World Football

The Week in Numbers

Switzerland's Haris Seferovic scores past Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois
  • Swiss Davids emulate Spanish Davids
  • Goals in the blink of an eye by Korankei Gorge
  • Who copied a Manchester United icon?

years had passed since someone had scored multiple goals in back-to-back games for Scotland – Denis Law was the last – until James Forrest, from the wing, repeated the feat. The 27-year-old took 25 internationals to break his duck, but a double against Albania and a treble against Israel left him with 12 goals in his last ten starts for Scotland and Celtic.


headed goals is what Tim Cahill retired from international football with on Tuesday – more than half of the unparalleled 50 he got for Australia. The 38-year-old won his 108th cap against Lebanon – one shy of Mark Schwarzer’s Socceroos record.


matches was the unbeaten sequence Les Bleus lost away to the on-song Netherlands. France’s four-game unbeaten run since that thrilling 4-2 victory over Croatia was the longest a FIFA World Cup™-winning team had gone since they themselves survived eight undefeated after their 1998 ecstasy.

Edition Champions Unbeaten run First loss Scorers
1930 Uruguay 0 Brazil 2-0 Uruguay Nilo (2)
1934 Italy 0 England 3-2 Italy Brook (2), Drake
1938 Italy 8 Switzerland 3-1 Italy Monnard, Aeby (2)
1950 Uruguay 4 Chile 2-0 Uruguay Cremaschi, Munoz
1954 West Germany 0 Belgium 2-0 West Germany Coppens, Anoul
1958 Brazil 10 Uruguay 3-0 Brazil Escalada, Sasia, Bergara
1962 Brazil 3 Paraguay 2-0 Brazil Zarate, Ayala
1966 England 5 England 2-3 Scotland Law, Lennox, McCalliog
1970 Brazil 17 Italy 2-0 Brazil Riva, Capello
1974 West Germany 3 England 2-0 West Germany Bell, MacDonald
1978 Argentina 4 Bolivia 2-1 Argentina Reynaldo (2)
1982 Italy 0 Italy 0-1 Switzerland Elsener
1986 Argentina 1 Argentina 0-1 Paraguay Garre own-goal
1990 West Germany 6 Wales 1-0 Germany Rush
1994 Brazil 23 Brazil 0-2 Mexico Blanco, Garcia
1998 France 8 France 2-3 Russia Panov (2), Karpin
2002 Brazil 0 Brazil 0-1 Paraguay Cuevas
2006 Italy 0 Italy 0-2 Croatia Eduardo, Modric
2010 Spain 2 Argentina 4-1 Spain Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Aguero
2014 Germany 0 Germany 2-4 Argentina Aguero, Lamela, Fernandez, Di Maria
2018 France 4 Netherlands 2-0 France Wijnaldum, Depay

seconds of action was all Japan required to score twice against Kyrgyzstan. After Ryosuke Yamanaka opened the scoring just 127 seconds into his international debut, substitute Yuya Osako made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute and Shoya Nakajima sealed a 4-0 win with his first touch after coming on.


hours and 27 minutes was the international drought Harry Kane broke with the late winner against Croatia. It made the 25-year-old the quickest player to reach 20 goals for England (35 appearances) since Gary Lineker in 1987 (25).


goals in his last ten internationals is what Aleksandar Mitrovic has netted. The Fulham striker scored just two goals in his first 19 games for Serbia.


appearances is what it took Mauro Icardi to bag his first Argentina goal. The striker scored 115 goals for Inter Milan between his international debut in 2013 and his effort in a 2-0 win over Mexico, who are now winless in nine meetings with Argentina.


goals in the group stage of a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is what Ghana’s Mukarama Abdulai became just the third player to register. Germany’s Kyra Malinowski got seven in 2010 and Chinwendu Ihezuo scored six for Nigeria two years later. Abdulai is two shy of equalling the record for goals at one edition of the tournament.


goals is what Switzerland became the first team in over nine years to put past Belgium. Spain were the last when, with David Silva and David Villa hitting doubles, they won 5-0 in South Africa 2010 qualifying. Belgium began the game having lost just one of their last 31 matches and top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, but despite leading 2-0 they lost 5-2 as Switzerland advanced having scored 14 goals – comfortably more than fellow UEFA Nations League semi-finalists the Netherlands (8), England (6) and Portugal (5).


goals in the first ten minutes is, amazingly, what Tahiti and Samoa served up in an intoxicating FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifier. It finished 5-5.

France 2019: Buy your tickets now

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France 2019: Buy your tickets now

goals unbelievably unfolded within four minutes of South Africa-Brazil at Uruguay 2018. It was 0-0 after 50 minutes, 3-1 after 54, and finished 4-1 as the Brazilians recorded their biggest-ever victory in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

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