What is the highest scoring World Cup match ever?
England’s 6-2 win against Iran in their first group stage match of the 2022 World Cup looked to score particularly high at football’s elite international tournament, but remarkably it doesn’t even make the top ten highest-scoring games ever at the World Cup. tournament.
Indeed, there have been a surprising number of matches with nine or more goals, with no tournament in the 21st century appearing in the top ten highest scoring World Cup matches.
So, what is the world cup match with the most goals since the start of the tournament in 1930? Seat selection (opens in new tab) have done the digging and uncovered all the purposeful games of the ages.
6 = Yugoslavia 9-0 Zaire, 1974 World Cup
With Zaire down 3–0 in the opening 20 minutes of this 1974 World Cup match, their manager Blagoje Vidinić (himself a Yugoslavian) replaced his goalkeeper. The substitute was only five feet tall and had conceded within a minute of taking the field.
Zaire – now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo – then conceded a further five goals against the Eastern Europeans to lose 9-0 in one of the heaviest defeats at a World Cup.
6= France 6-3 West Germany, 1958 World Cup
France and West Germany have played some crucial World Cup matches, their meeting in 1958 being the origin of their tournament rivalry.
A dramatic play-off for third place Just Fontaine starred in this goal-packed match at the 1958 FIFA World Cup Sweden, scoring four goals on a rather sloppy pitch.
6 = West Germany 7-2 Turkey, 1954 World Cup
An initially competitive affair quickly turned into West Germany taking the game. The first half ended 3-1 and Turkey were still very capable of grabbing a result against their European rivals.
However, West Germany dominated the second half, scoring four goals as Turkey could only answer one. The West Germans’ attack was so fluid that they were able to score two goals in the same minute – they grabbed the ball straight from Turkey’s kick-off and went down their side to score.
6 = Hungary 9-0 South Korea, 1954 World Cup
The ‘Magnificent Magyars’ were in top form at the 1954 World Cup, leading group two with solid victories against South Korea and West Germany (more on that later). South Korea’s 9-0 thrashing also became their biggest ever victory in a World Cup match, bettered only by a result they managed 28 years later.
6 = Argentina 6-3 Mexico, 1930 World Cup
At the inaugural 1930 World Cup, Argentina soared to a 3–0 lead in just 17 minutes, as Mexico pulled one back before the break. However, the South American side continued to dominate and then set a record for most goals scored in a World Cup match when Guillermo Stabile scored a hat-trick.
5. France 7-3 Paraguay, 1958 World Cup
Another game from a relatively early tournament, France’s encounter with Paraguay is the first on this list to break the double digits. Paraguay had a strong first half, scoring twice to go into the break 2-2.
In the second half, however, they crumbled and Les Bleus punished them with a 7-3 defeat.
2= Hungary 10-1 El Salvador, 1982 World Cup
In joint second place are three games from three different World Cups, all with a whopping 11 goals.
Although the Hungarian from 1982 team was a far cry from the legendary team of 1954, they still managed one of the tournament’s most devastating victories with their defeat of El Salvador with ten to one. Despite this impressive result, a draw against Belgium and a loss against Argentina ensured Hungary never got out of the group stage of the tournament.
2 = Hungary 8-3 West Germany, 1958 World Cup
In 1954, two European titans met on the field, Hungary and West Germany.
Although the West Germans were a strong side, they were emphatically beaten by the Hungarians in their meeting, probably due to West German coach Sepp Herberger playing a side mainly made up of reserves. Hungary’s ‘Golden Team’, fresh from a 9-0 victory over South Korea, defeated West Germany 8 to 3.
The two both qualified from their groups and met again in the World Cup final – this time, however, with legendary captain Ferenc Puskás injured, Hungary lost to West Germany in one of the tournament’s most controversial upsets.
2= Brazil 6-5 Poland, 1938 World Cup
The oldest of the three is from the 1938 match and is remembered as both Poland’s first match at a World Cup and Brazil’s highest scoring match at a World Cup to date. The Poles put up a brave fight, but in the end it was the South American nation that narrowly won by 6 goals to 5.
1. Austria 7-5 Switzerland, 1954 World Cup
With no fewer than 12 goals, Austria’s 1954 match against neighboring Switzerland is the highest scoring match in World Cup history.
The record-breaking encounter has come to be known as ‘Hitzechlacht von Lausanne’ (‘The Hot Battle of Lausanne’), due to the extreme temperatures players had to play under 40°C.
Switzerland took a dominant early lead, scoring three goals in four minutes in a sensational opening of a quarter-final encounter. Remarkably, however, Austria managed to bounce back from this hammering with five own goals – all within the first half.
The rest of the game featured another two goals from the Swiss and the Austrians each, ending with a surreal score of Austria 7, Switzerland 5.
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