As the World Cup kicks off I’ll be posting a Nugget every day here to keep you all bang up-to-date with the latest facts and stats from the tournament. Keep coming back for your daily dose and remember – A Nugget a Day keeps the Doctor away.
20 November QATAR MAROONED
The match between Qatar and Ecuador was about as one-sided as it gets. In losing 2-0 Qatar became the first World Cup host to lose their opening match. They are only the third host to concede two goals in an opening match after Japan drew 2-2 with Belgium in 2002 and in the next tournament in 2006 when Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2.
21 November ENGLAND DOMINANT
England recorded their highest ever win in an opening World Cup game by hammering Iran 6-2. To add a little more shine to the performance all five goal-scorers notched their first World Cup goals – Bellingham, Saka (2), Sterling, Rashford and Grealish.
DUTCH OPENING STRENGTH
By beating Senegal with two late goals, the Netherlands emphasised what strong starters they are at World Cups. This was their seventh of their last nine consecutive in opening matches, having drawn the other two.
WELSH DRAW INSPIRATION
Wales’ comeback against USA secured by Gareth Bale’s late penalty was their fourth draw in six World Cup matches. In those six matches The Red Dragons have scored the same number of goals as they have conceded with five each.