FIFA World Cup moments: When Hungary set competition record by slamming 10 goals past El Salvador in 1982 event

There was no shortage of drama at the 1982 Football World Cup — from Kuwait walking off, Disgrace of Gijón, Harald Schumacher's wild attempt to knockout Patrick Battiston, Diego Maradona's sending off against Brazil and the ‘10-1’, one of the most astonishing scorelines in the quadrennial event.

The scoreline, now a part of sporting trivia, saw a relentless Hungarian side going on to hammer 10 goals against a hapless El Salvador.

Niyalsi scored the 10th and the final goal. Image source: YouTube Screengrab.

Niyalsi scored the 10th and the final goal. Image source: YouTube Screengrab.

In the process, Laszlo Kiss smashed the fastest hat-trick in the space of seven minutes, while Tibor Nyilasi, Gabor Poloskei, Laszlo Fazekas scored twice. Jozsef Toth and Lazar Szentes also got their names on the scoresheet to complete the drubbing.

El Salvador’s participation in the event held in Spain meant they became the first Central American nation to qualify for the World Cup twice.

La Selecta couldn’t conjure a single win in the tournament losing all their three games. However, making it to the tournament was a phenomenal feat in itself.

The period between 1979 and 1981 was the start of the most gruesome and turbulent times in El Salvador. According to BBC, around 30,000 people are killed by army-backed right-wing death squads.

The two major parties at loggerheads were a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group, called the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), and the government of El Salvador.

The Salvadorian civil war began in 1980 and the country suffered from one of the bloodiest and long-lasting wars which lasted for a 12-year period. The war, reportedly saw deaths of 75,000 people and uncountable families migrated, fled and displaced from their homes.

Sport, that often transcends boundaries, again was the unifier in the war-torn nation.

In an interview with FourFourTwo.commember of El Salvador 1982 World Cup side, Mauricio Alfaro said, "The people united at least for a day. That was our greatest gift, the country was in deep suffering and we had the pressure of trying to reduce it."

Hungary entered the tie as favourites and it took just four minutes for them to take the lead via Nyilasi's header. The incessant pressure from Kalman Meszoly's side saw his team score three goals in the first half, putting the game beyond El Salvador's reach.

Jorge Alberto, fondly known as “El Mágico” scored the only goal for El Salvador in the 64th minute. Though the goal didn't count for much in terms of scoreline, it was a moment of significance and joy for Alberto as the Salvadoran broke into a frantic celebration. His teammates feared that this celebration would anger their oppositions and instigate them to pile on more misery.

They weren't wrong. Substitute Kiss was introduced by Hungary in the 55th minute of the clash and scored the fastest ever World Cup hat-trick – slamming three goals in seven minutes extending their dominance.

Incredibly, Hungary failed to qualify from the group stages, as they suffered losses against Maradona’s Argentina and drew with Belgium.

To read about other famous FIFA World Cup moments, click here.


Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 20:59 PM

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