World Cup 2022: How Did The Round One Total Goals Compare To Recent World Cups?

world cup goals
world cup goals
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So, that’s the first round of World Cup 2022 Group games completed and over the 16 matches we’ve seen four 0-0 draws, but still 41 goals scored. However, how does this goal tally compare to recent the World Cups after the opening set of Group fixtures?

Round One World Cup Group Game Goals Compared

Let’s take a look the total World Cup Group game goals scored from the first 16 matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and see how this tournament compares to Russia 2018 and Brazil 2014.

World Cup Round One Group Game Total Goals (16 Matches)
World Cup 2022 (Qatar)
World Cup 2018 (Russia)
World Cup 2014 (Brazil)
Total Goals Scored 41 38 49
Average Goals per Match 2.563 2.375 3.063
Match With Most Goals England 6-2 Iran (8) Portugal 3-3 Spain (6) Netherlands 5-1 Spain (6)
Number Of Draws 5 (31%) 3 (19%) 2 (13%)
Number Of 0-0 Draws 4 (25%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%)
Both Teams Scored 6 (38%) 7 (44%) 11 (69%)
Both Teams DIDN’T Score 10 (63%) 9 (56%) 5 (31%)
Over 2.5 Goals Scored 6 (38%) 7 (44%) 13 (81%)
Under 2.5 Goals Scored 10 (63%) 9 (56%) 3 (19%)
Over 3.5 Goals Scored 4 (25%) 2 (13%) 5 (31%)
Under 3.5 Goals Scored 12 (75%) 14 (88%) 11 (69%)

Opening 2022 World Cup Group Game Goals – Average 2.56 Goals Per Match

With 25% of the opening World Cup 2022 Group games ending 0-0, then this has been one of the talking points from the first set of matches.

However, the 16 fixtures have still produced a total of 41 goals, which is an average of 2.56 per game. This figure was mainly helped by the 7-0 Spain win vs Costa Rica, England’s 6-2 victory over Iran and France’s 4-1 success against Australia – which compensated the run of 0-0 results.

The 41 goals scored were three more than the Russia 2018 World Cup, but a massive eight fewer than the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The England vs Iran Match Produced The Most 2022 World Cup Group Game Goals From Round One

Despite Spain scoring seven goals against Costa Rica, it was the England vs Iran match that produced the most goals – 8 in total – after England won the game 6-2 (watch below).

Comparing this one-match goal tally to the last two World Cup tops the tree, with the highest scoring round one match in both 2014 and 2018 seeing six goals scored.

More Opening Match Draws Than Last Two World Cups

If you draw your opening World Cup Group game, then you are still in with a shout of qualifying to the knockout stages – right? This seems to have been the thinking from a lot of sides in the first Group games at the 2022 World Cup, with 31% of the 16 matches ending up all-square.

This compares to just three draws in 2018 and only two at the 2014 Brazil World Cup

Clean Sheets Have Been On The Rise in 2022

clean sheet

We’ve also seen more ‘shutouts’ than recent World Cups, with ten of the 16 first round Group games seeing one of the sides keep a clean sheet.

Yes, 10 of the 16 matches saw both teams ‘NOT’ scoring, which is more than the nine matches in 2018 and five in 2014 that both teams didn’t find the back of the net in.

What About The Overs/Unders Stats?

This year in 2022, the first 16 World Cup games saw only six produce 3+ goals, with ten going Under 2.5 Goals and actually 38% only having one (or less) goals scored!

The Over 2.5 Goals of six games, compares to seven in 2018 and 13 in 2014, to indicate that even though we’ve had three or four games with plenty of goals – overall, the matches individually have produced less goals so far.

The interesting thing here, is that compared to the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil, where a massive 13 of the 16 (81%) opening Group games saw 3+ goals scored, this figure has come right down to only six (of the 16 matches) in 2022.

Can We Expect More Goals In The Next Group Games?

In short, the answer is most likely – Yes!

As mentioned, a lot of sides will be more cautious in the opening matches as a first game defeat makes it very hard to qualify – a win or a draw and you are very much in the mix for a knockout place.

However, as the World Cup moves into the second and third round of Group games two things come into play.

Firstly, the sides that lost their first matches will need to go for the win to keep their World Cup dreams alive and this is often a recipe for goals.

Secondly, as we head into the third Group matches, the sides that have already qualified are more likely to rest players and field much-changed teams. Meaning the players on the verge of the starting XI might get a chance to impress, while the more established men (if still playing in these games) might have one eye on NOT getting injured.

World Cup 2022 Round One Group Game Results

world cup groups

Group A
Qatar 0-2 Ecuador
Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

Group B
England 6-2 Iran
USA 1-1 Wales

Group C
Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia
Mexico 0-0 Poland

Group D
Denmark 0-0 Tunisia
France 4-1 Australia

Group E
Germany 1-2 Japan
Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

Group F
Morocco 0-0 Croatia
Belgium 1-0 Canada

Group G
Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon
Brazil 2-0 Serbia

Group H
Uruguay 0-0 South Korea
Portugal 3-2 Ghana

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