10 Greatest World Cup Underdog Stories

9. Senegal (2002)

Senegal were making their first ever World Cup appearance in 2002 and had been drawn in an exceptionally difficult group alongside 1998 World Champions France, as well as Uruguay and Denmark. They weren't expected to get far, and jaws rightfully dropped around the globe when they won their first group game against Les Bleus with a goal from Papa Bouba Diop.

Next, they claimed a solid 1-1 draw against Denmark before participating in a thrilling 3-3 encounter with Uruguay. They were leading 3-0 at one point in that game but ended up blowing their advantage and ultimately finishing second in the group, behind Denmark.

From there, they found themselves in a knockout clash with Sweden. The game ended 1-1 and went into extra time, at a point when the Golden Goal rule was still in effect. Henri Camara blasted in a strike in the 104th minute, breaking Swedish hearts and sending the Lions of Teranga into the quarter finals, where they narrowly lost to Turkey but still went home proud of their incredible accomplishment. They're one of just three African teams to make it to a World Cup quarter final.


Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.