open menulivescore

In Focus: The World Cup's greatest quarter-finals
Copy icon

Mitchell Fretton
Luis Suarez was sent off for handling the ball in a dramatic 2010 quarter-final
Luis Suarez was sent off for handling the ball in a dramatic 2010 quarter-final

The World Cup has played host to some spectacular knockout ties over the years.

There have been upsets, thrashings and penalty shootouts aplenty as nations put it all on the line with the aim of lifting the Jules Rimet trophy.

As we prepare for the quarter-finals in Qatar, we take a look back at some of the best ties played out at this stage in previous World Cup tournaments.

Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (2010)

This clash between the South American and African nations lives long in the memory of all football fans because of Luis Suarez's dramatic handball to prevent Ghana from scoring a last-gasp winner.

Sully Muntari put the Black Stars ahead on the stroke of half-time before Diego Forlan equalised 10 minutes into the second half.

Drama ensued deep into the additional 30 minutes that were being played when Suarez committed an act that would ensure he is forever despised by the West Africans.

The former Barcelona striker acted as a goalkeeper, punching the ball off of the line in the last minute of extra-time to give away a penalty that was missed by Asamoah Gyan.

It finished 1-1 after 120 minutes and Uruguay went on to win the tie on penalties, breaking Ghanain hearts and sending the South American support into raptures.

England 1-2 Brazil (2002)

Ronaldinho scored and was sent off in the victory over England in 2002
Ronaldinho scored and was sent off in the victory over England in 2002

Ronaldinho stole the show in 2002 by scoring a spectacular goal to help Brazil down England's golden generation before being sent off.

In an eagerly anticipated match, the Three Lions were coming up against a team that had seen World Cup success just eight years earlier.

The 1966 winners were still looking to replicate their famous solitary triumph and were relying on their spectacular crop of established Premier League stars to see them home.

Michael Owen gave England a 1-0 cushion but Rivaldo soon levelled before Ronaldinho scored an iconic free-kick when catching goalkeeper David Seaman off guard from over 40 yards out.

The Brazilian was shown a straight red not long after for a stamp on Danny Mills but the eventual champions were able to hold on for a precious victory.

Netherlands 2-1 Argentina (1998)

The clash between the Netherlands and Argentina in 1998 was filled with drama, cards and goals galore.

Patrick Kluivert gave the Dutch a dream start after just 12 minutes before Claudio Lopez hit back for Argentina five minutes later.

Towards the closing stages was when the game became a spectacle — Arthur Numan was sent off with 15 minutes to go before Ariel Ortega's headbutt on Edwin van der Sar saw him dismissed.

However, it was delirium for the Oranje as Dennis Bergkamp struck in the last minute of the game to book their place in the final four.

Argentina 2-1 England (1986)

Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal in 1986
Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal in 1986

An infamous occasion, the 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England is still a sore watch for Three Lions fans.

Diego Maradona's Hand of God goal stole the headlines as the South American nation broke English hearts in Mexico.

Maradona's disguised 'header' put his side in front before the maverick netted one of the all-time greatest goals with a mazy run that has gone down in football folklore.

Gary Lineker got one back for England but it was not enough as Argentina progressed and went on to lift the trophy beating West Germany in the final.

For the neutral, the game provided entertainment from start to finish but the controversy surrounding the opening goal will always leave a sour taste in the mouth of some football fanatics.

Portugal 5-3 North Korea (1966)

Although 1966 is known for being the year football came home, there were some other standout performances in the tournament — including Portugal's dramatic win over North Korea. 

This World Cup classic saw the Portuguese 3-0 down at Goodison Park and heading out of the competition until the great Eusebio stepped in.

North Korea were huge outsiders in the match and perhaps they got the better of themselves in the end as the Portugal legend hit a hat-trick to tie the game up.

He then won and converted a penalty to put the favourites ahead before Jose Torres headed home to seal the victory on Merseyside.

England dispatched the scintillating Eusebio in the semi-finals but his performance in the previous round was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tournament.


World CupEnglandArgentinaBrazilPortugalNetherlandsNorth KoreaUruguayGhana
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play