Ranked: The 3 worst World Cup host nation performances in FIFA WC history

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With little than a week until Qatar open up their ain World Cup against Ecuador, we’re going to instrumentality a look astatine the past they volition beryllium hoping to avoid. Here are 3 of the worst big federation performances that the World Cup has ever seen.

At fiftieth successful the FIFA world rankings, the 2022 hosts look a daunting imaginable arsenic an underdog successful this tournament. However, they whitethorn fancy their chances astatine upsetting their higher-ranked opponents Ecuador (44th) successful the first game.

Following this, the 18th-ranked Senegal and the eighth-ranked Netherlands marque for overmuch tougher challenges. So, Qatar whitethorn really extremity up connected this database aft the wintertime World Cup.

But, for now, they are harmless from this infamous portion of history. We volition justice erstwhile World Cup hosts by however acold they got successful their respective tournaments. In the lawsuit that immoderate teams reached the aforesaid signifier of the competition, past their radical signifier show volition differentiate them.

So, let’s get into it!

#3: Japan – 2002

Okay, truthful technically Japan were the associated hosts of the 2002 World Cup – but they were the worst of the 2 nations successful the tournament. South Korea, successful contrast, went each the mode to the semi-finals.

Playing successful Group H, Japan began their tourney with a 2-2 draw against Belgium. In a crippled wherever each 4 goals came successful the 2nd half, Japan took a 2-1 pb earlier Peter van der Heyden recovered an equaliser for the Belgians.

But, from here, the Japanese broadside enjoyed occurrence successful Group H. They bushed Russia 1-0 successful their 2nd game, with Arsenal player Junichi Inamoto grabbing the captious goal.

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Then, a 2-0 victory implicit Tunisia really meant that the Samurai Blue finished top of their group. Hidetoshi Nakata, who immoderate whitethorn cognize from his days astatine Roma and Parma, grabbed a extremity successful the win.

Unfortunately, the circular of 16 proved a span excessively acold for the arguably already overachieving Japan. Playing Turkey successful the knockout stage, the co-hosts suffered a heart-breaking 1-0 defeat acknowledgment to an Umit Davala header.

As a result, the Japanese broadside of 2002 matched the joint-worst show by a big federation successful World Cup history. The squad whose grounds they matched? America, successful 1994.

#2: USA – 1994

As soon arsenic euphony icon Diana Ross missed a penalty during the opening ceremony, you could archer that this was not going to beryllium a large tourney for the hosts, the USA. This yet proved to beryllium the case.

Playing indoors astatine the Pontiac Silverdome, America drew their archetypal lucifer against Switzerland. Swiss midfielder Georges Bregy scored the opening extremity of the tournament, past Eric Wynalda equalised for the USA conscionable 5 minutes later. So, astatine slightest America had scored successful their tournament.

Following this, the USA got their archetypal triumph of their World Cup – but it was stained with tragedy. America bushed Colombia 2-1 acknowledgment to an ain extremity from Andres Escobar and a onslaught from Ernie Stewart.

Colombia besides scored a 90th infinitesimal consolation via Adolfo Valencia. Whilst the USA were jubilant, the decision efficaciously knocked Colombia retired of the tournament. Colombians blamed ain extremity scorer Escobar for the embarrassment, and the defender was tragically murdered erstwhile helium returned to his homeland.

America’s last radical crippled was a batch little dramatic, though disappointing. They mislaid 1-0 to Romania, who really reached the quarterfinals successful 1994.

Despite the defeat, the USA made the circular of 16. Even though they finished 3rd successful radical A, America qualified arsenic 1 of the champion third-placed teams from each the groups.

But America’s tourney tally ended astatine the archetypal knockout stage. Facing a shot elephantine successful Brazil, a spirited USA show came up abbreviated arsenic they suffered a 1-0 decision to the eventual winners.

As a effect of not winning their group, America ranks higher than Japan 2002 connected the worst World Cup big federation list. They are inactive wide of fig one, though.

#1: South Africa – 2010

Bafana Bafana! The squad that captured the world’s hearts with a stunning opening extremity unluckily comes successful arsenic the worst-ever big federation successful FIFA World Cup history.

So galore radical retrieve Siphiwe Tshabalala’s implicit rocket of a onslaught successful South Africa’s archetypal lucifer against Mexico. But ex-Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez equalised for Mexico, ruining the South Africa party, and earning a 1-1 draw.

Following this, the location federation received a world cheque astatine the hands of Uruguay. The South American broadside bushed South Africa 3-0, with a treble from Diego Forlan firing them to victory. A reddish paper for South Africa keeper Itumeleng Khune proved an unfortunate turning constituent successful the match.

However, Africa’s archetypal World Cup hosts did not extremity their tourney successful disappointment. Incredibly, Bafana Bafana bushed 2006 finalists France 2-1 successful their past radical game.

France had endured a tourney afloat of conflict wrong their ain squad against manager, Raymond Domenech. Because of this, an ill-tempered French broadside suffered a dismissal successful their lucifer with the hosts. Yoann Gourcuff received a reddish paper for an elbow whilst competing for a header.

But bash not instrumentality thing distant from South Africa. They were leading 1-0 earlier the reddish card, past doubled their pb acknowledgment to Katlego Mphela. Former Chelsea winger Florent Malouda grabbed France’s consolation.

The triumph saw South Africa finish third successful Group A, a respectable effect fixed their minnow presumption successful planetary football. This does not halt them from picking up an unenviable record, though.

They are the first, and presently only, World Cup big federation to not get retired of the archetypal circular – making them the worst successful history.

Sorry South Africa, but acknowledgment for the memories of an iconic tournament.

Featured representation credit: Getty