The Five Biggest Ever Wins in International Soccer
In less than three months the world’s 32 best footballing nations will converge on Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and no doubt there will be plenty of thrilling contests. International soccer isn’t always a tight affair however. When you consider that there are 211 FIFA nations it’s no surprise there is the occasional blowout. Here are the five biggest wins seen in international soccer.
Kuwait vs Bhutan 20-0, 14 February 2000
Bhutan wouldn’t have entered this Asian Cup qualifier with too much optimism, having lost 3-0 to fellow minnows Nepal just two days earlier, but they surely weren’t expecting this. Kuwait had seven different goal scorers, with Jasem Al-Huwaidi scoring five goals and Bashar Abdullah scoring eight. If putting 20 goals on their opponents wasn’t bad enough, the Kuwaitis delivered the ultimate insult in the 77th minute when their goalkeeper stepped up to convert a penalty.
North Korea vs Guam 21-0, 11 March 2005
The football team from the small island nation of Guam has seen plenty of big losses. None bigger than their loss to North Korea in the 2005 East Asian Football Championship. North Korea had four players score hat-tricks, including seven goals from Kwang-Hyok Kim. North Korea went on to come third in the tournament, while unsurprisingly Guam were winless in their four games.
Australia vs Tonga 22-0, 9 April 2001
Australia’s qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup may have ended in heartbreak through a playoff loss to Uruguay but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have some fun along the way. Australia had nine goal scorers in a win which broke the record for the biggest win in a FIFA-observed international soccer match. The win was one of six in Australia’s undefeated run through the Oceanic Stage of 2002 World Cup qualification.
Tahiti vs Cook Islands 30-0, 2 September 1971
This win came before either nation joined FIFA, so you won’t find it in FIFA’s record books. It came during the South Pacific Games, a tournament in which the Cook Islands lost their other two games 16-1 and 15-1, which gives some context to Tahiti’s win.
Australia vs American Samoa 31-0, 11 April 2001
Just two days after Australia thrashed Tonga they beat American Samoa by 31 goals. They scored so many goals that the scorer lost count, with the scoreboard incorrectly displayed the score as 32-0. Archie Thompson scored 13 goals, a record for any senior football match, and David Zdrilic scored eight, behind only Thompson for most goals in an international since World War one. American Samoa were plagued by passport issues with only one of their top 20 players eligible and the team was largely made up of high school students. This and other lopsided results led to the introduction of preliminary qualifying rounds and Australia moving to the Asian Football Conference where their matches are much more competitive, such as Australia’s 7-0 win over Tajikistan in 2016.