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World Cup 2022 group stage records, stats: History created as Brazil held

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No team is safe at this World Cup, and the records just keep on falling.

With the 16 teams now finalised for the knockout stages, some big football giants are gone, and records have been broken.

“This is crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Craig Foster said in the SBS studio on Friday morning. “Going down to literally the last kick of so many games, this is just extraordinary drama.

“This World Cup, it’s just been absolutely mad.”

Here’s just some of the history created in an incredible start to the tournament.

Not a single team stays perfect

Brazil was the last team with a perfect record entering the final day of the group stage but even the mighty South Americans couldn’t get through unscathed.

After barely being troubled by Cameroon all game, Brazil conceded late to lose 1-0. It was the first time Brazil had lost to a team from Africa.

It also meant not a single team won all three group matches — the first time that’s happened since 1994.

The Netherlands, England and Morocco ended up with the biggest points haul (seven) after winning twice and drawing their other game.

France and Brazil both had opportunities to cement their spots at the top of their groups and achieve the maximum nine points, but elected to rest their best players. They would come to regret it. France only finished above Australia on goal difference after their 1-0 loss to Tunisia, while Brazil only finished above Switzerland by a +1 goal difference.

It was Brazil’s first loss in the group stages since the 1998 World Cup.

The BBC’s Tim Vickery said the defeat will pile pressure on the players and coach Tite from unhappy fans back home in Brazil.

“You saw how furious the Brazil players were. They did not want to be on the pitch for what will be seen as humiliation,” he said.

“Yes, it was a much-changed side, but still it’s there in the record books that Brazil have lost to African opposition for the first time in the World Cup. The coach Tite will face awkward questions now. He wanted to give these players a chance and few of them stood out.”

The big teams knocked out

Seven of the top 20 ranked teams in the world have failed to make the second round, nine when you include sixth ranked Italy and 17th ranked Colombia who failed to make it to Qatar.

Belgium was the biggest scalp, with the world number two knocked out after a 0-0 draw against Croatia in the final group game.

Germany (ranked 11th) is also going home, despite a 4-2 win against Costa Rica. The 2014 winners missed out on goal difference and now have failed to make it out of the group stage at the past two World Cups.

The other top 20 teams to fail in the group stage are Denmark (ranked 10th), Mexico (13th), Uruguay (14th), Wales (19th) and Iran (20th).

A new record for Asia

Three Asian teams have made the final 16 for the first time ever, with Japan, Korea Republic and of course Australia qualifying.

And they all did it the hard way.

Japan topped its group by beating Germany and Spain, Korea Republic beat Portugal and Australia had back-to-back wins against Tunisia and Denmark.

The previous best was two, achieved in 2010 and 2002 (both times with Japan and Korea Republic).

A new world football order

European and South American teams have dominated the World Cup, with no countries from any other confederation ever winning.

But the final 16 includes the lowest number of teams from Europe and South America since the final 16 started in 1986.

Only two South American teams have qualified – Brazil and Argentina – which is the equal lowest since 1994 2002.

With noting both those times Brazil ended up winning the World Cup.

Only seven European teams qualified, but six is the lowest in 2010 and 2014.

Record low for host nation

Qatar achieved a new low for a host nation, losing all three games.

They became only the second host nation to fail to make the second round, after South Africa in 2010. But at least Bafana Bafana got four points as hosts, with a win and a draw.

Mexico’s incredible run comes to an end

If there is one thing you can rely on at a World Cup, it was Mexico making the second round and then losing.

The past seven World Cups, the Central American nation has made it out of the group stage only to lose in the round of 16.

Until this year.

Mexico finished on four points in Group C, equal with Poland, but was eliminated on goal difference.

The round of 16 schedule

Sunday, December 4

2am — Netherlands v USA; 6am — Argentina v Australia

Monday, December 5

2am — France v Poland; 6am — England v Senegal

Tuesday, December 6

2am — Japan v Croatia; 6am — Brazil v South Korea

Wednesday, December 7

2am — Morocco v Spain; 6am — Portugal v Switzerland

Story Credit: news.com.au

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