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FIFA World Cup 2018: Top 5 opening day clashes in tournament history

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These games provided the best possible initiation to their respective tournaments taking the fans' excitement to a different level.

The FIFA World Cup returned after four long years bringing out all the passion amongst football fanatics around the globe. The tournament kicked-off on a high for the hosts as they humiliated Saudi Arabia with a whopping 5-0 scoreline.

This is one of the heaviest defeats in World Cup history and this gives us the privilege to relive some of the most memorable inaugural matches from the glorious past.

5. South Africa 1-1 Mexico (South Africa 2010)

Siphiwe Tshabalala's goal sent the African nation into raptures

The persistent sound of vuvuzelas was heard from the stands when the entire nation rose up in awe to celebrate the occasion, as South Africa scored their first goal in their first ever World Cup appearance.

Forward Siphiwe Tshabalala who was constantly tormenting the Mexican defence finally broke through  and put the ball in the back of the net. The goal infused a sense of belief for the South Africans as they saw their team taking lead against all odds.

But the El Tri spoiled the party for the hosts and scored a very crucial equaliser and then more misery followed as South Africa failed to make it out of the group stages.

4. Switzerland 1-1 Germany (France 1938) {aet 4-2}

The historic third staging of the grand event in France back in 1938 was one for the history books. This match between Switzerland and Germany was something special for the football fanatics back then and now it lies on the lap of football as a token of history.

The Germans took the lead in the game, but couldn't hold out the Swiss for long, as they equalised with an inspiring strike from Andre Abegglen. The match went to extra-time, but both teams failed to break the deadlock even by the 120th-minute mark.

So, the match was to be decided through a replay. In the replay, Switzerland pulled a rabbit out of the bag as they defeated the mighty Germans 4-2.

3. France 0-1 Senegal (South Korea & Japan 2002)

This game provided one of the biggest shocks of the 2002 edition

France arrived in Seoul on the back of great form as Les Blues were reigning world and European champions at that time. But, the world was in shock as they started their campaign with a stunning defeat to an unheralded Senegal side.

The French missed the services of Zinedine Zidane and were left flat-footed to Senegal's inspiring high tempo and fearless football. El Hadji Diouf and Papa Bouba Diop both were outstanding on the night as the Lions of Teranga started the World Cup on a thrilling note.


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2. Brazil 4-0 Mexico (Brazil 1950)

The Selecao entered the campaign as the favourites and with a massive home support.  Starting off in a very convincing fashion, Brazil justified their favourites' tag as the Maracana witnessed a 4-0 demolition of Mexico in the 1950 World Cup curtain-raiser.

The eventual tournament top scorer Ademir scored two goals on the night and the Samba Boys brimmed with confidence.

1. Argentina 0-1 Cameroon (Italy 1990)

This was one of the best games of Italy 1990

This game was one for World Cup folklore as the reigning champions bowed down to an inspiring Cameroonian side who steamrolled the South Americans on the night. Before the game, it was all about Argentina as they were the reigning champions.

The Lions were handed the lead when Francois Omam-Biyik struck first blood in the 67th minute. The goal proved to be very crucial as Cameroon were already down to 10 men with Kana Biyik was sent off. 

Claudio Caniggia could not manage to pull off an equaliser coming off the bench. Cameroon were penalised again as Benjamin Massing knocked down Caniggia and collected a red card. In the end, nine-men Cameroon showed great courage and zeal to win the match under trying circumstances.

Published: Fri Jun 15, 2018 02:28 PM IST

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