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World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: North Korea upsets Italy

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By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports activities Soccer Author

Editor’s observe: Every day between now and the kickoff of the primary match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a special reminiscence from World Cup historical past. The countdown from 101 continues with North Korea’s win over Italy in 1966.

Consider it or not, probably the most stunning World Cup upset of all time isn’t the amateur-heavy United States’ incomprehensible 1-0 win over then-mighty England in 1950. The consideration really falls to North Korea, which sixteen years later shocked Italy, the one nation aside from Brazil with a number of world titles to that time.

The 1966 World Cup in England was North Korea’s first, though it had participated as a part of Japan on the first three occasions within the Thirties. No person anticipated a lot from the newbies as a standalone entrant. They anticipated even much less when the Soviet Union demolished them by a 3-0 depend of their opening sport.

North Korea rebounded of their subsequent group stage sport, a hard-fought draw with Chile. That set the stage for his or her ultimate first spherical match towards the two-time champion Azzurri. Italy have been the heavy favorites, however they’d no reply after Pak Doo-ik gave the underdogs the lead simply earlier than halftime in Middlesbrough. North Korea went on to win each the match — knocking the Italians out of the competitors within the course of — and the group, making them the primary Asian staff to advance to the knockout stage. 

And so they nearly pulled off one other miracle within the quarterfinals, squandering a 3-0 lead over Portugal by conceding 5 consecutive targets. North Korea didn’t return to the World Cup for one more 44 years. They’re nonetheless on the lookout for their second win.

North Korea makes historical past

North Korea grew to become the primary Asian staff to progress previous the primary spherical in 1966.

One of many main soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has lined United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a employees author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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