World Cup upset warning: Why Portugal, Uruguay and the Netherlands should be on alert after Germany and Argentina lose

The 2022 FIFA World Cup was one of the most unpredictable games in quite some time, with two historic freakouts happening on consecutive days. First, Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, and then Germany lost to Japan on Wednesday. Both saw the Giants rally and fall 2-1.

And if you’re a believer that all good things (at least good for sport) come in threes, there’s definitely another major upset about to happen. But who could it be? Here are three teams that could be on angry alert over the coming days:

1. Uruguay vs. South Korea

Date: Thursday 24 November | time: 8 a.m. ET | Television: FS1 and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

The South Americans hired Diego Alonso to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track, and that’s exactly what happened. But there have been some signs that this team might be in charge of modernization. First, this has been happening a lot lately. They lost 1-0 to Iran in September in a friendly match and fell 3-1 to Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier. Against the United States over the summer, they showed little creativity in a dull 0-0 draw.

The team is full of guys you might have thought were retired by now like Diego Godin, Martin Caceres and Luis Suarez, and it’s not the same offense or defense we’re used to in this team. Now, they have a lot of great young pieces and could be contenders in 2026, but this is a disciplined South Korean team with Heung-Min Son and the pace to exploit an aging defence. Don’t be surprised if Uruguayans are the next big dogs to come down.

Listen below and follow In Football We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast Three former USMNT players cover everything you could want to know about the USA men’s national team during the World Cup in Qatar.

2. Portugal vs. Ghana

Date: Thursday 24 November | time: 11 a.m. ET | Television: Fox and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

Yes, I know this is not the Ghana of Stephen Appiah and Michael Essien, but with Inaki Williams in the fold they can certainly exploit a Portugal defense that 39-year-old Pepe still plays in. Thomas Partey is there to lead the midfield, Mohamed Salisu in defense can be the keystone, and we have to remember how Portugal struggled in the group stage matches. At Euro 2016, when they won the tournament, they didn’t win a single match in the group stage. In the last World Cup, they only managed one goal in the group stage, and that was against Morocco. They also won just one game in the group stage at Euro 2020.

On paper, they have a good team. But it’s different on the field. Don’t be surprised if Ghana shows up.

3. The Netherlands vs. Ecuador

Date: Friday 25 November | time: 11 a.m. ET | Television: Fox and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

This one is very simple. The Netherlands didn’t look overly impressive in a 2-0 win over Senegal, and Ecuador looked fantastic against an outclassed Qatar side. This Ecuadorian team has speed in attack, they have a lot of chemistry, and the Dutch have a lot of good pieces that haven’t meshed yet. Senegal beat them, and with Sadio Mane I think it’s a different game. Ecuador’s ability to switch fields and exploit space could spell trouble for the World Cup participants on Friday.

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