Saturday, January 15, 2022

Russia 2018: Historical moments and stats so far

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Three weeks after the long, nervous wait for the start of the most prestigious tournament in the World, Russia 2018 World cup group stage, the round of 16 and quarter-final games were finalised with several mixed reactions.

For the third successive time, the World Cups have seen the defending champions fall at the group stage. German this year, Spain in 2014 and Italy in 2010.

For the first time since 1982, all the African teams failed to progress from the group stage. In 1982 both Algeria and Cameroon slipped. This year, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia all couldn’t go beyond the group stage.

South America’s curse still continues, as all the South America’s teams couldn’t go beyond quarter-finals and the history remains; NO South American country has won the World Cup in Europe since 1958.

However, more records were broken, expectations were cut short, triumphs, tears and controversies encompassed the 60 games played already.

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With four European nations to tussle in the semi-finals, which is a rare occasion in the history of football World Cup, here are the best of statistics from the three stages of the competition already completed.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has witnessed 157 goals with highest goal scorer in the competition, Harry Kane accounting for six goals. He has equalled Argentina’s Legend, Diego Maradona’s World Cup record and also tied the England record for goals at an edition of the tournament set by Gary Lineker at Mexico 1986. Belgium has scored more goals, 14, than any other team while Panama has conceded more.

Interestingly, of all the 157 goals, 10 were own-goals, breaking the record of six set at France 1998. Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz netted the latest one in the 95th minute in the match against IR Iran. Russia’s most capped player (retired after Russia quarter-final exit to Croatia), Sergei Ignashevich, will be 39 this month, became the oldest player to score an own-goal in the competition.

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Russia 2018 World Cup has had 26 penalties given, with 20 scored, six were thrown away. The total number of penalties is more than that of any other World Cup ever before. We have the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to thank for that.

The tournament has recorded a total of 205 yellow cards and four red cards. Aleksandr Golovin of Russia was the first to be yellow carded in the 10th minute of the opening game. Carlos Sánchez of Colombia received the first red card in the tournament just after 3 minutes of play against Japan. It was the second fastest red card in the history of the World Cup.

A total of 46,172 passes have been completed with Spain having the most completed passes of 3120, a World Cup record since the statistics were first recorded in 1966. Intriguingly, Spain defender, Sergio Ramos has the most completed passes by any player – 485.

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The best-attacking team after the quarter-final games is Brazil. They have the highest attempts on target of 292 and also have 103 shots, which is so far still the highest shots recorded in the ongoing tournament. Croatia, one of the semi-finalist, have the highest attempts off target – 39.

Neymar has topped the charts when it comes to shots on target, chances created, duels won, touches in the opposition box. He is still the most fouled (26 fouls suffered) player of this World Cup.

44% of the players from the four semi-finalists play their club football in the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur being the best-represented English club with 9 players.

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