Home > Tournament Statistics, Trivia, World Cup > World Cup Group Stage Trivia

World Cup Group Stage Trivia

Taking a break from putting together our next data set to do a little World Cup group stage trivia.  As always, I’ll pose the questions and then provide the answers ‘after the break’ as well as links to the match data from fifa.com.

  1. Since the World Cup expanded to eight groups (in 1998), how many teams have advanced to the Round of 16 with a negative  Goal Differential?
  2. Since 1998, how many times has a team with a positive Goal Differential NOT advanced out of the group stage?
  3. Since 1998, what is the highest number of goals scored by a team that did not advance out of the group stage?
  4. Since 1998, what is the fewest number of goals scored by a team that DID advance out of the group stage?

And the answers are:

  1. Only one.  In 2002, the U.S. advanced with a Goal Differential of -1.  The U.S. ended the World Cup with a Goal Differential of zero thanks to a positive (+1) Goal Differential in the knock-out rounds (2-0 victory over Mexico; 1-0 loss to Germany).
  2. Two.  In 2002, the U.S. (-1) advanced over Portugal (+2).  In 1998, Spain (+4) did not advance from its group when its only victory was a 6-1 defeat of Bulgaria.
  3. 8.  Spain 1998 sets the record here.  In second place is Portugal 2002 (6).
  4. 2.  In 2002, England advanced out of its group with five points.  It scored two goals, but conceded only one.   (It went on to win 3-0 over Denmark in the Round of 16 before losing 2-1 to Brazil in the Quarter-Finals.)
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