Despite all the pre-tournament jitters, Russia 2018 has turned out to be one of the best World Cups ever, with high drama and memorable goals making for a thrilling spectacle. The good news is that there is more to come today, with two cracking quarter-final fixtures on the menu – Uruguay v France and Brazil v Belgium. To whet your appetite, here are some of the numbers that give some insight into what’s been happening up north.
The number of penalties awarded at the World Cup thus far. The introduction of the controversial Video Assistant Referee system has seen more spot-kicks awarded than ever before at a World Cup. Some 28 have been awarded so far, with 21 goals resulting from them, included a third day in which five spot-kicks were awarded across four games.
The number of goals scored by English striker Harry Kane. Sure, there are three penalties in there, but the Tottenham hitman has proved his worth in leading the race for the Golden Boot. He is currently two strikes ahead of Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku.
Kane, twice the Premier League’s top scorer with 108 goals in 153 top-flight games, has scored his goals from just nine shots and he has also equalled Gary Lineker’s England record for number of goals in a tournament, set in 1986.
With a number of his rivals having fallen by the wayside, there is every chance that Kane will grab the coveted trophy, especially if England do go all the way and “bring it home”.
The number of litres of beer thirsty fans waded through at a Moscow bar over the weekend. The Russian capital is in danger of running out of the golden elixir with one waiter saying his restaurant are having to wait longer than usual for supplies. Beer sales in Russia have fallen by around a third over the past decade, as duties have risen and rules been tightened on sales and advertising. I say bring on the vodka!
READ MORE: World Cup 2018: Belgium begin to dream
The total number of goals Uruguay have conceded at the World Cup. In fact, not only was Pepe’s towering headed equaliser for Portugal the first time the South Americans have let in a goal in Russia, but it was also the first time they’ve conceded in 2018. That’s 16 consecutive clean sheets! It’s an astounding achievement when you take into account the quality of opposition Uruguay come up against and a testament to the defensive nous of their Atletico Madrid centre-back pairing of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.
The number of minutes Brazilian talisman Neymar has spent rolling around on the pitch. Although he oozes talent (57 goals in 89 international appearances is nothing to sniff at) and has come up with two important goals and an assist, the 25-year-old is also petulant and infuriating to watch. His childish antics have seen him become the butt of quite a few memes over the past fortnight and his legacy is in danger of being tarnished.