score five goals during the second half to topple their opponents on their home turf.
Newcastle 4 – Arsenal 4 (Premier League 2011)
Nobody expected this game to end in a draw after Arsenal stomped all over Newcastle during the first 45 minutes of the game and netted four goals before the first half was over. At that point, Newcastle fans in the stands were probably squirming in their seats with embarrassment as their Arsenal counterparts smugly looked on at the thrashing their team was inflicting to the hosts.
However, soon after the beginning of the second half of the game, Abou Diaby of Arsenal was shown the red card and dispatched from the field, leaving Arsenal a man down. That was all the advantage Newcastle needed to spring back into action and score three goals in rapid succession, followed by the equaliser at the 87th minute courtesy of Cheik Tiote.
Hungary 2 – West Germany 3 (World Cup final 1954)
This match happened half a century ago, but the final outcome defied the odds to such an extent that people still refer to it as the ‘Miracle of Bern’. In the FIFA World Cup finals of 1954, West Germany found itself going up against the mighty Hungarian team, which could boast of a record string of 30 victories including a spectacular 8-3 thumping of the very same team they were about to confront for the trophy.
The game was seemingly taking its natural course, with Hungary ahead by two goals after barely eight minutes into the game and the Germans still struggling to find their ground under the dismal weather conditions that the match was being played in. However, by the end of the game the unexpected had happened and West Germany put three goals past the Hungarian goalkeeper and won the title in one of the most dramatic football comebacks ever made.
Juventus 2 – Manchester Utd 3 (Champions League semi-final 1999)
Fans watching the second leg of the 1999 Champions League semi-final witnessed one of the most impressive football upsets ever on a European level when Juventus and Man Utd clashed on the pitch in a bid for a ticket to the league’s final.
Just 11 minutes into the game, Filippo Inzaghi asserted Juventus’s dominance of the field by scores in two goals and gaining his team an early advantage. A disheartened Man Utd team struggled to make any real impact on the game, until Roy Keane rolled up his sleeves and lead the team to an inspiring comeback which saw it seal their victory with three goals that sent the Italians packing.
Odds versus intuition
The amazing turn of events in these matches must have surprised both the players themselves as well as the fans, particularly if they wagered a bet or two on the team that eventually went on to win and suddenly found themselves getting a windfall from their bets!
You can find all the odds on online sportsbooks, but at the end of the day it’s your knowledge of the team and luck that will help you change those numbers on screen into cold, hard cash into your wallet. There’s plenty of options to do this for fans across the world.
Major bookmakers are in constant competition over providing the best odds across a variety of betting markets. Driving prices up, this pressure is of big help to bettors – particularly as large sporting events such as the Euro 2016 drive ever-greater numbers of bettors to sportsbooks. Bookies like William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet365 are already offering odds for the Euro 2016 – find our latest betting tips right here on Pitch Invasion!
Panama 2 – U.S. 3 (CONCACAF World Cup qualifier 2014)
Football, or soccer as they prefer to call it in the US of A, is far from being the most popular sport in the country, but their national team has been involved in quite a far few amazing comebacks in recent times. One of them happened during their final match of the 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifier tournament.
In that match, the US were down by one goal and the Panamanians were all set to cruise through to the World Cup finals in Brazil for the first time in history. However, their dream of being one of 32 qualifying teams for the finals were shattered when the US team staged a late comeback and managed to level two more goals against them.
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 – U.S. 4 (International friendly 2013)
Another incredible US comeback happened a year earlier when the the men’s national team faced Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo for an international friendly. Although the stakes were low, winning this match would have meant an unprecedented 12 victories in a row for the US team.
However, Bosnia-Herzegovina proved to be quite a match for the American, taking the lead early on with two goals and a much better performance on the pitch. It was only during the second half of the game that the US team finally came to life and scored four goals to seal a historic victory.