FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022’s 64 games, the most impressive game, is not necessarily the final, but the Argentine 1-2 reversal by Saudi Arabia. First of all, Argentina was considered a favourite to win the championship before the game. Many people thought that they would make it to the final, but who would have thought that they stumbled in the first game. Secondly, Saudi Arabia has always been a wimp in the World Cup, and often suffered humiliation by big scores. This time, it is really unexpected that they can hold their heads high in Argentina.
In fact, there is a precedent for Argentina being upset in the World Cup. As early as the 1990 World Cup, Argentina lost to Cameroon for the second time in the opening match, and Diego Maradona was also in the team. However, on the whole, Argentina’s performance in the World Cup is still relatively stable. Even if they are out, they will be eliminated by teams with equal strength. Few weak teams are as unpopular as Saudi Arabia.
In the history of the World Cup, the presence of Asian teams is not strong, after all, the strength is there. Therefore, Saudi Arabia can beat Argentina, which is definitely the light of Asia and the pride of Asian football. However, looking at the history of the World Cup, in fact, Asian teams are really not so easy to be upset with South American teams. At least, the examples of beating South American teams are far less than those of beating European teams.
Let’s just say. Apart from Saudi Arabia beating Argentina, which other game can you think of in which an Asian team beat a strong South American team? Note that the strong South American teams mentioned here, of course, refer to the strong South American teams, namely Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and so on in a specific period. South American fish maw like Bolivia, even if defeated by Asian teams, is far from being unpopular.
In fact, Brazil is one of the most difficult barriers for Asian teams to overcome. In the World Cup, Brazil’s advantage over Asian teams was so great that it was wishful thinking for Asian teams to beat them. China, North Korea, Japan and South Korea all played against Brazil. As for the result, it was desperate. I won’t list the scores here.
Uruguay, Colombia, Chile and Paraguay have also played against Asian teams in the World Cup, and they have also achieved good results. For example, Uruguay remained unbeaten against South Korea, and the 2010 World Cup directly blocked South Korea from the quarter-finals. Paraguay eliminated Japan, and Colombia beat Japan by a large margin. Of course, Japan beat Colombia in the 2018 World Cup group match, but Colombia at that time seemed to have gone downhill.
When it comes to the unexpected history of Asian teams in the World Cup, it is basically related to European teams, such as South Korea beating Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy, Japan beating Spain and Germany, Saudi Arabia beating Belgium, Iran beating Wales, North Korea beating Italy and so on. It seems that European teams can leave enough room for Asian teams.
Perhaps, the elusive style of South American teams and outstanding personal skills can always make weaker Asian teams lose their way, so it is difficult for Asian teams to create miracles in the face of South American teams. However, European teams are relatively more integrated and have less improvisational elements. If they catch up poorly and Asian teams play beyond their level, it is indeed possible to capsize.
However, with the continuous improvement of the level of Asian football, the strength advantages of both European and South American teams over Asian teams are actually shrinking. Maybe at some point in the future, we will witness another match like Saudi Arabia beating Argentina.