The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar set a new record for most goals in a World Cup tournament after an incredible Final.
France and Argentina’s unbelievable 3-3 draw put Qatar’s tournament top of the all-time scoring totals list. Qatar 2022 saw 172 goals across 64 matches – just edging out the previous record.
This prolific rate of goals happened despite a slow start to the tournament. For example, the first round of group-stage matches contained four 0-0 draws, with a further three occurring later on. These seven goalless matches equal the record for most 0-0 draws, alongside four other World Cups.
So, Qatar 2022 simultaneously holds records for both lacking and having the most goals. Clearly, some high-scoring games managed to offset the nil-nil matches in what proved to be a dramatic month of football.
The matches that helped Qatar 2022 break World Cup goals record
Although the groups had plenty of low-scoring affairs, a handful of thrillers boosted the goal totals. For instance, England and Spain both racked up big wins on matchday one. The Three Lions kicked off their tournament with a 6-2 win over Iran. Meanwhile, Spain put seven past a hapless Costa Rica.
Following this, the second round of group matches brought more goals, such as when Croatia beat Canada 4-1. Cameroon and Serbia’s 3-3 draw was also an entertaining 10am kick-off.
The knockouts then saw just one goalless game in the rest of the tournament. This was Spain v Morocco, where 120 minutes of football could not separate the two sides. In contrast, Portugal’s 6-1 drubbing of Switzerland and Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea increased the tournament tally further.
Of course, the Final, where Kylian Mbappe netted a historic hat-trick, proved the decisive match to send this World Cup top of the goals chart. Unfortunately, though, the golden boot winner did not take home the trophy as Argentina prevailed on penalties.
Mbappe and the France squad did earn the prize of the highest-scoring team in Qatar. The winners, Argentina, scored the second-most goals. Following the finalists in third and fourth were England and Portugal. Despite their elimination in the last eight, they scored 13 and 12 goals respectively during the tournament.
The Netherlands were the only other team to hit double figures, finding the net ten times.
But which World Cup did Qatar 2022 beat to the record of the most goals?
The previous record holders
Two tournaments previously held the joint-highest total before Qatar overtook them. These were France ’98 and Brazil 2014, which both saw 171 goals scored.
Interestingly enough, both these tournament’s finals also featured one of France and Argentina. Les Bleus won their first World Cup with a 3-0 win at France ’98, while the Albiceleste lost to Germany at the Maracana in 2014.
The highest-scoring match in 2014 was Germany’s infamous 7-1 win over the hosts in the semi-finals. Curiously, though, Brazil’s World Cup was one of the tournaments to also feature the joint-most 0-0 draws.
France ’98, in comparison, had only four 0-0 draws. Spain registered the biggest win at the tournament when they beat Bulgaria 6-1.
But both these iconic editions are now in the shadow of Qatar – at least when it comes to goals scored. It may have been a controversial World Cup away from the pitch. However, we cannot deny that we saw plenty of excitement throughout this winter.
Featured image credit: Getty