The FIFA World Cup has now reached the sharper end of the tournament as we now enter the knockout phase of proceedings. The Group Stage has not only whittled the entrants down from 32 to 16, but it has also seen a gluttony of goals in the 48 matches that we have witnessed.

But just how many goals have been scored in the first fortnight of the competition, I’m now going to answer that question and many more as I carry out a World Cup group stage analysis piece.

How many goals were scored in the group stage?

First up the amount of goals that have been scored is: 122

This equates to an average of: 2.54 goals per game, the question is how does that compare with previous tournaments that have gone by?

In order of group stage goals scored, the 32 teams are ranked as followed:

Country Goals Country  Goals
Belgium 9 Mexico 3
England 8 Nigeria 3
Russia 8 South Korea 3
Croatia 7 Australia 2
Spain 6 Costa Rica 2
Brazil 5 Denmark 2
Colombia 5 Egypt 2
Portugal 5 Germany 2
Sweden 5 Iceland 2
Switzerland 5 Iran 2
Tunisia 5 Morocco 2
Uruguay 5 Panama 2
Japan 4 Peru 2
Senegal 4 Poland 2
Argentina 3 Saudi Arabia 2
France 3 Serbia 2

Some interesting points of view here, of the top 16 group stage goal scorers, Denmark are the only nation that qualified but are not in the top half of the list. (this is if we include Mexico’s 3 goals as joint 15th)

Also every nation scored at least two group stage goals, something that was being offered out at odds of 250/1 before the tournament started.

Tunisia are the highest group stage goalscorers that did not qualify for the Round of 16, while Senegal scored four goals and also missed out on the knockout stages. Had they been slightly more disciplined then it would have been the same scenario for Japan.

Which nations are scoring the goals, but just when exactly are the goals being scored?

Here is a split of every goal that has been scored in the group stage:

Minute Amount % Split Minute Amount % Split Minute Amount % Split
90.1 16 13.11% 40 2 1.64% 31 1 0.82%
51 4 3.28% 47 2 1.64% 33 1 0.82%
62 4 3.28% 53 2 1.64% 37 1 0.82%
90 4 3.28% 56 2 1.64% 38 1 0.82%
23 3 2.46% 58 2 1.64% 39 1 0.82%
45.1 3 2.46% 66 2 1.64% 43 1 0.82%
50 3 2.46% 73 2 1.64% 44 1 0.82%
59 3 2.46% 74 2 1.64% 45 1 0.82%
71 3 2.46% 78 2 1.64% 48 1 0.82%
75 3 2.46% 81 2 1.64% 49 1 0.82%
4 2 1.64% 86 2 1.64% 52 1 0.82%
6 2 1.64% 88 2 1.64% 54 1 0.82%
11 2 1.64% 5 1 0.82% 55 1 0.82%
14 2 1.64% 7 1 0.82% 60 1 0.82%
18 2 1.64% 8 1 0.82% 65 1 0.82%
19 2 1.64% 10 1 0.82% 68 1 0.82%
22 2 1.64% 12 1 0.82% 69 1 0.82%
32 2 1.64% 16 1 0.82% 70 1 0.82%
34 2 1.64% 20 1 0.82% 76 1 0.82%
35 2 1.64% 24 1 0.82% 80 1 0.82%
36 2 1.64% 26 1 0.82% 89 1 0.82%

For clarity the values 45.1 and 90.1 signify any goal scored in either first half or second half injury time.

What is the most starting revelation is the fact that we have seen no fewer than 16 second half injury time goals in the group stage, this equates to 13.11% of all the goals that have currently been scored in the tournament (pre-knockout stage)

If we don’t include injury time, then the most recurring minute for goals scored is either 51, 62 or 90 which has seen four group stage goals each. If we were add the 90 value to that of the 90.1 value, then this would equate to 20 goals or 16.3% of all occasions the ball has hit the back of the net.

So we know when the goals have been scored individually but what if we were to bunch this into 15 minute segments, where exactly are the majority of goals arriving?

1 to 15 13 10.66%
16 to 30 13 10.66%
31 to 45 18 14.75%
45 inj 3 2.46%
46 to 60 24 19.67%
61 to 75 20 16.39%
76 to 90 15 12.30%
90 inj 16 13.11%
Total 122 100%

The most recurring 15 minute segment is that of the range between 46 to 60, this has seen no fewer than 24 group stage goals scored, this is closely by 61 to 75 which seen 20 strikes hit the net.

We’ve already mentioned the fact that second half injury time has seen 16 goals, this turns out to be the third most recurring 15 minute segment out of the eight on offer.

Not only that but when we look at goals scored in the first vs second half, the split is as follows:

1st half 47 38.52%
2nd half 75 61.48%
Total 122 100%

Over three fifths of all the group stage goals have been scored in the second half, whether this gives credence to teams tiring out late on is one point to consider. Another thing to take into account is teams being fired up after the restart and especially in the fact of the 16 goals in the dying seconds of the game it shows that teams are pushing themselves all the way until the final whistle.

The group stage goal split by nation (in group order)

Russia
Minute 1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 2 8
Split % 12.50% 0.00% 12.50% 0.00% 25.00% 25.00% 0.00% 25.00%
Saudi Arabia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00%
Egypt
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
Split % 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Uruguay
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 5
Split % 20.00% 40.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 40.00% 0.00%
Morocco
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Split % 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00%
Iran
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 100.00%
Portugal
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 2 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 5
Split % 40.00% 0.00% 40.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 20.00% 0.00%
Spain
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 1 6
Split % 0.00% 33.33% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 16.67%
France
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%
Australia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Peru
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
Split % 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Denmark
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
Split % 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Argentina
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
Split % 33.33% 33.33% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%
Iceland
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Split % 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00%
Croatia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 2 1 2 1 7
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 14.29% 0.00% 28.57% 14.29% 28.57% 14.29%
Nigeria
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 66.67% 33.33% 0.00% 0.00%
Costa Rica
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00%
Serbia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
Split % 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Brazil
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 5
Split % 0.00% 20.00% 20.00% 0.00% 0.00% 20.00% 0.00% 40.00%
Switzerland
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 5
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 20.00% 0.00% 40.00% 0.00% 40.00% 0.00%
Germany
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00%
Mexico
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3
Split % 0.00% 33.33% 33.33% 0.00% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00% 0.00%
Sweden
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 5
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 20.00% 0.00% 20.00% 60.00% 0.00% 0.00%
South Korea
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 100.00%
Belgium
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 1 0 1 3 2 1 0 9
Split % 11.11% 11.11% 0.00% 11.11% 33.33% 22.22% 11.11% 0.00%
Panama
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00%
Tunisia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 5
Split % 0.00% 20.00% 20.00% 0.00% 20.00% 20.00% 0.00% 20.00%
England
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 2 1 2 1 0 1 0 1 8
Split % 25.00% 12.50% 25.00% 12.50% 0.00% 12.50% 0.00% 12.50%
Colombia
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 5
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 40.00% 0.00% 0.00% 60.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Japan
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 4
Split % 25.00% 0.00% 25.00% 0.00% 0.00% 25.00% 25.00% 0.00%
Poland
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2
Split % 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00% 50.00% 0.00%
Senegal
1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+ Total
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Club Goals 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 4
Split % 25.00% 0.00% 25.00% 0.00% 25.00% 25.00% 0.00% 0.00

The most fascinating point of note here is that South Korea and Iran scored all of their group stage goals in second half injury time. The Koreans scored a trio of late, late goals while the Iranians made do with just a brace and none of theirs were from open play either (own goals and a penalty)

So there you have it, that concludes this first phase of goal analysis. I will be back with an updated version of the article in a couple of weeks when the tournament reaches its conclusion. Until then.

I am always available for any football data projects you may have and/or content creation.

If you have any requirements then please feel free to contact Dan at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com or visit his website http://realfootballdata.com.

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