Austria’s 7-5 victory over Switzerland in 1954 stands alone as the highest scoring match in World Cup history, but there are four other matches which have generated ten goals or more.
Austria 7 Switzerland 5 – June 1954
Switzerland reached the World Cup quarter-finals as competition hosts in 1954 but they were knocked out of the tournament in remarkable fashion, losing a 12-goal thriller against Alpine rivals Austria.
The contest in Lausanne took place amid a heatwave with temperatures rising to reported highs of 40 degrees Centigrade and it is thought that conditions contributed to the carnage in the penalty boxes.
Austria had not conceded a goal in the group stage but they soon had to switch to offensive mode after falling 3-0 down inside 20 minutes.
A hat-trick from striker Theodor Wagner helped them get back on track and seal a place in the last four for only the second time in their history.
Josef Hugi netted three goals for the defeated Swiss and the game remains the only occasion in World Cup history that a player from each side has scored a hat-trick within normal time.
Brazil 6 Poland 5 – June 1938
The first of Brazil’s five World Cup wins did not arrive until 1958 but they had a good team 20 years earlier and were involved in a remarkable 11-goal thriller against Poland in a round-of-16 clash in Strasbourg at France 1938.
Poland striker Ernst Wilimowski bagged four of his team’s five goals but it still wasn’t enough to prevent the Brazilians from winning the game 6-5 after extra-time.
Leonidas netted three goals for the Brazilians, including two in the additional 30 minutes, to help his team through to the quarter-finals.
Brazil progressed to the last four but lost out 2-1 to Italy, who went on to lift the trophy.
Hungary 8 West Germany 3 – June 1954
Hungary’s 1954 team were widely regarded as the best team on the planet at that time and they showed their class with a thumping victory over West Germany in Basel.
Sandor Kocsis scored four of the goals for the Hungarians, whose legendary team, which included outstanding midfielder Ferenc Puskas and prolific striker Nandor Hidegkuti, were nicknamed the ‘Mighty Magyars’.
Hungary were widely expected to dish out another beating to West Germany in the final but it was the underdogs who gained revenge with a 3-2 triumph, ending the Hungarians’ 31-game unbeaten run.
Hungary 10 El Salvador 1 – June 1982
Hungary’s class of 82 were nowhere near the level of their 1950’s side but they created history with their 10-1 group stage victory over El Salvador at Spain 1982, which is the only time any team has reached double figures in a World Cup match.
Six Hungarians got on the scoresheet in Elche, including Laszlo Kiss, who bagged a hat-trick, but Hungary failed to make it past the first round.
El Salvador failed to collect a single point and mirrored their effort at the 1970 World Cup where they lost all three games.
France 7 Paraguay 3 – June 1958
Legendary France striker Just Fontaine was the hero of their tournament opener against Paraguay at Sweden 1958 which finished 7-3 in the European side’s favour.
The contest in Norrkoping was a close game for long periods with Paraguay forging 3-2 ahead in the 50th minute but Fontaine’s hat-trick helped to secure the points for France, who went on to reach the semi-finals.
Fontaine bagged four goals in France’s 6-3 success over West Germany in the third-place playoff to finish on 13 goals, making him the highest scorer at any World Cup.