The FIFA World cup 2022 has already taken the center stage at Qatar and 12 group stage matches have already been done and dusted. Prior to the world cup itself, this year’s edition was regarded as one of the most unique editions ever – firstly a gulf nation is hosting the grandest football tournament and for the first time and in its 92 year history, the FIFA World cup is taking place during the winters.
A lot of uncanny and unexpected things have been on display this time around and it promises to offer more in the coming weeks of the marquee event. In the recent months, we have seen certain sporting events offer a number of unusual things like weaker teams register upset wins against big guns.
In this article, Sportzcraazy will discuss about all the unexpected things that have happened till now.
1. Host nations (Qatar) lose their opening match for the first time in FIFA World cup history – In the entirety of the FIFA World cup dating back to 1930, no host nation has ever lost their opening game. Since then, the host nations have won 16 games while drawing 6 and Qatar are the first team to lose their first group stage fixture.
2. A goal from the Penalty spot was the first the first goal of the tournament – The opening fixture of Group A between Qatar and Ecuador saw the latter team prevail by 2-0 and both of them were scored by Enner Valencia. He first found the back of the net in the 3rd minute but it was eventually called off-side by VAR. However, he did score a goal to take the lead after converting a penalty in the 16th minute. This was for the first time that the first goal of the world cup was not scored from open play but from the Penalty spot.
3. Qatar Vs. Ecuador was the Lowest Viewed WC opening game ever – Prior to the world cup, host nations Qatar faced a lot of backlash for a number of reasons. For those reasons, many participants in this World cup even refused to organize a screening of the world cup back home. The reason is unknown, but Qatar Vs. Ecuador registered the lowest viewership ever in the history of FIFA World cup.
4. No World cup match (Qatar Vs. Ecuador) ever saw fewer shots – The opening game of the World cup registered only 11 shots combined. Qatar registered 5 shots, while Ecuador attempted 6 shots. No world cup match ever before has seen less such less shots taking place.
5. England’s 6-2 win over Iran saw Bukayo Saka become only the second Arsenal player to score at a World Cup – The second match of the FIFA World cup 2022 featured a Group B fixture between England and Iran. In that match the three lions scored 6 goals and Iran had to settle down with only 2. This match also set a few records on its own. The first one was when Arsenal number 7 Bukayo Saka found the back of the net in the 43rd minute. He went on to score another one and his brace meant that Saka is officially the first Arsenal player to score a World cup goal for England since Sol Campbell’s effort against Sweden in the 2002 edition.
6. Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever to score at a World Cup – England’s teenage sensation Jude Bellingham has been on the news for quite some time now. His game play and influence on the pitch has been drawing a lot of attention as well as recognition. Earlier this year, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder became only the 3rd youngest player to lead his side in a UCL match and he is also the youngest captain ever to score a goal in the competition. The 19-year-old started for England against Iran and he opened the scoring for the three lions in the 35th minute. In his debut World cup match, he scored an amazing goal and became the youngest player ever to score temporarily before Pablo Gavi took the honors.
7. John Stones registered the highest passing accuracy by any England player ever – During England’s 6-2 against Iranians, English center-back John Stones played a major role in the defense alongside Harry Maguire. Stones completed 116 out of 117 passes which was the most accurate passes by any Three lions player ever in a World cup campaign.
8. England’s 6th goal against Iran had the most number of passes building up to the goal – Manchester City’s number 10 and England number 7 Jack Grealish was among the goal scorers in England’s 6-2 thrashing of Iran. Grealish came on as a substitute and in the 90th minute, he scored his first World cup goal in his debut match. It was a brilliant move by England that led to the final goal of the match and it consisted of 35 passes. Those 35 passes was the highest number of touches building up to a goal at the World cup on record since the 1966 edition.
9. Gareth Bale scored Wales’ first goal at the World cup since 1958 – After a wait of almost 65 years, Wales made their first FIFA World cup appearance since 1958 which ended in a 1-1 draw against USA. Wales were trailing by a goal till the 80th minute of the game as they were awarded with a penalty, which was calmly converted by Real Madrid legend Gareth Bale. He has now scored 41 goals for his national team.
10. Wales registered only a single shot in their clash against USA – Another mind boggling stat that came from Wales Vs. USA was that the Europeans did not register a single shot until the 62nd minute. Aaron Ramsey was the one who registered a shot in the game.
11. Argentina’s unbeaten streak of 36 games broken by Saudi Arabia – One of the major upsets of the FIFA World cup 2022 came during Argentina’s Group C clash against Saudi Arabia when the Gulf nation stunned the two-time World champions by 2-1. Veteran Lionel Messi, who is playing his final World cup this year, opened the scoring for Argentina through the penalty spot in the 10th minute of the game. However, their lead did not last longer as Saleh Alsehri scored an equalizer within just three minutes into the second half followed by a tremendous effort from Salem Aldawsari 5 minutes later to make it 2-1.