Iceland had qualified for the tournament and then made the knock-out rounds, so they were clearly a very good side. England had done the same, but had already shown that they were less than the sum of their parts. They also had a goalkeeper who had previously blundered against Wales.
It was hardly the 1950 match against the USA.
No, population, economy, history, etc...none of that counts once the game actually starts as it's then XI vs XI plus substitutes. Form, group dynamics, teamwork, etc: these are infinitely more important at that moment than all that other stuff. Otherwise only the rich nations with high populations would be contenders.
Croatia continue to prove this, while Uruguay (1920s - 1930, and again in 1950); Hungary (1950s); Denmark (1992), and others, also back the argument.
As such, Iceland's win was extremely unlikely before the tournament started, but can't be considered a GREAT shock after one considers just how well they were playing, and how poorly England were playing, at the time.
On the other hand, despite what some statisticians are trying to claim about Saudi Arabia's win over Argentina, the USA's win over England in 1950 remains the most genuinely freakish event because it featured a team of amateurs against a team of full-professionals.
The Saudi's are all pros.
I'd forgotten that they beat us - once - a million years ago. Was our entire team drunk or something?
Cameroon, who morally beat the English but were undone by some (admittedly masterful) diving for penalties that Ronaldo would be proud of.
Hungary - still up there with the biggest stuffing that England have ever had - 6-3 (at a time when England thought that they were best in the world).
Copyright H Brothers Inc, 2008–2023
| Go To Top
| View Mobile Site