Goals records smashed at Russia 2018

The 2018 World Cup has already smashed records in a 32-team tournament for the number of late goals, penalties and own goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 88th-minute free-kick, to complete a hat-trick and earn Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain, capped off a second day of the tournament which also featured late winners for Uruguay and Iran.

  • Marcos Rojo was Argentina’s unlikely 86th-minute match-winner against Nigeria while Germany were finally sunk by stoppage-time strikes from South Korea’s Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min.
  • In all, there have been 25 goals scored in the 85th minute or later, with France 98’s record of 24 broken by the Yann Sommer own goal which gave Costa Rica a draw with Switzerland.
  • There have also been record numbers of penalties and own goals, with Costa Rica’s goal – a 93rd-minute Bryan Ruiz penalty which hit the bar and bounced in off Sommer – neatly unifying all three trends.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how the records came about.

Late goals

Late goals scored at each World Cup
(PA Graphic)

  • Harry Kane’s winner for England against Tunisia and Toni Kroos’ strike for Germany against Sweden were memorable contributions to the late-goal tally.
  • Brazil struck twice in injury time to beat Costa Rica and Spain got a late equaliser of their own courtesy of Iago Aspas against Morocco.

Toni Kroos, far left, scores Germany’s winner against Sweden
Toni Kroos, far left, scores Germany’s winner against Sweden (Sergei Grits/AP)

  • Twenty games in Russia have witnessed goals after the 85th minute, with five separate games having two goals in that time span.
  • Brazil’s second against Costa Rica, from Neymar, was the latest goal excluding extra-time in a World Cup game since 1966.
  • Fourteen games have seen the result affected by a late equaliser or winner. Costa Rica’s equaliser against Switzerland came after the Swiss had taken the lead in the 88th minute.


The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system has played a major role as 24 spot-kicks have been awarded this summer, with 18 scored – both record tallies.

The previous high marks saw 18 awarded in 2002 and a perfect 17 from 17 scored at France ’98, excluding shoot-outs.

Penalties scored at each World Cup (excluding shoot-outs)
(PA Graphic)

  • Ballon d’Or perennials Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are among the six players to miss from the spot.
  • Ronaldo is joined by Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson in both scoring and missing a spot-kick at this World Cup. Saudi Arabia did so as a team against Egypt, when Fahad Al Muwallad was denied by Egypt’s 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary before Salman Al Faraj scored from a second award.

Kane, Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist and Australia’s Mile Jedinak have each scored two penalties in the tournament. All three are captain of their respective countries.

Own goals

Number of own goals scored at World Cups since 1998
Number of own goals scored at World Cups since 1998 (PA Graphic)

If VAR can help to explain the glut of penalties, the nine own goals scored to date – beating the previous record of six set in 1998 – seems a mere quirk.

  • Aziz Bouhaddouz (Morocco) v Iran, June 15
  • Aziz Behich (Australia) v France, June 16
  • Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) v Croatia, June 16
  • Thiago Cionek (Poland) v Senegal, June 19
  • Ahmed Fathi (Egypt) v Russia, June 19
  • Denis Cheryshev (Russia) v Uruguay, June 25
  • Edson Alvarez (Mexico) v Sweden, June 27
  • Yann Sommer (Switzerland) v Costa Rica, June 27
  • Yassine Meriah (Tunisia) v Panama, June 28

The unfortunate Sommer is only the third goalkeeper to score a World Cup own goal, following Spain’s Andoni Zubizarreta against Nigeria in 1998 and Noel Valladares of Honduras against France in 2014.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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