The tie between Mexico and Poland was a wink for the Argentine National Team.  Photo: AP / Moises Castillo.

Only four times in history it happened that the team that lost in the premiere, reached the final of the World Cup. Only one was champion. How was group C with the draw between Mexico and Poland?

The last thing you lose is hope. And in bad weather, a good face, they said and continue to say, the grandmothers. Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their debut and will need to improve their performance accompanied by results to qualify for the round of 16, a stage in which – they also say – ‘another’ World Cup begins.

The map is as follows: two victories against Mexico and Poland will deposit it in the following instance; as well as a defeat next Saturday before the Aztecs will eliminate it automatically; Y a draw could do depending on what happens a while before between Poles and Arabs.




The tie between Mexico and Poland was a wink for the Argentine National Team. Photo: AP / Moises Castillo.

A good one? The last three times that the National Team lost in its debut, went to the next round.

In the 21 previous editions, only four countries stumbled in their debut and then played in the final for the title. One was Argentinathe well-remembered defeat against Cameroon at the start of Italy 90.

“If we go back in the first round, I’ll kidnap the pilot and shoot down the plane”was the message of Carlos Salvador Bilardo after the fall against the African team. Luck changed, then they beat the Soviet Union 2-0, drew Romania 1-1 and ranked third best. Although he had few minutes of good football in the seven games he played, the National Team reached the final, which they lost to Germany 1-0. After 32 years, that performance is already mythical.

But Argentina was not the first nor the last. In Spain 82, Algeria gave the great surprise of the tournament by defeating Germany 2-1. The last two games of the group stage were not yet played at the same time. Not even the same day. On June 24, Algeria beat Chile 3-2 and finished with 4 points equal to Austria. The Germans added two units.

With a 1-0 in favor, the Germans and the Austrians. After Horst Hrubesch’s at 10 minutes, there was an embarrassing spectacle. The two teams played away from the goal, went to the second phase and left the Algerians out. Since 1986, the last date of the group stage is played at the same time. The Germans lost the final to Italy 3-1.

Germany lost on their debut in 1982 and reached the final.


Germany lost on their debut in 1982 and reached the final.

In 1994, Italy also started the World Cup with an upset defeat by the Republic of Ireland 1-0. It was an incredible group in which the four teams achieved four points, with a win, a draw and a loss, all with the same goal difference: 0. The Mexicans scored 3 goals and went first. Ireland and Italy scored 2 and the Irish were second because they won the game against each other. Italy managed to qualify as the fourth best third. scraping. Then, he lost the final with Brazil on penalties.

Italy lost in their debut in the United States in 1994 and then was in the final, where they lost on penalties to Brazil.


Italy lost in their debut in the United States in 1994 and then was in the final, where they lost on penalties to Brazil.

The last time a team lost in their debut and then played in the final was in South Africa 2010. Spain lost to Switzerland 1-0. Then they beat Honduras 2-0 and Chile 2-1 and qualified first in the group for best goal difference than Chile. He then continued his winning ways and was crowned world champion for the first and only time after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final.

The other encouraging fact for Argentina is that the last three times they lost in their debut, they went to the next phase. In 1990, he reached the final. In 1982, when they lost to Belgium 1-0, on the second date of the group stage. And in 1974, after losing to Poland 3-2, they also qualified for the semifinal round.

The same had not happened before: in Sweden 58 they lost 3-1 with West Germany and failed to get past the group stage and in Italy 34, they lost 3-2 with Sweden in the round of 16 and was their debut and farewell.

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