Top 5 most embarrassing England results

Published on 29 June 2023 at 20:00

Alistair Gordon

(Daily Mail, 2016)

It's been 73 years since England's humiliating 1-0 defeat to USA in the 1950 World Cup. While since then they have had some great teams and won a World Cup, supporting The Three Lions hasn't always been easy. So without further ado, lets take a look at five other times the England National Team has been humbled...


England 0 - 4 Hungary (UEFA Nations League, 2022)

While Gareth Southgate's England have mostly gone far in major tournaments, the 2022 Nations League was a tournament they will not have fond memories of. In a game at Molineux they were expected to win, the Hungarian's outplayed the Three Lions as goals from Zsolt Nagy, Daniel Gazdag and a brace from Roland Sallai ensured relegation to League B for Southgate's side. It was also the side's heaviest home defeat for 94 years.


(BBC Sport, 2022)


Norway 2 - 1 England (World Cup Qualifier, 1981)

In the 1980s Norway did not have some of the superstars they have in their team today and were in fact bottom of this qualifying group for the 1982 World Cup. Despite this they still managed to beat England, with goals from Tom Lund and Hallvar Thoresen turning the game on its head after a Bryan Robson opener. The result itself may not be as embarrassing as others since England still qualified for the tournament, however what will remind England fans of this defeat is the iconic commentary of Bjorge Lillelien at the end of the match, who repeatedly shouted "your boys have taken one hell of a beating" after listing off some famous historical English figures.



England 1 - 1 Poland (World Cup Qualifier, 1973)

"A circus clown in gloves" were the word uttered by Brian Clough when talking about Polish goalkeeper, Jan Tomaszewski before this make or break qualifier at Wembley. England had to win the game but were held to a draw thanks to the heroics of Tomaszewski, who had the game of his life. Poland only had two shots in the whole game yet still managed to score when Jan Domarski converted in the second half, ironically due to a Peter Shilton howler. The only way the English could get past the Polish number one was in the form of an Allan Clarke penalty, but this was not enough to send them to Germany.


(BBC Sport, 2013)


England 2 - 3 Croatia (European Championship Qualifier, 2007)

The Euro 2008 qualification campaign was by far the worst in recent memory for England. Steve Mclaren's side had suffered away defeats in Croatia and Russia as well drawing at home to Macedonia. Despite this, they still had a chance to reach Austria and Switzerland if they beat Croatia at home. On a miserable night at the new Wembley, Croatia were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes with goals from Niko Kranjcar and Ivica Olic, which included a horrendous mistake from goalkeeper, Scott Carson. Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch got England back into the game, only for Mladen Petric to score a late winner. Mclaren was seen standing at the dugout during the match with an umbrella, prompting the famous newspaper headline... 


(Mail Online, 2018)


England 1 - 2 Iceland (Euro 2016)

Last but by no means least, England's defeat to Iceland has got to be the most embarrassing since the USA. In the round of 16, Roy Hodgson's men couldn't have asked for an easier draw, against a country with the same population as Coventry. In a forgettable game for goalkeeper, Joe Hart, goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson overturned an early Wayne Rooney penalty to send the English team packing. The game will also be remembered for the punditry of Steve Mclaren who, while commentating on the game on Sky Sports News said that England were looking comfortable in Nice, just as Sigthorsson slotted home the winner.



So there you have it, England's worst results since that fateful day in 1950. Were there any big defeats I've missed? Have I been too harsh on Steve Mclaren? Please let me know in the comments below.


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