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Brazil and England included in 5 worst ever World Cup Games

| 18.06.2014

At first it seemed like we were on course for the most exciting World Cup ever, with Brazil’s 3-1 win over Croatia setting the tone for the opening weekend, but as time ticked on a couple of drab affairs have left fans questioning whether they should stay up for any future 11pm kick-offs.

The World Cup in Brazil may still be on course to set a new record for the average goals per game, but the sooner the likes of Iran, Russia, Nigeria and Korea Republic head home the better, with this fearsome foursome serving up arguably two of the worst ever games at a major tournament.

But despair not, because they are not alone, as this list of the five worst games at a World Cup finals demonstrates.

England vs Algeria 2010 World Cup

No countdown of the worst World Cup games ever would be complete without an entry from England’s truly terrible 2010 campaign in South Africa. Fresh from stumbling to a 1-1 draw with the USA, fans were treated to an even worse showing against an even worse team. Fortunately Emile Heskey was on hand to keep fans smiling with a comedic attempt at a step-over.

Ukraine vs Switzerland 2006 World Cup

Trinidad & Tobago’s 0-0 draw with Sweden was a heroic effort from the Caribbean nation, so we head to the knockout stages for our 2006 addition and the unmitigated stinker that was Ukraine vs Switzerland. Neither side made much of an effort to win the game in normal time but once the inevitable penalty shootout arrived, the spot-kicks were equally awful.

Cameroon vs Saudi Arabia 2002 World Cup

Germany smashed Saudi Arabia 8-0 in their opening game at the Japan and South Korea finals and, after a good display against Ireland in their game, Cameroon were predicted to score goals aplenty against the Green Falcons. In the end, a poor game featuring few chances was settled by one goal from Samuel Eto’o, who scuffed a shot past Mohammed Al-Deayea in an otherwise poor contest.

Spain vs Paraguay 1998 World Cup

Paraguay made a habit of picking up bore draws in France with three of their four games ending in 0-0 after 90 minutes but Spain were arguably the more disappointing of the two teams, as the swashbuckling side that lost narrowly to Nigeria in a 3-2 opening game thriller was replaced by a nervous and ineffective La Roja. Spain were soon on the way home.

Brazil vs Italy 1994 World Cup

Undoubtedly the most famous bad World Cup game of all-time, much was expected from the final in 1994, following a World Cup in which Italy’s Roberto Baggio and Brazil’s Romario had put in some impressive attacking displays. But after 120 minutes of largely forgettable play, TV viewers and fans alike were finally put out of their misery via spot kicks, as Baggio went from hero to villain.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.