World Cup: Biggest Margins of Victory in History

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 21: Simao of Portugal scores his side's second goal past Ri Myong-Guk of North Korea during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between Portugal and North Korea at the Green Point Stadium on June 21, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Portugal's 7-0 victory over North Korea yesterday is hardly unprecedented in World Cup history. In fact, many teams that we don't associate with getting blown out have been beaten by 5+ goals. The Hungary-El Salvador game featured substitute Lazslo Kiss scoring three goals in seven minutes.

Year Winner Goals Loser Goals Margin
1982 Hungary 10 El Salvador 1 9
1974 Yugoslavia 9 Zaire 0 9
2002 Germany 8 Saudi Arabia 0 8
2010 Portugal 7 North Korea 0 7
1974 Poland 7 Haiti 0 7
2006 Argentina 6 Serbia 0 6
1986 Soviet Union 6 Hungary 0 6
1978 West Germany 6 Mexico 0 6
1978 Argentina 6 Peru 0 6
1998 Spain 6 Bulgaria 1 5
1998 Holland 5 South Korea 0 5
1998 Argentina 5 Jamaica 0 5
1994 Russia 6 Cameroon 1 5
1966 West Germany 5 Switzerland 0 5
1962 Yugoslavia 5 Colombia 0 5
1962 Hungary 6 Bulgaria 1 5
1958 Czechoslovakia 6 Argentina 1 5

Before 1958, the World Cup featured a lot of mismatches and so 5+-goal wins were much more common:

Year Winner Goals Loser Goals Margin
1954 Hungary 9 South Korea 0 9
1950 Uruguay 8 Bolivia 0 8
1938 Sweden 8 Cuba 0 8
1954 Turkey 7 South Korea 0 7
1954 Uruguay 7 Scotland 0 7
1950 Brazil 7 Sweden 1 6
1938 Hungary 6 Dutch East Indies 0 6
1934 Italy 7 USA 1 6
1954 Brazil 5 Mexico 0 5
1954 Hungary 8 West Germany 3 5
1954 West Germany 7 Turkey 2 5
1954 Austria 5 Czechoslovakia 0 5
1954 West Germany 6 Austria 1 5
1950 Brazil 6 Spain 1 5

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