“Lionel Messi finally notched his first goal in a World Cup knockout game on Saturday,” writes Andy Bailey. “This made me wonder: who has scored the most in knockout matches?”
This is not the perfect query to reply to on account of the alternative ways the World Cup has been structured over time. In 1934 and 1938, there have been not anything however knockout video games (albeit with best 16 groups). In 1950, after which from 1974–82, there was once a moment organization degree which changed one of the crucial knockout rounds. For instance, in 1982, Paolo Rossi scored a hat-trick in Italy’s mythical 3–2 win over Brazil – a de facto quarter-final, however no longer technically a knockout sport.
For the needs of this query now we have best incorporated fits that had been knockout fixtures in identify. and nature. That additionally approach aside from the third-placed playoff, as it is most often a glorified pleasant.
The record is ruled – who knew – via Brazilians, with the unique Ronaldo peak of the pops. He scored 15 objectives on the World Cup, moment best to Germany’s Miroslav Klose, and greater than part of them had been in knockout video games. In 1998 he hit two towards Chile within the final 16 after which put Brazil forward of their exciting semi-final towards the Netherlands.
Four years later, in one of the most nice comeback tales, he helped see off Belgium within the final 16, then scored the one objective towards Turkey within the semi-final and the one objectives towards Germany within the last. His final knockout punch got here in Germany in 2006, when he beat Ghana keeper Richard Kingson with a scrumptious stepover.
That objective places Ronaldo one forward of 2 different Brazilians, Pele and Vavo – who each scored 3 in their seven knockout objectives in World Cup finals – in addition to the Czech ahead Oldrich Nejedly, Nejedly performed not anything however knockout video games on the World Cup, six of them in general. He scored 5 instances in 1934, together with a hat-trick to overcome Germany within the semi-final, and two in 1938.
Ronaldo would possibly quickly be overtaken via Kylian Mbappeewhose pair of screamers towards Poland had been his fourth and 5th on the industry finish of the contest.
Here’s the whole record of the ones with no less than 5 objectives in World Cup knockout ties,
8 objectives: Ronaldo (Brazil, 1998-2006).
7: Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia, 1934–38), Pele (Brazil, 1958-70), Vavo (Brazil, 1958-62).
6:ônidas (Brazil, 1934–38; +2 in third-place playoff), Gary Lineker (England, 1986–90), Gyorgy Sarosi (Hungary, 1934–38).
5: Roberto Baggio (Italy, 1990–98; +1 in third-place playoff), Eusebio (Portugal, 1966; +1 in third-place playoff), Miroslav Klose (Germany, 2002–14), Kylian Mbappee (France, 2018-22), Silvio Piola (Italy, 1938), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, 2006–14), Zinedine Zidane (France, 1998-2006), Gyula Zsengeller (Hungary, 1938).
NB: had we incorporated objectives in the second one organization degree, and we are nonetheless umming and ahhing over it, 4 different gamers would have made the record, Paolo Rossi (Italy, 1978–82) with 7 and Ademir (Brazil, 1950), Mario Kempes (Argentina, 1974–82) and Gerda Muller (West Germany, 1970–74) all with 6.
4: Garrincha (Brazil, 1958-66), Geoff Hurst (England, 1966-70), diego maradona (Argentina, 1982–94), Gerda Muller (West Germany, 1970–74; +2 in moment organization degree).
3: Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany, 1966–74), Just Fontaine (France, 1958; +4 in third-place playoff), Michel Platini (France, 1978–86), Paolo Rossi (Italy, 1978–82; +4 in moment organization degree).
2: Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina, 1994-2002), Bobby Charlton (England, 1962-70), Harry Kane (England, 2018-22), Mario Kempes (Argentina, 1974–82; +4 in moment organization degree), Romeario (Brazil, 1990-94).
1: Thierry Henry (France, 1998-2010), Lionel Messi (Argentina, 2006–22), Ferenc Puskás (Hungary, 1954, Spain, 1962).
0: Johan Cruyff (Netherlands, 1974; +3 in moment organization degree), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 2006–22), marco van basten (Netherlands, 1990).
Big wins, little rewards
“Spain almost failed to qualify for the knockout rounds despite beating Costa Rica 7-0,” notes Emily Bartram. “Has any team had such a big victory in their opening game yet failed to get out of the group?”
They have certainly. Hungary began the 1982 World Cup via famously trouncing El Salvador 10-1, however the following two fits had been an uncomfortable step up in school. They had been thrashed 4–1 via Argentina after which, in a sport they needed to win to make their objective distinction rely, drew 1–1 with Belgium. Hungary completed on 3 issues (two for a win in the ones days), one at the back of Argentina and two at the back of Belgium.
In the similar event, Scottish began with a 5–2 win over New Zealand earlier than dropping 4–1 to Brazil and drawing 2–2 with the Soviet Union. That’s the second-biggest victory within the opening sport via a crew that was once eradicated within the organization phases.
Ecuador and Saudi Arabia had been all eradicated regardless of profitable their opening video games in Qatar. But the final instance of a crew beginning with a good-looking victory – let’s consider via 3 objectives or extra – and nonetheless failing to head thru was once in 2006. Czech republic seemed the section in dismantling the United States 3-0, however they had been smartly crushed via Ghana and Italy of their next fits.
At the 1970 event, Belgium beat El Salvador 3–0 of their first fit, however then misplaced to the Soviet Union and the hosts Mexico.
In general, seven facets have long gone out after taking 4 issues (or 3 when it was once two for a win) from their first two fits.
This being a story of group-stage distress, Scottish most probably have the most efficient yarn. In 1974 they beat Zaire 2-0 earlier than drawing 0-0 with the champions Brazil. But their slightly modest win over Zaire (who misplaced 9–0 to Yugoslavia and three–0 to Brazil) supposed they needed to win their last sport towards Yugoslavia to keep away from going out on objective distinction. Scotland drew 1-1 and had the aggravating difference of being the one unbeaten crew in all of the event.
A few groups, China within the Thirties Yugoslavia in 1950, had been eradicated within the first organization degree regardless of profitable their first two video games, although that is not as not going because it sounds: on each events best the tip crew went thru. A extra well-known instance got here later within the 1950 event, which was once made up our minds via a moment four-team organization. The hosts Brazil seemed impossible to resist in beating Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1, best to lose 2-1 to Uruguay in one of the vital dramatic video games in soccer historical past.
Last however no longer the least…
“Japan have won Group E, despite losing to Costa Rica, who finished bottom of group E. Has this happened before in a four-team World Cup group?” asks Mark Holt.
It in reality came about 24 hours previous, when Argentina gained Group C and Saudi Arabia completed backside. In the technology of four-team teams it’s been lovely uncommon for the winners to lose to any oneNever thoughts the crew completing backside, however it has took place on a couple of different events. Four, to be actual, with cameroon‘s useless rubber (for them) defeat to the Soviet Union in 1990 probably the most attention-grabbing. They are:
1990 Cameroon 0-4 Soviet Union (Group B)
1994 Mexico 0-1 Norway (Group E)
2010 Germany 0-1 Serbia (Group D)
2018 Sweden 1-2 Germany (Group F)
“When was the last time that neither team from a World Cup opening match qualified for the following round?” asks Matt Reilly.
Somewhere within the far-off previous, Qatar misplaced 2-0 to Ecuador within the first sport of the 2022 event, and neither crew was once ready to get out of Group A. To in finding the final time this took place, it’s important to return to the day. of simultaneous opening fits. The 1962 World Cup started with 4 video games, one in every organization. Two of them (Uruguay 2–1 Colombia and Argentina 1–0 Bulgaria) had been performed via groups who would fail to achieve the knockout rounds.
“Is it true that one of the goalscorers in the inaugural World Cup final between Uruguay and Argentina had only one arm?” requested Trevor Miller in 2006.
Indeed he did, Trevor. Uruguayan striker Héctor Castro was once that guy, having misplaced the decrease a part of his left limb in an unlucky carpentry twist of fate on the age of 13. Not that this swayed him from his dream, thoughts, as he went directly to constitute his nation or even ranking the last-minute clinching objective within the 4-2 win over Argentina in 1930.
Can you assist?
“During France’s match with Tunisia, there were 15 French-born players on the field at kick-off,” observes Chai in Atalanta. “France had nine (everyone apart from Mandanda and Camavinga) and Tunisia had six (Ghandri, Talbi, Kechrida, Skhiri, Laidouni, Khazri). Is this a record for the number of players born in the same country for an international match?”
“As I write, we are 20 games into the League Two season and only four different players have scored an EFL goal for Gillingham,” mails Chris Matterface. “What’s the lowest number of players to have scored for a team in a complete season?”