Russia (Xinhua) -- The 26
games played in the first nine days of the 2018
World Cup finals in Russia have not produced a 0-0
draw, but that does not mean it has been the most
productive World Cup in terms of goals.
from it, in fact you’d have to go back 28 years to
find a World Cup with a lower goals per game in
The 26 matches played so far have produced a
total of 58 goals between them, with the 3-3 draw
between Portugal and Spain in Sochi as the
top-scoring game, followed by Russia’s 5-0 thrashing
of Saudi Arabia on the opening day of competition.
That adds up to an average of 2.23 goals per
game: lower than the 2.7 goals per game in average
in Brazil four years ago and slightly below the 2.3
in average from South Africa in 2010 and Germany in
South Korea and Japan saw 2.5 goals in every
match in 2002, while the 1998 World Cup in France
was a relative goal-fest with fans enjoying 2.7
goals per game, the same as in the USA in 1994.
You have to go all the way back to the 1990 World
Cup finals in Italy to see a goal average as low as
the one from Russia with the Italian super-defensive
"Catenaccio" style of play fashionable in Europe.
Maybe "Catenaccio" hasn’t returned in Russia in
2018, but it’s fair to say that coaching techniques
have developed, as the emphasis is on diet and
training over the past 28 years and there is no sign
in this year’s competition that is a pushover.
1-0 is the most common result so far, which
highlights how football has developed and the cliche
"there is no easy game" is clearly true.
There is still plenty of time left in the World
Cup for us to see plenty more goals with the last
round of the group stages and then the knockout
But a word of warning: sometimes rather than
producing a desire to go out and take games by the
scruff of the neck, the knockout stages of the World
Cup finals sometimes produce a fear of defeat.
If that’s the case in Russia, prepare yourself
for extra time and penalties.