Having home-field advantage is a huge avail for most teams, even though when you’re playing a final. This usually grants the local team a title, but there are squads who had defied what everybody thought and won tournaments against all odds. We have seen teams that looked very disfavorable in the preview but winded up upsetting the home team and lifting a trophy in front of a city or country that was rooting against them.
We are going to take a look at some of the best example of these cases. Squads that seemed incredibly strong before the beginning of the match and ended up losing a final in their own home ground, getting upset by teams with nothing to lose and a lot to win.
Here are 5 teams that lost an international final playing at their own home.
Portugal – EURO 2004
They lost the first game against Greece, but bounced back the next match days and got into the quarter-finals. They beat England and Netherlands before landing in the final, when their nemesis, Greece, was waiting. Everything pointed out that Portugal was going to win the game and the tournament, but the Greeks told otherwise. A lonely goal by Angelos Charisteas silenced Portugal and Estadio da Luz in a night that neither Greeks or Portuguese have been able to forget.
Bayern Munich – Champions League 2011/12
The day arrived and Bayern had to defeat Chelsea, a team that landed in the big game struggling throughout the whole tournament, but defeating big rivals like Barcelona. Bayern took the lead of the game thanks to Thomas Muller and people believed that was it for them, but Didier Drogba tied the scoreboard with a header at the 88th minute of the game; we had to go play overtime.
During extra time, Arjen Robben missed a penalty and Bayern lost several opportunities to take the lead of the game and beat Chelsea, but the Blues resisted all those attempts. The penalty shoot-out arrived and the English side won 3-4, leaving everybody speechless in one of the biggest Cinderella stories we’ve seen in recent years.
Sporting Lisbon – UEFA Cup 2004/05
The Lusitanians had everything to become champions, and it was like that from the beginning, as they took the lead of the game thanks to Rogerio in the 29th minute of the first half. CSKA started to attacked and led by Brazilian Daniel Carvalho, Berezutski scored the tying goal at the 56th minutes, then Zhirkov completed the comeback for the Russians before Wagner Love confirmed the definite result of the encounter, taking the Russian team to reign Europe.
France – EURO 2016
They get to the final, as expected, where Portugal awaited. The Lusitanians didn’t have the best start of the tournament but still managed to qualify to the big game. Knowing the inconsistency of the Iberians, France was expected to win the game and even trash Portugal, but football once again proved why this is a game of men, not names.
Even though the Portuguese lost Cristiano Ronaldo within the first minutes of the game due to an injury, they didn’t start to wait for France to attack, in fact, at some point they had the initiative of the game. After 90 minutes without a goal, the game went to extra time, when an unexpected hero made his appearance and gave Portugal its first international title ever. Eder’s long-range beating Hugo Lloris is one of the most memorable moments of the competition.
Brazil – FIFA World Cup 1950
The match took place at the Estadio Maracana, where almost 200 hundred people gathered to see their national team make history and trash their continental rival. A goal by Friaca when the second half just started gave the lead to Brazil and the crowd started to feel like champions.
However, they had a rival that didn’t stop chasing the goal until it came; Schiaffino drew the scoreboard at the 66th minute before Ghiggia made the most important goal of his life, leaving everybody speechless as Uruguay became world champions in front of the biggest rivals at the biggest venue. This feat remains as one of the most impressive ever achieved, and one of the biggest upsets in football history. Brazil had everything to win this match and the tournament, but sometimes football gives us very shocking moments.