World Cup 2022: Unexpected Results, Extra Time, And Penalties With Other Trends From Qatar

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World Cup 2022: An international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of several countries of the world came with a lot of twists and turns.

Afterward, it ended with Argentina winning the tournament for a third time after 64 games and a record 172 goals thanks to their thrilling triumph over France in the penalty shootout.

Data scientists, Following the conclusion of the first World Cup to be contested in the winter in 2022, Nielsen’s Gracenote looked at patterns from that tournament.

It was the second World Cup staged fully in Asia after the 2002 competition in South Korea and Japan, and it was held in Qatar from November 20, 2022, to December 18, 2022. It was the first World Cup to be held in the Arab and Muslim world.

After defeating Croatia 4-2 in the championship game of 2018, France was the reigning champion going into the competition.

It is the most expensive World Cup ever held, with an estimated cost of over $220 billion; Qatari officials disputed this figure, including the organizing CEO Nasser Al Khater, who claimed the actual cost was $8 billion, as well as other data pertaining to general infrastructure development since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

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With 48 teams expected to compete in the 2026 tournament, this one will be the last with 32 teams. The event was conducted in November and December to avoid the climatic extremes of Qatar.

So, without further ado, here we will look at all the trends, upsets, goal rush, extra time and the likes:

More Shocks in 64 Years

With 15 of the games in Qatar ending in an upset, it was a tournament for the underdogs.

On the third day of the competition, Saudi Arabia defeated eventual champions Argentina 2-1 in what was the first of 12 shocking group stage results, a competition record.

Due to Morocco’s elimination of Portugal and Spain in the quarterfinals and Croatia’s victory over Brazil in the quarterfinal, 24% of games had upset endings, according to Nielsen’s Gracenote.

Since 1958 in Sweden, there have been 26% more shocks than there are now.

An upset happens if, in accordance with Nielsen Gracenote’s methodology which is  “the winning team had less than 33.3% chance of winning over 90 minutes in the group phase or a maximum of 47% chance of eliminating their opponents in the knockout phase.”

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Number of upsetsYearPercentage of matches ending in upset
15202224%
14200222%
12201019%
12201819%
11199017%
11199417%
10198616%
9195826%
8198216%
8200613%

More Goals But With Less Shots

This year’s tournament had “just” 1,458 shots, the fewest since Nielsen Gracenote began keeping track of the statistic in 2002 and down from a peak of 1661 in 2014.

In fact, there were 22.8 bullets fired every game in Qatar on average.

A record 172 goals were scored, which is a record since the tournament’s expansion to 32 teams in 1998. Prior to this, 171 goals had been scored in both France in 1998 and Brazil in 2014.

Qatar 2022’s 2.69 goals per game are surpassed only by USA 1994’s 2.71.

The tournament featured 117 different goal scorers, five fewer than the World Cup record set in Russia four years ago.

Additionally, more goals were scored from inside the penalty area than in any of the four previous matches where data on the statistic was gathered.

A record 62.7% of shots were inside the penalty box, where 92.9% of goals were scored.

World Cup 2022: Expanded Stoppage Time

According to Nielsen’s Gracenote, referees were stricter this year, issuing 227 yellow cards—the most since 2010—while only four red cards—the same as in Russia—were shown.

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World Cup 2022: Unexpected Results, Extra Time, And Penalties With Other Trends From Qatar

But for the fourth consecutive tournament, there were 1,599 fewer fouls, which may be a result of referees being urged to let play develop naturally.

Three penalties were given in the championship game, bringing the total to 23, however it was less than the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which was the first to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.

Earlier on in the tournament, there was a lot of discussion about the amount of stoppage time. Due to Fifa’s harsher time-wasting regulations, matches now last an average of 11 more minutes (up from six minutes in 2018).

Youngsters Activation

More teens started matches in the 2022 World Cup than at any other tournament.

Ten teenagers made 20 starts, including 18-year-old Spanish midfielder Gavi and 19-year-olds Jamal Musiala of Germany and Jude Bellingham of England.

With six starts at the 2018 competition, France’s Kylian Mbappe, now 23 years old, still holds the record for most starts as a teenager.

World Cup 2022: Oldies Outnumbered

It wasn’t simply a year for the youthful athletes; it was also a year when the most seasoned athletes, those 35 and older, began World Cup games.

At the 2022 competition, a total of 27 experienced players made 83 starts, 32 more than the previous record set at the 2002 World Cup.

With seven each, Messi, 35, and Luka Modric, 37, of Croatia, had the most starts among senior players in Qatar.

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