LAHORE: As it happens at many World Cup bouts, many longstanding records and feats have been challenged and some have fallen this time as well. This is a breakdown of all the numbers that you need to know for the World Cup story so far in Russia.
60: The number of years it has been since a teenager scored multiple goals in a single World Cup campaign. This time around it was the prolific French youngster, Kylian Mbappe, who became the fifth person to achieve this feat. What makes this statistic so special is the fact that the previous player to do the same was Pele himself.
48: Belgium faced fierce opposition from Japan in a game that looked like it was going the latter’s way till early in the second half. The Blue Samurai’s were two goals up via strikes from Inui and Haraguchi by the 52nd minute, but a thumping header from Jan Vertonghen inspired the Red Devils to make a glorious comeback with Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli. This was the first time in 48 years that a team made a comeback from a two goal deficit in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the previous being West Germany who came back from the same position to edge out England.
40: The World Cup has now reached a cumulative attendance of 40 million thanks to the game between Sweden and Switzerland, with that number set to rise in the games that are to follow.
31: So far this has been a World Cup that has kept fans on the edge of their seats with 31 of the 146 goals coming after the 80th minute. The fixtures lined up for the quarter-finals seem to promise more of the same.
28: With the introduction VAR (Video Assistant Referees), the previous record for penalties awarded during the World Cup has been shattered. The previous record was 18 penalties awarded at the 2002 World Cup held in Korea/Japan; so far 28 penalties have been awarded out of which 21 have been converted into goals. Taking into consideration that we’re only at the Quarter final stage, the numbers highlight the impact of the controversial VAR system.
22: Of the 56 matches played, 22 have been goalless at half-time. Only one of those, however, has finished 0-0. It took 37 matches for the first goalless draw of the tournament – a World Cup record.
17: Matches as captain in the World Cup are what Rafa Marquez played to break Diego Maradona’s record. The Mexican also became the only player to wear the armband at five World Cups, and just the third to appear in five editions after Antonio Carbajal and Lothar Matthaus.
6: Harry Kane, with his six goals in three games, has equaled Maradona’s record as most goals as a captain and Gary Linekar’s record for most goals in a campaign by an Englishman.
3: This is the third consecutive World Cup that’s featured the previous champions crashing out in the group stages.
All things said, this Piers Morgan tweet really does sum up how insane this World Cup has been so far:
I wonder what the odds would have been 18 months ago on the World Cup 2018 quarter-finals not including Italy, Holland, Spain, Germany or Argentina?
This is a stunning tournament.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 6, 2018
(As ironic as the thumbnail is, this is indeed a serious article.)