Costa Rica and Four Other Bets You Wish You Hadn’t Placed During the Last 6 World Cups

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World Cup Hangover: Costa Rica's defender #04 Keysher Fuller reacts at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E match between Spain and Costa Rica at the Al-Thumama Stadium on November 23, 2022. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

Shocking results during the World Cup are nothing new and Qatar 2022 has already delivered multiple upsets and extravagant scorelines. England dismantled Iran 6-2, Saudi Arabia produced a remarkable upset over Argentina and the Japanese squad overcame Germany.

However, the most flabbergasting result was the 7-0 destruction of Costa Rica at the hands of Spain in what also turned out to be a record-breaking game, including some astonishing stats like the fact that Los Ticos became the first side in 32 years that failed to have a single shot in the entire game. 

Still, we’re bound to place more bets we wish we hadn’t during Qatar 2022, but for now, let’s preview the top 5 bets you shouldn’t have wagered on from the last six World Cups… And we’ll come full circle with 5 bets we wish to make in what’s left of this group stage. 

Now, let’s recap some failed soccer picks.

Qatar 2022

Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina

  • Result: 2-1

There’s no better place to begin than in Qatar, as we’ve just witnessed the biggest upset – from a betting perspective – in World Cup history. Saudi Arabia was priced at +2900 at Bookmaker (visit our Review) to defeat Argentina pre-game, as the Argentine squad was one of the favorites to win the coveted trophy this year.

In the FIFA rankings, Saudi Arabia is ranked 48 positions below Argentina and the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot. At this time, Argentina looked comfortable in a controlling position, and nobody expected what was to come.

45 Minutes From Making History

Argentina Lionel Scaloni and his team were on the brink of matching Italy’s record of 37 international fixtures undefeated and their expectations of exceeding this outstanding record against Mexico were high. 

However, the Green Falcons had other plans as they started the second half with a 48th-minute goal followed by another in the 53rd.

This underdog story will be difficult to match for years to come, and the betting odds on Saudi Arabia may never be matched in another World Cup again.

Spain vs. Costa Rica

  • Result: 7-0

While the end result of Spain vs. Costa wasn’t surprising, the final score was undoubtedly a shocker. The Spaniards refused to hold back against the Costa Rican team netting seven goals and even preventing the Central Americans from taking a consolation goal.

Once Dani Olmo nabbed Spain’s first goal in the 11th minute, the floodgates were opened as five different Spanish players got onto the scoresheet, and front-runner Ferran Torres netted twice.

Not Quite But…

It doesn’t quite compare to Hungary’s 9-0 thrashing of South Korea at Switzerland 1954, but Spain’s 7-0 beating of Costa Rica will likely be the most authoritative result of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Spain managed some impressive stats in what turned out to be their biggest win in a World Cup:

  • 81.8% Possession of the ball (World Cup Record)
  • 976 Passes completed (World Cup Record)
  • 93.5% Pass Completions
  • 7 Goals Out of 7 Shots on Goal

Brazil 2014

Costa Rica Versus:

  • Uruguay: 3-1
  • Italy: 1-0
  • England: 0-0
  • Greece: 1-1 (5-3 PKs)

As we’re fresh off reviewing Costa Rica’s recent misery, let’s celebrate the year when they shocked the planet. Our list is scattered with unexpecting results that occurred through 90 minutes of play; however, Los Ticos entered Brazil for the 2014 World and shocked us in every game they played.

Costa Rica was expected to take an early exit from Brazil as they were drawn into the “Group of Death” alongside Italy, England, and Uruguay. They weren’t given a chance and were dubbed as outsiders, that was until matchday one was completed.

A Series of Unexpected Events

A 3-1 success over Uruguay opened the eyes of many, but still, the doubt overshadowed Los Ticos because they were about to face England and Italy. Critics jumped the gun because a 1-0 victory over Italy not only sealed their place in the round of 16 but also positioned them at the top of the table.

Holding England to 0-0 was the icing on the cake, and as Italy and England crashed out of Brazil 2014, Costa Rica topped the “Group of Death” smiling in the face of the grim reaper. It’s a shame Los Ticos couldn’t call on Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz for their meeting with Spain in Qatar.

Going on to defeat Greece in the round of 16 put genuine belief that this side could do the impossible; unfortunately, the Netherlands sent them packing in a quarter-final penalty shootout.

Japan/South Korea 2002

Senegal vs. France

  • Result: 1-0

Twenty years after their 1998 World Cup success, France again lifted the prestigious trophy in 2018. They’ve entered Qatar 2022 as the defending champions and excelled over Australia 4-1 in their opening game. However, the last time they were defending World Cup Champions in 2002, Senegal handed Les Bleus 90 minutes of fight nobody could’ve predicted.

Under the tutelage of Roger Lemerre, it was apparent to see why France was one of the tournament’s favorites to defend their crown with the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera on this side. But an unsuspecting Senegal team delivered the goods in the competition’s opening game, overcoming the French 1-0.

It was the beginning of the end for Lemerre and co. who crashed out during the group stage, and funnily enough, France’s 2022 group opponents Denmark were the team to hand them their second loss as they finished rock bottom of the table at Japan/Korea 2002.

Italia ’90

Cameroon vs. Argentina

  • Result: 1-0

On the topic of Argentina, how could we forget Italia 90′ opening game versus Cameroon?

La Albiceleste entered Italia ’90 as the defending champions after winning the competition in 1986, as Diego Maradona delivered the “hand of God” on his way to lifting the cup. However, no hands or gods were on Argentina’s side when Cameroon took advantage of a stage-frit Argentinian squad by defeating them 1-0.

Despite this, Argentina did reach the quarter-finals. But in a bittersweet fashion for the English – who were eliminated by Maradona’s infamous play at the 1986 World Cup – they took revenge and eliminated the Albiceleste in the quarter-finals.

The Top 5 Bets You’ll Wish You Made at the 2022 World Cup

The teams mentioned above are competing in Qatar to become the 2022 World Cup champions. We’ve highlighted some downfalls, surprising results, and the bets you wish you hadn’t made. 

In light of that and using the teams above, let’s look at some of the bets you’ll wish you made at the best World Cup sportsbooks during Qatar 2022.

1. Senegal vs. Qatar

Friday, November 25, 2022 – 08:00 AM EST at Al Thumama Stadium

2. Argentina vs. Mexico

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at Lusail Stadium

3. France vs. Denmark

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 11:00 AM EST at Stadium 974

  • World Cup Pick: Over 2.5 goals (+120) at Everygame

4. Saudi Arabia vs. Poland

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 08:00 AM EST at Education City Stadium

5. Costa Rica vs. Japan

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 05:00 AM EST at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.