High scoring encounters at FIFA World Cup

We revisit five of the highest-scoring matches at the FIFA World Cup where the final scoreline resembled a tennis set score.

Hungary forward Nandor Hidegkuti (2nd R) kicks the ball past German goalkeeper Heiner Kwiatkowski (22) to score a goal.   -  AFP

Football World Cups over the years have produced a significantly high number of matches which have ended with the final score resembling a set score in tennis. A few matches have been close contests, edged by one or two goals. Here, Sportstar revisits five of the highest-scoring matches at the FIFA World Cup.

1954 World Cup, Switzerland v Austria

One of the topsy-turvy matches in FIFA World Cup history, it finished Switzerland 5-7 Austria. A 12-goal thriller, coming at the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. Switzerland led 3-0 after 19 minutes, thanks to a Josef Hugi brace and a goal from Robert Ballaman. Its lead was wiped out in eight minutes by Austria, which took a 4-3 lead in the 32 minute. Two minutes later, it was 5-3, with Alfred Korner scoring for the second time. Six minutes before half-time, Ballaman scored his second to reduce the arrears for Switzerland.

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Eight minutes into the second half, Turl Wagner completed his hat-trick and put Austria 6-4 ahead. On the hour-mark, it was the turn of Hugi to complete his hat-trick and inject further life into the contest at 6-5. Erich Probst restored Austria’s two-goal lead in the 76 minute, scoring the final goal of the match for a 7-5 victory.

1982 World Cup, Hungary v El Salvador

At the 1982 edition of the tournament held in Spain, Hungary and El Salvador were involved in one of the most one-sided matches. The final score: Hungary 10-1 El Salvador. Hungary’s Laszlo Kiss scored a hat-trick, Laszlo Fazekas and Tibor Nyilasi score a brace each, while Gabor Poloskei, Jozsef Toth and Lazar Szentes chipped in with a goal apiece.

Hungary’s Laszlo Kiss scored a hat-trick, Laszlo Fazekas and Tibor Nyilasi score a brace each in the 10-1 win. - The Hindu Archives


Hungary raced into a 5-0 lead before El Salvador scored. Luis Ramirez scoring his country’s only goal that day before Hungary scored five more goals in 14 second-half minutes to eventually win 10-1.

1954 World Cup, Hungary v Germany

Long before its crushing win over El Salvador, Hungary dominated Germany for an 8-3 win in a group-stage match at the World Cup hosted by Switzerland.

This was a similarly one-sided match with Hungary not giving Germany a sniff from kick-off to the final whistle. A Ferenc Puskas goal sandwiched between Sandor Kocsis’s brace put Hungary 3-0 up. Alfred Pfaff scored one for Germany in the 25th minute but it didn’t spark a comeback. Nandor Hidegkuti scored a brace in the space of five second-half minutes before Kocsis completed his hat-trick and Toth scored his first, putting Hungary 7-1 ahead.

Germany’s Helmut Rahn and Richard Herrmann scored either side of Kocsis’s fourth goal of the match, giving Hungary an 8-3 win.

1938 World Cup, Brazil v Poland

This was an 11-goal thriller that was decided in the 28 minute of extra-time. Poland’s Ernst Willimowski was the star of the show, scoring a goal in the 89 minute to force extra-time and finish with four goals in the match.

Leonidas put Brazil 1-0 ahead but only five minutes later, Fryderyk Scherfke equalised for Poland from the penalty spot. Brazil’s Romeu and Jose Peracio then scored a goal apiece in the first half to send Selecao 3-1 up at the interval.

Willimowski scored two goals in six minutes just before the hour-mark to draw Poland level at 3-3. Peracio scored his second in the 71 minute to put Brazil 4-3 up.

The Brazil vs Poland game finished 4-4 in regulation time before Brazil won 6-5 in extra time.


Leonidas completed his hat-trick in the first half of extra-time to put Brazil 6-4 ahead. Willimowski added a consolation in the 118 minute, but Brazil held on to win the match 6-5.

1958 World Cup, France v Paraguay

This was a high-scoring group-stage match that was captivating, to say the least, until the hour-mark with France and Paraguay going toe-to-toe with each other.

Florencio Amarilla put Paraguay 1-0 up in the 20 minute. France’s Just Fontaine scored twice in the space of seven minutes to give France a 2-1 lead before the half-hour mark. Amarilla converted the penalty on the stroke of half-time to leave the match in the balance at 2-2.

Goals continued to flow for both sides after the interval with Paraguay’s Jorge Romero helping regain the lead in the 50 minute. That lead would, however, last only two minutes before Roger Piantoni pulled France level at 3-3. France’s Maryan Wisnieski scored to put his side 4-3 ahead in the 61 minute before the French extended its lead.

Fontaine completed his hat-trick in the 67 minute, putting France 5-3 up. Raymond Kopa and Jean Vincent scored a goal apiece as France won 7-3.

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