Since the inaugural World Cup in 1930, teams have found the back of the net over 2,524 times in 21 editions. And Russia 2018 has been arguably seen one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory. Only one match so far has been a goalless draw and every team has scored at least two goals, a first in World Cup history.
With an average of 2.8 goals a match, most World Cup games are pretty high on excitement. The goal-scoring this year has been aided by an abundance of penalties taking the total penalty tally at the tournament to 196.
The most likely time to see a goal at the World Cup is the 75th minute. Forty seven goals have been scored within those 60 seconds most recently the clash between Colombia and Poland in their final group stage match.
In Russia, little over 62% of the goals were scored in the second half. This isn’t unusual for a World Cup tournament. However, nearly 46% of the second half goals have come in the last 15 minutes. In recent history, only the 2006 World Cup had a greater influx of late goals with 60% of second half goals coming after the 75th minute.
The last 15 minutes are especially dangerous. Fatigue comes into the equation and teams start throwing men forward. Something’s gotta give and something usually does.
Among the top ten highest number of goals scored by minute, nine were in the second half. Six of them after the 75th minute. This year is no different, 38 goals or nearly 27% of the tournament’s goals have been scored in the last 15 minutes.
Goals by minute
|Minute scored||Total goals scored|
| 75'|| 47|
| 18'|| 44|
| 88'|| 41|
| 80'|| 40|
| 89'|| 40|
| 83'|| 38|
Among the last eight this year, Croatia and Belgium have crushed the opposition in the second half scoring 75% of their goals in the second half. Croatia, in fact, have only scored two goals this year in the first half.
Sweden have scored a solitary goal in the first half, but they ended losing that match to Germany at the group stage.
At the quarterfinal stage of Russia 2018, six out of the last eight have scored at least 65% of their goals in the second half this world cup.
England and Uruguay have scored 66% and 57% of their goals in the first half. For England this isn’t unusual. Historically, they’ve scored more goals in the first half of the game. But Uruguay have typically been a team that hits their stride in the second half.
The frequency of goals from the quarterfinal stage are high in the first and last twenty minutes of a 90 minute game. The highest frequency is at the 80th minute with 14 goals. Followed by the 89th, 9th, 18th and 78th minutes. Nine or more goals have occurred during this point of time in the match.
There’s a relative lull in goal scoring between the 30th and 70th minute with a few exceptions.