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Friday, January 27, 2023

From the United States to South Korea, other unexpected semifinalists before Morocco

From the United States in the first edition, in 1930, to South Korea and Turkey in 2002, other teams have surprised by reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup before Morocco in 2022.

Although they reached the semi-finals only once, the USSR of legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, was no surprise in 1966, European champions in 1960 and runners-up in 1964.

, 1930: The first era of ‘soccer’ in the United States

In the first decades of football, ‘soccer’ experienced a certain boom in the United States and a brief golden age in the 1920s with its first federal championship, the American Soccer League, which collapsed in 1933. . Dressed in white shirts and pants and blue socks, the United States team consisted essentially of recently naturalized British players, five Scotsmen and one Englishman.

The opening whistle for USA-Belgium (3-0) sounds at the same time as France-Mexico. These are the first two matches in the World Cup.

Against Paraguay (3–0), United States striker Bertram Patenod scored the first hat-trick, but ‘Team USA’ suffered a loss to Argentina (6–1) in the semi-finals.

, 1962: Chile promoted by its people

Cheered on by their fans, La Roja achieved a historic World Cup under a stellar performance from their striker, Lionel Sánchez (4 goals). They came out of a fractious group by defeating Switzerland (3–1) and then Italy (2–0) in a very tight game that later became known as the ‘Battle of Santiago’. Both teams escalated actions contrary to the spirit of the game, with two Italians being sent off and the police having to intervene on several occasions to separate the players. In the quarterfinals, Chile defeated the USSR (2–1), before Brazil (4–2) cut their way with doubles from Vava and Garrincha.

He scored the third in the last minute against Yugoslavia (1–0).

, 1994: Bulgaria, the Stoikov generation

With an exceptional generation, Bulgaria reached the semi-finals in the United States.

The tournament’s top scorer was Hristo Stoichkov, along with Russian Oleg Salenko (6 goals). But behind Johan Cruyff’s Barca star appeared players such as Emil Kostadinov, Kasimir Balakov, the symbolically bald Yordan Lechkov, Germany’s executioner with a header in the quarter-final (2-1), or the long-haired and bearded central defender Trifon Ivanov. The adventure ended in the semi-finals (2–1) against Roberto Baggio’s Italy (a brace), and the Bulgarians ran out of energy in the third-place match, losing 4–0 to Sweden.

2002: South Korean folly and Turkish surprise

Carried away by a devoted public and considered by some to be homemade in the midst of mediocrity, Guus Hiddink’s South Korea became the first semi-finalist from the Asian continent.

They beat Italy (2–1 after extra time) with a golden goal from Ahn Jung-hwan before losing to Germany (1–0), then Spain (0–0, 5–3) on penalties.

Turkey, in its second appearance since 1954, tear apart other hosts Japan (1–0) in the round of 16, then handing Senegal (1–0 after extra time) in the quarterfinals, with a goal from Ilhan Manassiz Before Ronaldo’s weapon against Brazil (1-0). The Turks won the game for third place (3–2) with the fastest goal in World Cup history, scored by Hakan Sukur after 10.8 seconds.



Conocé Trust Project
World Nation News Desk
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