Football is the most popular sport in the world. It boasts over 3.5 billion fans, about half the world’s population. In other regions, especially North America, many know the sport as soccer. Nonetheless, the rules and the thrill that comes with it are the same everywhere you go.
The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup is the biggest tournament within the football community. The sporting event happens after every four years and attracts enthusiasts and non-football fans.
The FIFA World Cup 2022, held in Qatar, has enjoyed more viewership than the previous editions. FIFA President Gianni Infantino suggests that the federation could see a record-high audience of over 5 billion viewers.
According to Infantino, one of the main contributors to this statistic is the tournament’s “best ever” group stage. This knockout stage is the first FIFA World Cup that has seen all continents represented.
Perhaps the most exciting part is the unpredictability of the matches. In the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia stunned the world by beating the third-ranked football team, Argentina, 2–1 in the group stage.
As stunning as this result has been, one famous gambling streamer won big betting on soccer by placing USD$25,000 on a four-match multi-bet that included the shocking upset, leading to an eye-popping USD$1.5M payout.
Streamer TrainwrecksTV, real name Tyler Niknam, has built a reputation streaming big bets on the Twitch platform. The streamer shared the bet slip of his unlikely win, resulting in a 61x payout on the online gambling website, Stake.com.
Here’s everything you need to know about the streamer and his big bet:
Who is TrainwrecksTV?
Tyler Faraz Niknam joined the streaming industry in 2015. He runs the TrainwrecksTV YouTube and Twitch channels with over 200,000 subscribers and 2M followers respectively. TrainwrecksTV has 12K streamed hours and boasts around 154M watched hours on Twitch.
Niknam’s most popular streams have always been about slots and other chance-based gambling games. However, that changed following the recent update on Twitch’s policies. The streaming service banned most gambling games on its platform. This forced many Twitch influencers within the gambling community to shift their focus to other niches.
TrainwrecksTV has been active in sports betting over the past few months. The highlight of his new specialty came when he won USD$1.5M following a successful bet on four World Cup 2022 matches.
Saudi Arabia beating Argentina surprised many football fans. But Niknam probably saw it coming, as it was one of his four-team multi-bet on the third matchday of the World Cup.
So, how did Trainwreck’s predictions fair? Keep reading to learn more.
The USD$1.5M win
TrainwrecksTV’s USD$1.5M win came on an eventful World Cup group stage match day. Four matches were scheduled to play on November 22, 2022. Niknam’s bet featured all four matches, including Argentina, France, Denmark, and Mexico.
Some of them went as expected, while others were surprisingly thrilling. Here’s how TrainwrecksTV went to record one of his biggest sports bets:
Saudi Arabia v Argentina
The day began with Lionel Messi and his Argentina team facing Saudi Arabia. Argentina was the favorite to win the match as the squad oozed a lot of talent. Lionel Scaloni’s men came to the game with a 36-match unbeaten streak—one of the longest in the world.
Given how the other two matchdays panned out, many expected this to be business as usual. The first half went to plan, with Messi scoring his first goal of the 2022 tournament from the penalty spot.
Shortly after the 10th-minute goal, the little maestro netted again, only to be ruled offside. This started a string of offside calls that saw three other Argentina goals ruled out.
Since Messi-led Argentina was ahead by half-time, there were signs of frustration, and rightly so. The three offside calls meant that La Albiceleste still had much to do in the second half to improve their one-goal cushion.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia was buoyed by first-half luck. Saleh Al-shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari made the luck count with two quick goals to secure the three points.
Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten run ended with an unexpected victor. Argentina had lost a World Cup opener on five other different occasions. Still, this one was probably the country’s biggest upset. This called for TrainwrecksTV’s celebration as it was the most unlikely result on the punter’s bet slip.
Denmark v Tunisia
As the world was still processing what had just happened to Messi and his crew, Denmark warmed up to face Tunisia. The last time the two sides met was in a pre-tournament friendly in May 2022.
Denmark won on that occasion, but this was a different test. Tunisia, 30th in FIFA men’s rankings, began the match well, testing Denmark’s goalkeeper a few times in the first half.
The match was generally tight, with very few chances on both ends. Denmark maestro Christian Eriksen barely created any chances for the forwards, thanks to a resilient Tunisian defense.
The lack of a cutting edge from both teams meant that both teams would share the spoils as the match ended goalless. As for TrainwrecksTV, everything was going to plan. He waited for the results of the third and fourth matches of the day.
Mexico v Poland
Robert Lewandoski’s club career is one that most football players envy. The lethal Barcelona striker looked to carry that form to the 2022 World Cup as his Polish national team faced Mexico.
Mexico has made many World Cup appearances over the years, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to success. Hirving Lozano and his compatriots hoped for a better outcome as they commenced their campaign on November 22, 2022.
The match kicked off at 1900hrs (UTC+3), with both teams looking to take advantage of Argentina’s slip-up earlier in the day. As expected, none of the sides was willing to take risks in the opening 45 minutes.
The biggest highlight of the game came 13 minutes into the second half. Poland was awarded a penalty following a foul by Moreno on Lewandoski. However, the former Bayern Munich striker failed to convert what was the team’s best chance.
It ended all square at the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium as TrainwrecksTV celebrated his third correct prediction.
France v Australia
It’s now down to France to win their match, and TrainwrecksTV would walk away with a cool USD$1.5M. The 2018 World Cup champions entered this match full of confidence, following their previous success.
However, the World Cup champion’s curse lingered in everyone’s mind. All the last four European sides that have won the trophy (before 2022) have gone out at the group stage in the following tournament.
With the likes of Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Ngolo Kante, Nkunku, and Camavinga all ruled out through injuries just before the tournament, it seemed like the curse would continue. But everyone affiliated with the French team hoped for a better experience than the 2002 humiliation. Les Blues were the reigning champions in 2002, and they were knocked out on the group stage.
Kylian Mbappe’s star shined in the 2018 World Cup as he scored four goals. He looked to add to his impressive club and country career by helping his team proceed to the latter stages of the 2022 tournament.
Ousmane Dembele was another talent worth noting in the French team. He was included in the 2018 squad, but he didn’t play a single minute. Dembele, Giroud, and Griezman were among the players that Australia had to deal with in the fourth match of the third matchday.
Given France’s talent and the quality of their opponent, it was an easy pick for TrainwrecksTV. However, football isn’t always that straightforward, and that was evident from the first few minutes of the match.
The Aussies took an unexpected early lead in the ninth minute through Craig Goodwin. It took about 20 minutes before France could get back on track. Goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud helped the Blues to a 2–1 half-time lead.
Mbappe and Dembele combined for the fourth goal of the match in the second half. Giroud also scored his second to complete a five-goal thriller. France’s 4–1 win confirmed one of TrainwrecksTV’s biggest sports bet wins.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022’s most memorable upsets
The World Cup is always full of surprises, and the 2022 edition has had more than its fair share. Most of the outcomes recorded throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup are clear evidence of the globalization of football.
Nearly all the countries that qualified had at least one team member playing in one of the top European clubs. Perhaps this contributed to the fact that all continents were represented in the knockout stage for the first time.
It’s also worth noting that 92% of quarter-finalists in the last three editions were European and South American. Nothing seems to have changed in that regard, as seven of the last eight in the 2022 World Cup were from the continents mentioned above.
But there were dramas involving most of these teams in the group stages before they got to this round. Here are some of the upsets that many will never forget in football history:
Japan 2–1 Germany
Apart from Argentina, Germany also lost their World Cup opener to an Asian side. The Germans hoped the 2022 campaign would differ from what they experienced in 2018.
The match began with the Germans controlling pretty much everything in the game. İlkay Gündoğan scored from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute to give German a well-deserved lead.
However, Japan had other plans. Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano’s goals secured Japan’s shock win in the 75th and 83rd minutes. This was the second consecutive time that Germany had lost their opening match, following their 1-0 defeat against Mexico in 2018. And just like the previous tournament, the Germans were also out in the first round of the World Cup 2022.
Japan 2–1 Spain
Japan’s impressive story didn’t end there as they went on to surprise Spain in the last group stage match. Again, Japan went behind a few minutes into the game through Morata’s superb header.
The never-give-up spirit of the Japanese helped them come back against a talented Spanish team. Doan scored in the 48th minute to equalize before Tanaka gave Japan the lead three minutes later.
This match wasn’t short of controversies as the ball appeared to have gone out before Japan’s second goal. The video assistant referee (VAR) took several minutes to confirm that part of the ball had not crossed the line. This decision proved critical as Japan went to the top of the group and knocked out the Germans, who finished third despite winning their final match.
Morocco 1–0 Portugal
Morocco was considered the underdog in group F of the FIFA World Cup 2022. The team kicked off its campaign against the 2018 runners-up Croatia and managed a goalless draw. Morocco went on to win against Belgium and Canada before proceeding to the next round as group leaders.
The Atlas Lions also defeated Spain against all odds and faced the Portugal giant in the quarter-finals. Like their quarter-final match, all the bookies had Morocco as the underdog. But the Atlas Lions were buoyed by their previous results throughout the tournament.
The difference in squad quality between the two sides was non-existent as Portugal struggled to break down Morocco’s defensive wall. This team had only conceded one goal (an own goal) in the World Cup.
Although Morocco didn’t trouble Portugal’s goalkeeper that much, it made one of its best chances count. Yossef El-Neysri’s header in the 42nd minute gave the Atlas Lions the lead against one of the tournament’s favorites.
Morocco became the first-ever African and Arab team to make it to the semi-final of the World Cup. Although they lost their next match to France, the Moroccans will be proud of their players for many years.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is one of the best editions so far. The unexpected upsets made it unpredictable, even for the best football bettors. TrainwrecksTV is one of those who placed several bets throughout the tournament. One of the most satisfying wins recorded by TrainwrecksTV is the USD$1.5M he generated from just USD$25,000. Saudi Arabia’s surprise win against Argentina was the biggest highlight in a bet slip that included France, Denmark, and Australia.
This article was written in cooperation with Stake