Here are some half-time stats followed by Day 10 Nuggets, the first day of destiny as Group A and Group B were decided.
HALF-TIME : 32 games gone, 32 remaining it’s high time to dig out seven Nuggets from the tournament so far and here they all are – gathered in on place.
- There have been 81 goals scored so far, in 2018 at this stage there had been 85.
- Of 81 goals scored at 2022 World Cup so far, 54 have been scored in 2nd half, exactly twice the number of goals that have come in 1st half (27). NB The remarkable sequence of second half goals doubling exactly those scored in the first half continued after Group A and B concluded with the 90 goals scored so far – a 60/30 split.
- Only Brazil, Morocco & Poland have not conceded a goal. Mexico, Tunisia & Uruguay are only sides not to score a goal.
- Of those 81 goals, 24 (30%) have been scored after 75th minute & 9 have come from 90th minute onwards (12%).
- There has not been an own goal yet in this World Cup, there had already been five at this stage in 2018 when there were a dozen in whole tournament.
- There hasn’t been an hat-trick either, there have been 10 braces (11 with Rashford’s two vs Wales). In 2018 there had been 2 by this stage – Ronaldo vs Spain & Kane vs Panama.
- Wayne Hennessey is the only player to be sent off so far, in 2018 there were four in whole competition with three in Group matches. NB Paulo Bento, South Korea’s manager was also sent off after the end of the match with Ghana, but not recorded in the player stats.
Group A – The inevitability of Netherlands beating Qatar was a complete contrast to the pulsating game between Senegal and Ecuador as Koulibaly responded to Ecuador’s equaliser within three minutes. Qatar made history, not necessarily one that will fill them with pride, as the only host nation to not record a win or even muster a solitary point. Netherlands made it nine group qualifications out of their last nine appearances.
Senegal became the first African nation to qualify since Algeria and Nigeria in 2014 after a dismal showing in 2018 when not one of the five countries from the continent made it to Round of 16. There are hopes that Ghana and Morocco could join them and an outside chance for Cameroon and Tunisia who need results against Brazil and France.
Group B – England made it in the end and in scoring nine goals this is the most prolific they have been in any group, edging out the eight they scored in Russia. Wales could not emulate their previous appearance when they reached the quarter-finals in 1958.
USA beat Iran 1-0 and for the third successive World Cup they have reached the Round of 16. Since their first tournament in 1930 when they got to the semi-finals, they have only made it as far as the quarter-finals once, in 2002. It was Iran’s sixth tournament and they have yet to qualify out of the group stages.