Belfast Telegraph

Goals records smashed at Russia 2018

Late goals have been all the rage at Russia 2018.

Lionel Messi, left, leaps on Argentina’s hero Marcos Rojo (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Lionel Messi, left, leaps on Argentina’s hero Marcos Rojo (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The 2018 World Cup has already smashed records in a 32-team tournament for the number of late goals, penalties and own goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 88th-minute free-kick, to complete a hat-trick and earn Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain, capped off a second day of the tournament which also featured late winners for Uruguay and Iran.

  • Marcos Rojo was Argentina’s unlikely 86th-minute match-winner against Nigeria while Germany were finally sunk by stoppage-time strikes from South Korea’s Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min.
  • In all, there have been 25 goals scored in the 85th minute or later, with France 98’s record of 24 broken by the Yann Sommer own goal which gave Costa Rica a draw with Switzerland.
  • There have also been record numbers of penalties and own goals, with Costa Rica’s goal – a 93rd-minute Bryan Ruiz penalty which hit the bar and bounced in off Sommer – neatly unifying all three trends.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how the records came about.

Late goals

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(PA Graphic)
  • Harry Kane’s winner for England against Tunisia and Toni Kroos’ strike for Germany against Sweden were memorable contributions to the late-goal tally.
  • Brazil struck twice in injury time to beat Costa Rica and Spain got a late equaliser of their own courtesy of Iago Aspas against Morocco.
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Toni Kroos, far left, scores Germany’s winner against Sweden (Sergei Grits/AP)
  • Twenty games in Russia have witnessed goals after the 85th minute, with five separate games having two goals in that time span.
  • Brazil’s second against Costa Rica, from Neymar, was the latest goal excluding extra-time in a World Cup game since 1966.
  • Fourteen games have seen the result affected by a late equaliser or winner. Costa Rica’s equaliser against Switzerland came after the Swiss had taken the lead in the 88th minute.

Penalties

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system has played a major role as 24 spot-kicks have been awarded this summer, with 18 scored – both record tallies.

The previous high marks saw 18 awarded in 2002 and a perfect 17 from 17 scored at France ’98, excluding shoot-outs.

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(PA Graphic)
  • Ballon d’Or perennials Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are among the six players to miss from the spot.
  • Ronaldo is joined by Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson in both scoring and missing a spot-kick at this World Cup. Saudi Arabia did so as a team against Egypt, when Fahad Al Muwallad was denied by Egypt’s 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary before Salman Al Faraj scored from a second award.

Kane, Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist and Australia’s Mile Jedinak have each scored two penalties in the tournament. All three are captain of their respective countries.

Own goals

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Number of own goals scored at World Cups since 1998 (PA Graphic)

If VAR can help to explain the glut of penalties, the nine own goals scored to date – beating the previous record of six set in 1998 – seems a mere quirk.

  • Aziz Bouhaddouz (Morocco) v Iran, June 15
  • Aziz Behich (Australia) v France, June 16
  • Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) v Croatia, June 16
  • Thiago Cionek (Poland) v Senegal, June 19
  • Ahmed Fathi (Egypt) v Russia, June 19
  • Denis Cheryshev (Russia) v Uruguay, June 25
  • Edson Alvarez (Mexico) v Sweden, June 27
  • Yann Sommer (Switzerland) v Costa Rica, June 27
  • Yassine Meriah (Tunisia) v Panama, June 28

The unfortunate Sommer is only the third goalkeeper to score a World Cup own goal, following Spain’s Andoni Zubizarreta against Nigeria in 1998 and Noel Valladares of Honduras against France in 2014.

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