They say, it’s hard on you if you lose in a Final. Losing out in a World Cup semi finals is heartbreaking as well. It just underlines the fact that the World Cup is a global occasion, an equal platform for all to shine. And nobody, mind you, nobody takes it easy. This has led us to witness some scintillating World Cup Semifinal games in the past, ten of which we’ve listed below. Let us know if you agree with our list.
10. Brazil 1 – 7 Germany, 2014 World Cup Semifinal
While this would count as one of the most noncompetitive semifinals in the history of the World Cup, Brazil’s 1-7 drubbing at the hands of Germany goes down as the biggest scoreline in history.
Germany’s sheer brilliance and workmanship saw them score 5 past Brazil inside 25 minutes, with Oscar replying very late with a solo effort. The match in Belo Horizonte missed the likes of Thiago Silva and Neymar.
9. Croatia 2 – 1 England, 2018 World Cup Semifinal
The last piece of Croatia’s fairy-tale ride to the Final of the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia saw them eliminate England via an extra time goal from Mario Mandzukic.
Earlier Ivan Perisic had nullified Kieran Trippier brilliant freekick goal for England. The game went to extra time and Mandzukic found her predatory instincts on point for the winning goal.
8. Italy 4 – 3 West Germany, 1970 World Cup Semifinal
Widely regarded by many as the best match of football ever played, West Germany locked horns with Italy in the Semifinal of the 1970 World Cup at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Italy took an early lead through Roberto Boninsegna, whose equalizer came very late through Karl-Heinz Schnellinger.
The match went to extra time, with Gerd Muller scoring twice, but the Italians had tasted blood and scored through Burgnich, Riva and Rivera to win 4-3 after extra time.
7. Brazil 5 – 2 France, 1958 World Cup Semifinal
This is the game that made Pelé who he is. Having scored the only goal in Brazil’s quarterfinal victory over Wales, 17 year old Pele scored thrice in the space of 23 minutes to guide Brazil to the Final in Sweden.
Vava and Didi’s first half goals had already given Brazil a cushion, Pele’s antics just doubled down on France who were kept wondering what they did wrong.
6. Brazil 4 – 2 Chile, 1962 World Cup Semifinal
While Pele is widely regarded as the best to have ever graced a football pitch, Garinchha could be credited with creating a lot of those chances for Pele.
However, on the day of the semi-final in the 1966 World Cup, with Pele out, the winger took the centerstage, scoring twice to knock hosts Chile out of the competition. Vava also scored twice as Brazil cruised to a comfortable 4-2 victory.
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5. England 2 – 1 Portugal, 1966 World Cup Semifinal
Eusebio could’ve been a World Cup winner, had it not been for this game, the Semifinal of the 1966 World Cup between England and Portugal.
The Benfica star man already had 9 goals to his name in the World Cup, but Manchester United forward Bobby Charlton shone on the day to score a brace and take England into the Final of the 1966 edition.
4. Netherlands 1 – 1 (3 – 4) Brazil, 1998 FIFA World Cup Semifinal
Before Zidane thrashed Brazilian hopes in the Final in 1998 at St. Denis, Brazil overcame a sturdy Netherlands in Marseille thanks to the genius of a certain Ronaldo, who scored one of the goals of the tournament, Brazil only in regulation time.
However, the Dutch struck back and it went down to penalties. Ronaldo scored again from the spot as Brazil booked their place in the Final.
3. Italy 1 – 1 (3 – 2) Argentina, 1990 World Cup Semifinal
Salvatore Schillaci and Claudio Caniggia’s goals on either side of halftime for Italy couldn’t guarantee them victory in Naples against Diego Maradona’s Argentina, who surprisingly played a rough brand of football on the night, picking up 6 out of 7 yellow cards issued.
The game went to penalty shootout, and the star of Napoli, Maradona scored the winning penalty to take Albeiceste to the Final of the World Cup.
2. Bulgaria 1 – 2 Italy, 1994 World Cup Semifinal
Roberto Baggio lit up the Giants’ Stadium in New Jersey, USA with a delightful brace as Italy easily swept aside giant-killers Bulgaria who had done good enough to make it to the Semis of a World Cup.
The Italian No.10, voted the Best Player days earlier, scored the first one from range and the second one from close range after a clever pass from just outside the box.
1. France 3 – 3 (5 – 4) West Germany, 1982 World Cup Semifinal
The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville hosted the second semifinal of the 1982 World Cup contested by West Germany and France. It turned out to be the best World Cup Semifinal game ever, with both European superpowers trying to book a place in the Final against Italy.
The game ended 3-3 in regulation time, with penalties, red cards and yellow cards galore and required a penalty shootout to decide the victor. France scored all 5 compared to the Germans’ 4 to sail into the Final in Madrid.