After a month-long fight to the finish, it has been a World Cup of spectacular goals, of set-piece mastery, VAR controversies and surprises aplenty, like no tournament before.
We again saw the fall of the defending Champions, Germany, who was the last in their group, Group F. This is happening for the third successive time, Spain in 2014 and Italy in 2010.
Miserably, no African time was able to leap beyond the group stage; this is coming after 36 years after such happened. In 1982 both Algeria and Cameroon slipped. This year, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia all couldn’t go beyond the group stage.
Football was close home this year but at the end of the 64 games, the ‘god’ of soccer favoured the third time finalist, France. France won the most prestigious accolade in football for the second time. From shock results, early exits, late drama, VAR and more, we got some interesting stats from the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Stats on Goals
169 goals were scored.
England captain, Harry Kane scored the highest as an individual by scoring six goals.
Belgium scored 16, which is the highest scored by a team.
Nine winning goals were scored in the 90th minute and the additional minutes (excluding extra-time). This is happening for the first time.
Of all the 169 goals scored, 73 of it were from set-pieces, more than at any other edition of the competition since 1966.
22 of the total goals were penalties scored, the most in World Cup history.
Just a match ended goalless – the match between France and Denmark. The fewest at any World Cup tournament since 1954, when there was none.
12 of the 169 goals at Russia were own goals. This doubled the previous record of six in 1998.
Russia Sergei Ignashevich, became the oldest player to score an own-goal in the competition.
This is the first World Cup final to see as many as three goals before half-time since 1974 (West Germany 2-1 Netherlands).
Croatia appeared at the World Cup final for the first time.
France became the first team to score four goals in a World Cup final since Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in 1970.
France won their second World Cup glory and the first away from home soil.
Belgium and England played twice - a game in the group stage and the third-place play-off. Second time in the World Cup since Turkey played Brazil twice at the 2002 World Cup.
England's fourth-place finish is their joint-second best in a World Cup tournament, following 1990 (4th) and 1966 when they lifted the trophy.
Brazil have been eliminated by a European nation in each of the last four editions of the World Cup (France 2006, Netherlands 2010, Germany 2014 and Belgium 2018).
Belgium comeback to overturn 2 goals down against Japan and won the match 3 – 2 in 90 minutes. They became the first team to come from 2+ goals down to win a World Cup knockout round match within 90 minutes since Portugal beat North Korea 5-3 in the 1966 quarter-final.
Croatia are the second team to progress on a penalty shoot-out in consecutive knockout games in a World Cup after Argentina in 1990 (v Yugoslavia and Italy).
Kylian Mbappé (19y 207d) is the second youngest player to score twice in a knock out stage and also World Cup final, after Pele for Brazil in 1958 (17y 249d).
Croatia striker, Mario Mandzukic became the first ever player to score an own goal in a World Cup final. He is also the second player in World Cup history to score a goal for his team and an own goal in the same match, after the Netherlands' Ernie Brandts against Italy in 1978.
Neymar created more attempt with 27 attempts.
England defender, John Stones covered the most distance as a player. He covered
Sergio Ramos completed 485 passes, the most by a player in the tournament.
Belgium goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois claimed the golden glove by having 27 saves.
The 2018 final scoreline 4 -2, was the highest-scoring World Cup final since England beat West Germany 4-2 back in 1966.
Croatia are the first team to lose in their first-ever appearance in a World Cup final since the Netherlands in 1974 (1-2 vs West Germany).
Cristiano Ronaldo is the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.
Ronaldo became the first European player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup and European Championships).
France’s Coach, Didier Deschamps is the third person to win the World Cup as a player and as manager after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.
Most chances created for a specific teammate
9 from Neymar to Coutinho
7 from Kieran Trippier to Harry Maguire
6 from Kevin De Bruyne to Eden Hazard
The tournament recorded a total of 219 yellow cards with an average of 3.5 per match and four red cards average of 0.006 per match.
Aleksandr Golovin of Russia was the first to be yellow carded in the 10th minute of the opening game.
Carlos Sánchez of Colombia received the first red card in the tournament just after 3 minutes of play against Japan. It was the second fastest red card in the history of the World Cup.
It's a World Cup to remember!