Ghana's striker Asamoah Gyan acknowledges the crowd after defeating the USA 2-1 in extra time of their 2010 World Cup round of 16 football match at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, on June 26, 2010.
Pedro Ugarte—AFP/Getty Images
By Randy W. Stearns
June 13, 2014

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup underway in Brazil, fans worldwide are cheering on their favorite teams, regardless of how likely it is that they will advance to the closing stages. Of the 76 countries that have participated in FIFA’s big event since the first one in 1930, only eight have managed to claim the title of champion. And only two of those were big surprises: Uruguay in 1950 and Italy in 1982.

But as any fan can tell you, the World Cup is about much more than who takes the trophy at the end. This year, several teams that qualified are considered long shots, among them the U.S.

The possibility that an underdog might defy the odds and advance further than expected underlies each World Cup match. Who knows what will happen?

Take a look at a few of World Cup history’s most memorable upsets — games no one could anticipate ending as they did, but ones everyone should remember.

 

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