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banner Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
World's worst hidings
Funny Old Game
Even the best sportsman get beaten
BBC Sport Online's Alex Trickett places Australia's crushing defeat of American Samoa in context, by looking at some other memorable maulings.

To the winner go the spoils; to the loser goes an embarrassing record.

Sometimes in sport, an individual or team gets a thrashing so severe that it makes the sporting public sit up - in sympathy - and take notice.

American Samoa's record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia's "Socceroos" in a World Cup qualifier is one such case.

But there have been others.

Football alone has played host to some massive mis-matches.

Nicky Salapu
Even losers are loved
Unfortunate Bon Accord were turned over 36-0 by Arbroath in 1885 to set the British mark for heaviest defeat.

Two years later, Hyde United went down 26-0 to Preston North End in the FA Cup.

High-flying Ipswich Town, meanwhile, hold the undistinguished title of biggest loser in the Premiership, falling to Manchester United 9-0 in 1995.

But what goes around, can come around.

New Zealand, whose 13-0 victory over Fiji in 1982 stood for a time as the biggest World Cup football win, have fared less well in cricket.

Their meagre 26 all-out against England in 1955 is still the lowest ever Test innings total.

In rugby, the Antipodeans are undisputed kings of the crushing defeat.

Australia handed Russia a more-than-comprehensive 110-4 loss at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

And New Zealand breezed past hapless Japan 145-17 at union's World Cup in 1995.

Natasha Zvereva
Zvereva: The young fall hard
Thrashings have no respect for age, but they do tend to prey on the young.

American Samoa are a young footballing nation.

And Russian tennis star Natasha Zvereva was a young prospect when she faced Steffi Graf in the final of the 1988 French Open.

She lost 6-0, 6-0.

Across the Pond, America has celebrated losers of its own.

The Washington Redskins - historically one of the most successful franchises in American football - lost 73-0 to the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL championship game.

In boxing, John Ruiz was knocked out cold by David Tua - who later became a victim of Lennox Lewis - in 1996.

The eagle soared. . . but not very far
The fight lasted only 19 seconds - a record for an HBO-televised contest - and proved that sometimes a hiding bruises more than just pride.

So, American Samoa's footballers can rest assured that they face abject defeat in good company.

Besides, sports fans tend to side with an overwhelmingly bad loser.

Who can forget the desperate antics of Eddie "the eagle" Edwards, who soared to some of the shortest distances ever recorded in ski jumping at the Calgary Winter Olympics of 1988?

Or indeed the more recent endeavours of Eric "the eel", who won over the Sydney 2000 crowd, when he almost drowned in the Olympic pool?

No, American Samoans can sleep soundly.

They have set an embarrassing record, but made plenty of friends.

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See also:

11 Apr 01 |  World Cup 2002
Aussie footballers smash world record
11 Apr 01 |  World Cup 2002
Give us Samoa goals
04 Nov 00 |  Group 1
Aussies reach the ton
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