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Top 5 comebacks in FIFA World Cup history

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The come-from-behind wins have become part of footballing folklore as some of the greatest in tournament history.

Comebacks, or rather fightbacks are a very thrilling aspect in any sport. Their unpredictability adds to the excitement and ecstasy and it forces spectators to stand up and take note.

Revisiting some of the greatest comebacks in FIFA World Cup history will only freshen the memories of the good old days as a football fanatic. With the current World Cup being a tournament full of upsets, we take a look at the teams who held their nerves in difficult situations and came back from behind.

5. Croatia Vs France 1998 World Cup semi-final

The Croats, after defeating champions Germany 3-0, progressed to the semi-finals against France. The Davor Suker led side were full of courage and self-belief that they can go all the way, but what made them stronger was a shot from Suker that gave the Croatians an early lead and they had one foot towards the final.

France went on to lift the trophy in style

However, like all comebacks are destined, substitute Lilian Thuram came on and little did he know that that the Juventus defender would score a brace to inspire a comeback for Les Bleus. 

4. West Germany Vs France 1982 World Cup semi-final

The Germans had taken the lead in the 17th minute when Pierre Littbarski scored, but France soon equalised through Michel Platini from the spot. Neither of the teams could then break the deadlock and the game went on to extra-time. Les Bleus stars Marius Tresor and Alain Giresse stepped up and made the scoreline 3-1 in extra-time.



West Germany lost in the final to Italy

The Germans had hardly any reaction time, but an instant reply from Karl Heinze Rummenigge gave them a slender hope of staying in the game. Soon Klaus Fischer came from nowhere to score the equaliser and the match rolled onto penalties. Finally, after so much drama, Germany were through to another World Cup final.

3. Uruguay Vs Brazil 1950 World Cup final

Uruguay won the game with two goals to one

Considered one of the saddest days in Brazil's football history, the 1950 final was one such great match which football fanatics savour till date. Friaca gave the Selecao a second-half lead and the Brazilians believed even more, but a shock comeback stunned the Maracana as there was pin-drop silence.

Uruguay came back strongly as Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia scored to take the match to 2-1. The match went down in the history books as one of the most sorrowful days in Brazilian football history and the event was termed the "Maracana Blow".

2. West Germany Vs Hungary 1954 World Cup  final

Captain Ferenc Puskas opened the scoring and added more pressure on the Germans and to take it a notched forward the Hungarians were 2-0 up within eight minutes of the match. But, the Germans hardly give up and without being bogged down, they fought back as goals from Max Marlock and Helmut Rahn kept them in the hunt.

But, as the game approached the final whistle things started to become intense when a Hungarian shot struck the post and on the counter, the Germans tried to apply pressure and a blunder by the Hungarian goalkeeper left Rahn with an open goal, enabling Germany to lift their first World Cup title.


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1. West Germany Vs Netherlands 1974 World Cup final

The Oranje almost demolished every team they faced in the competition and in spite of being at home the Germans hardly had any hope to win the final. A lot was at stake when Johan Neeskens scored from the spot to give the Netherlands the early lead and the Germans' shoulders started to go down, but most of the 75,000 crowd backed their team to make a comeback.

Defender Paul Breitner gave the home supporters a glimmer of hope by equalising from the spot and the Germans clinched the title, thanks to a fantastic goal from Gerd Muller.

Published: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:01 PM IST

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