When Bosnia-Herzegovina makes its World Cup debut next month, it will become the 77th nation to participate in soccer's biggest tournament. And although only eight countries have won it, several more have left their mark by knocking off the favorites. Here are some of the World Cup's more memorable upsets:
1. U.S. 1, England 0, 1950: England was the tournament favorite and the U.S. arrived in Brazil with a hastily assembled team of players who didn't know one another. One of them was a Haitian immigrant name Joe Gaetjens, whose diving first-half header produced a result that was so unexpected some English papers reportedly believed the telegraph operator had made a mistake and listed the result as 10-1 England.
2. North Korea 1, Italy 0, 1966: In its Cup debut, the upstart Koreans, only more than a decade removed from a war that had divided their country, won on a goal just before halftime. Perhaps just as influential in the final result was the fact that, minutes earlier, Giacomo Bulgarelli, captain of the two-time champion Italians, had been carried off the field on a stretcher.
3. West Germany 3, Hungary 2, 1954: Hungary entered the tournament unbeaten in 32 games, then added an 8-3 win over West Germany in group play. But the field the Hungarians took for the final was a quagmire and the Germans, using boots with replaceable studs made by Adi Dassler, founder of a fledgling company named Adidas, rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win when Ferenc Puskas' tying goal with two minutes left was disallowed because of an offside call.
4. Cameroon 1, Argentina 0, 1990: With the hopes of a continent riding on its shoulders, unheralded Cameroon struck a blow for African soccer when it stunned Diego Maradona and the defending world champions in the tournament's opening game. Cameroon went on to become the first African team to advance past the second round.
5. South Korea 2, Italy 1; South Korea 0, Spain 0 (South Korea advances on penalty kicks), 2002: Playing in the elimination rounds for the first time, South Korea, the tournament's co-host, played giant killer, knocking off Italy in the round of 16 and getting past Spain on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. Cinderella's glass boot came off in the semifinals, though, when Michael Ballack's goal with 15 minutes to play gave Germany a 1-0 win.
6. Uruguay 2, Brazil 1, 1950: The last time Brazil played host to a World Cup, it went to the final needing only a tie to claim the title. A record crowd estimated at 200,000 showed up to watch the coronation at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium and more than half a million T-shirts bearing a slogan proclaiming Brazil as champion had already been sold. They became collector's items when Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia scored with 11 minutes left in regulation. It would be Ghiggia's last international goal.
7. Senegal 1, France 0, 2002: In its only World Cup appearance, Senegal stunned the defending champions in the opening game on Papa Bouba Diop's goal in the 30th minute. Senegal went on to the quarterfinals, where it lost an improbable matchup with Turkey. France was eliminated in group play and went home without having scored a goal.
8. Algeria 2, West Germany 1, 1982: No African team had beaten a European one in the World Cup and Algeria, a 1,000-1 title underdog and participating in the tournament for the first time, hardly looked like the country to end that streak. But Lakhdar Belloumi ended a 1-1 tie in the 68th minute and Algeria hung on to beat the reigning European champions, setting up a controversial moment. In the final game of group play, Germany and Austria, aware a one-goal win for Germany would eliminate Algeria and send both European teams on, didn't take a shot after Germany went up, 1-0, in the 10th minute.
9. Bulgaria 2, Germany 1, 1994: West Germany won the title in 1990 and now, playing as a unified country for the first time since World War II, expected to roll over Bulgaria, which entered the tournament having never won a World Cup game. But the Germans wilted in the heat and humidity of the New Jersey summer and were knocked out in the quarterfinals on goals three minutes apart late in the second half. Bulgaria hasn't won a World Cup game since.
10. Northern Ireland 1, Spain 0, 1982: The smallest country to reach a World Cup, Ireland had the luck of the draw go against it when it went into the final game of group play needing a win to advance. And the Irish got it when Gerry Armstrong scored two minutes into the second half and made it stand up despite playing the final 38 minutes with only 10 men. Northern Ireland has been back to the World Cup once since.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun