Scarcity of goals points to lowest total in recent memory
We are half way through the opening round of matches at the 2010 World Cup and for the neutral there has been little to celebrate thus far.
Of the eight matches played there have been just 13 goals scored – a pitiful average of 1.62 goals per game.
That is by a distance the lowest ratio of any of the last five previous World Cups, including the Italia 90 tournament.
That event is roundly considered as having about as much excitement as a Premier League player’s post match interview but even there viewers were treated to an average of 2.21 goals per game.
USA 94 has the highest goals per game mean, with 2.71 net ripples produced per match. France 98 had 2.67, South Korea/Japan 2002 garnered 2.52, and Germany 2006 had 2.29.
If the scoring continues at this rate we will only see 104 goals.
The last three World Cups all featured 64 matches which in turn produced 171 (in 98), 161 (in 02) and 147 total goals (in 06). But such is the lack of attacking vigour this time round, that number could come in much lower.
It is true that opening tournament matches tend to be tighter than later group-stage games, probably because teams don’t want to lose early on, whereas attacking play is required when qualification is on the line in second and third matches.
However when knock-out games roll around, teams once again get cautious and as a result goals become limited once more.
We still have goal-gorgers Holland, Spain and Brazil to come but, those nations aside, nobody has been setting the scoring world alight in warm-up games.
So far only two teams have managed to score more than once and seven sides haven’t notched at all, while France and Uruguay, who each looked witless going forward in their 0-0 snooze inducer, could both still progress further.
Will Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney’s blank accounts be a sign of things to come? Or will they start banging them in soon? See the full World Cup Goals betting market.