Sports Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for participants in team and individual sport activities. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

On October 16, 2012, Sweden came back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Germany in a World Cup qualifier. Purely in terms of goals, is this the record for the biggest comeback in a competitive international match (ie. ignoring friendlies and contests over two legs)? If not, which match holds the record?

(For avoidance of doubt, I'm interested in country vs country matches, not matches between clubs from different countries).

share|improve this question

If we stick to a single game, VfL Bochum - Bayern München in 1976 (11 goals). Bochum were 3-0 up by the half-time whistle and 4-0 in 53th minute. In the next 20 minutes, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Gerd Muller took Bayern to an unbelievable 5-4 lead. Kaczor put Bochum level on 5-5 in the 80th minute and that seemed to be it, but with a minute to go Uli Höness scored his second and Bayern's sixth for their most amazing win ever.

Over two legs, and I'm only including it because of how amazing it sounds, Bayer Uerdingen - Dynamo Dresden in 1986. A team of numerous East German stars built a 2-0 lead in the first leg at home and then ran away with a solid 3-1 lead at half time, seemingly clinching the tie in the return game at Krefeld. Dynamo were 5-1 ahead on aggregate, and the 1-3 scoreline stood until the 57 minute. The Icelander Gudmundsson won that dubious penalty kick, which Wolfgang Funkel converted. Six minutes later Gudmundsson himself made it 3-3. Then the unlucky forward Minge deflected a shot into his own net, and the Easterners found themselves utterly disoriented amidst roars from the partisan crowd. Bayer attacked in waves and the reserve Klinger brought the temperature to boiling point with the fifth goal 12 minutes from time.

5-5 on aggregate, but Dynamo were still ahead on the away-goals rule.

Schäfer was knocked down in the area and Wolfgang Funkel again scored from the spot, making it 6-3 only 23 minutes after the scoreboard had shown the humiliating 1-3. Before the final whistle, in the total confusion, Schäfer picked up the seventh goal, ending up on the shoulders of his mates and the fans who invaded the pitch.

Bayer Uerdingen - Dynamo Dresden (12 goals).


share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer. These are club matches though, and I was after international ones. – lins314159 Oct 18 '12 at 1:07
@lins314159 That link has a list of internationals as well. – Orangecrush Oct 18 '12 at 1:27
@Orangecrush Going by that, then the 4-4 draw shares the record with the USSR and Yugoslavia's 5-5 draw. I'm a little sceptical though as it rates more highly a comeback from 2-0 down, so it's clearly using metrics beyond simply goals scored and may well be missing comebacks by less illustrious nations. – lins314159 Oct 18 '12 at 1:54

The greatest known comeback was on June, 7th 1946 when AIK Solna was down 1-7 after 47 minutes against Charlton Athletic.

The comeback started in the 68th minute with a goal from Timpa Simonsson. In the following last 20 minutes of the game, Henry Carlsson and Lennart Andersson added four further goals to the AIK side until again Simonsson egalized 7:7 in the last minute of the game!

That was epic like no other game in the history of soccer!

share|improve this answer
Please see lins314159's comment on jimmithy's answer: they're interested in country vs country matches, not club matches. – Philip Kendall Apr 5 at 22:08

A real pity there aren't more complete databases out there, we Americans are spoiled with sites like

I searched and searched. But only came upon list after list. But at a list of a few decent ones could be cobbled together:

The previously noted 1952 Olympics group stage, where USSR came back from 5-1 down to Yugoslavia to draw in the final 13 minutes, before losing the replay. (or

In 2010, Mali came back to draw from 4-0 down in the final 16 minutes... against Angola... in Angola to open the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

And a couple noteworthy junior internationals:

In group stage of the 2003 U17 Championship, Cameroon came back from 5-0 in the final 20 minutes for a draw!,13091,@,portugal-and-cameroon-go-down-in-u-17-history.html. And after all that... still one goal short of advancing in the tournament. They needed to win.

In the QF of the 1989 World Youth Championship, Nigeria came back from 4-0 down against the USSR to equal the match, and then won the shootout.

But still nothing bigger in senior team play that I could find. Oh for a searchable database!

share|improve this answer

Germany came back from 3-0 down to beat Hungary 5-3 in 1930 in a friendly match in Dresden. Germany were trailing by three goals at half time, following a first-half hat-trick from József Takács, but scored five goals in a second-half comeback:

28.9.1930 Germany vs Hungary 5:3 (0:3)

The goals were scored as follows:

0:1 József Takács (29.)
0:2 József Takács (35.)
0:3 József Takács (40.)
1:3 Richard Hofmann (59.)
2:3 Ludwig Hofmann (61.)
3:3 Johann Ludwig (74.)
4:3 Ludwig Lachner (78.)
5:3 Ludwig Hofmann (86.)

share|improve this answer
Hello Brennich , Welcome to Sports SE, formatting the answer with meaningful sentences will be good.Please check How to answer for more help. – ᴊᴀᴠʏ Apr 15 at 9:42
Welcome Brennich. Good find! I formatted the text and added a link to a page about the match. Please correct it if I got anything wrong. – Fillet Apr 15 at 10:51
@Fillet , good job :) – ᴊᴀᴠʏ Apr 15 at 11:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.