17 July 2018

Numbers from the 2018 greatest tournament

After the spectacular welcome home of the top 3 world teams into their own countries, it is time to summarize the World Cup 2018 edition. We are all sad that one of the best and an successful event in history has ended yesterday, and now all we can do is to have retrospective with numbers what was happening in the past 25 active days (plus free ones) throughout Russia.

Goals, own goals, late goals and an interesting fact.
- Incredible 165 goals were scored, plus 3 of them were given in extra time. From this number 65 was given in first 45 minutes, while even 100 were scored at the second half. In other words: 2.58 goals have been scored in every game or 2.62 if all matches are going be played in 120 minutes.
- For those unfortunate scorers which kicked the ball into their own net, 11 of them were given. Every player has offered the other team with goal just once.
- Because the stoppage time is part of this sport, 18 goals were scored after the ninetieth minute. By teams: 12 has entered once, while even 3 managed to score 2 goals: Russia, Brazil and South Korea.
- Mario Mandzukic is the only player in history who have scored 2 goals in the final...but on different ways. The 32-year-old striker gave one own goal plus one goal, this time for the right team where he plays: Croatia.

Spectacular misses and fantastic saves from 11 metres.
- Referees gave in total 21 penalties. At 17 duels there was only one punishment and 2 matches ended with 2 penalties. France and Australia both scored from 11 metres in their clash, while one 'man in blue' adored England more as the team received 2 penalties in a match (against Panama).
But all penalties are not always easy to kick.
- There were 4 saved punishments, and 'guilty' players were: Lionel Messi (Argentina, second half against Iceland), Mosaed al Muwallad (Saudi Arabia, first half versus Egypt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, second half against IR Iran) and Luka Modric (Croatia, second half of the extra time versus Denmark).
- Extraordinary misses happened 3 times: Christian Cueva (Peru, first half versus Denmark), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland, second half against Nigeria) and Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica, second half versus Switzerland).

Dirty play.
Only 4 red cards were given. In an equal distribution, 2 players recived 2 yellow cards: Jerome Boateng (Germany) and Igor Smolnikov (Russia), while the rest were straight red: Carlos Sanchez (Colombia, in the third minute) and Michael Lang (Switzerland, at the ninety third minute).

Additional minutes.
Croatia has played the most games in extra time at this tournament: 3. Spain - Russia and Colombia - England also played 120 minute each. Only in 2 duels players scored 3 goals, while 4 matches went into penalty shoot out.

Interesting facts.
- For the first time at the World Cup 2018 event was introduced 'policeman technology system' from above better known as video assistant referee system. Referees started to use in France - Australia match where first goal was scored and after that was in action many times for controversial decisions.
- The quickest goal in this competition was scored by Denmark in just 58 seconds (against Croatia).
- Anti-football and completely dull game was played in Denmark - France duel where it was the only match who finished scoreless.
- Belgium will be remembered who played memorable and outstanding football in 2 games. The first one was versus Tunisia where the duel has ended in 7 goals. At the other was just 5, but against Japan they basically arise from the dead to win in stoppage time (at last 16).
- Two teams have met twice at this competition, and in both of them Belgium was the winner. In the group phase one goal was scored where now we can freely say that England deliberately lost the game (in order not to have troubles and not to oppose difficult teams later on on their path), whilst one more goal was scored at the third-fourth classification duel.
- One South American has been written into history books as second man who officiate the starting and closing match. Nestor Pitana (Argentina) refereed the opening game (Russia - Saudi Arabia) and final (France - Croatia). His countryman Horacio Elizondo was the first at the World Cup 2006 edition in Germany.
- Just one day after the final, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has revealed that more than 3 million guests have visited the country during the tournament. This is almost a double amount more visitors than the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang (South Korea) this February where it had estimated figure of approximately 1.57 million tourists.

- The title for the best player in the twenty first edition of the World Cup belonged to Luka Modric (Croatia).
- Youth player award goes to Kylian Mbappe (France).
- Harry Kane (England) is the top goalscorer with 6 goals.
- Best goalkeeper is Thibaut Courtois (Belgium).
- Spain has received the fair play award.

World Cup 2018 in Russia was very well organized and now we are eagerly awaiting the next worldwide edition number 22 in four years time in Qatar, where for the first time will be played in winter. Qualifying schedule for this event will be announced in July 2019. See you then!


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