2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

11 June - 11 July

2010 FIFA World Cup™

Strikers still to shine

Wayne Rooney of England looks dejected after missing a chance
© Getty Images

England scored another early goal in their opening fixture of a FIFA World Cup™ but FIFA.com figures show that strikers in general are struggling to find the net.

75

goals have now been scored by England in FIFA World Cup matches. Their first strike in their opening match in the 2006 edition also arrived early - Paraguay captain Carlos Gamarra putting through his own net in the third minute. Their opening goal in the 1982 tournament, scored by captain Bryan Robson in a 3-1 win over France, was one of the quickest goals in FIFA World Cup history, timed at just 28 seconds.

14

times Argentina have led 1-0 at half-time in FIFA World Cup matches; on all 14 occasions, they have gone on to win the game.

11

out of 114, almost ten per cent, of Argentina's goals at a FIFA World Cup have been scored in the first ten minutes.

9

goals have now been scored in FIFA World Cup matches since a striker last found the net. Nuno Gomes grabbed the consolation effort for Portugal in Germany 2006's play-off for third place - a 3-1 defeat against Germany - and since then every goal, starting with the two in the 2006 final by Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi, have been scored by midfielders or defenders.

7

minutes gone is normally the time Greece start contemplating another FIFA World Cup defeat because they have conceded by that stage in three of their four matches. Before today, the early goals came against Argentina and Bulgaria (USA 1994, second and fifth minutes respectively).

6

of the shots in the Port Elizabeth game came from Greece players. Eighteen, in contrast, came from Korea Republic, meaning Greece accounted for only 25 per cent of the game's attempts on goal.

5

games at FIFA World Cups have brought Argentina face to face with African sides and each time it has been settled by the odd goal. After losing the first encounter, 1-0 to Cameroon in 1990, the South Americans went on to beat Nigeria 2-1 in 1994 and then 1-0 in 2002, before edging out Côte d'Ivoire 2-1 in 2006.

4

FIFA World Cup matches have now been played by Greece and they still await their first goal. If they fail to register a score in their next match at South Africa 2010 - they play Nigeria in Bloemfontein on Thursday - they will equal the record of Bolivia, who played five FIFA World Cup games before they found the net, a drought totalling 517 minutes in all.

3

of Argentina's last four FIFA World Cup goals have followed a right-sided corner kick. The scorers before today were Hernan Crespo and Roberto Ayala (respectively against Mexico in the Round of 16 and then Germany in the quarter-finals at Germany 2006). The "odd one out" in the sequence was Maxi Rodriguez's stunning shot to secure the victory over Mexico.

2

Asian players have now scored in three different FIFA World Cup tournaments. With today's strike sealing Korea Republic's 2-0 victory over Greece, Park Ji Sung added to the single goal he scored in 2002 and 2006 - also against European opponents in Portugal and France. The only other Asian player to achieve the feat was Saudi Arabia's Sami Al Jaber, who scored in 1994, 1998 and 2006.

2

goals have now been conceded by England in the first half of their last 12 FIFA World Cup games. Before today, the only goal to spoil their half-time refreshment in 11 fixtures came from Brazil's Rivaldo in added time at the end of the first period in the 2002 quarter-final in Shizuoka.

2

USA players have now scored in successive FIFA World Cups, with Clint Dempsey - who also scored in the 2-1 defeat by Ghana in 2006 - joining Brian McBride, who scored once in 1998 and twice in 2002.

1

draw has now been served up by England and USA after their prior nine meetings all yielded winners. Previously, England had won seven and racked up two defeats, one of which came in 1950, the only previous FIFA World Cup clash between the teams. In a run of four games from June 1953 to June 1985, England put 29 goals past the Americans.

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