One of the more easily picked up trends in the 2014 World Cup so far has been the one in which teams don’t really mind conceding first. Of the eight matches we’ve had, there still hasn’t been a single draw, while Brazil, the Netherlands, the Ivory Coast and Costa Rica have all come back from being the first to give up a goal. And there have been plenty of goals.
The 13 goals scored in four matches during day 3 of the tournament actually dropped the average. At the moment we’re at 28 goals through eight matches, and although it’s a pretty small sample size, this has been a promising trend along with the attacking football we’ve been seeing in all the matches. It isn’t coming from shady defending or awful mistakes (most of them), but from teams going for it and counter attacking football dominating up to this point.
Only one match – Mexico beating Cameroon 1-0, has provided us with less than 3 goals in a single match. However, if it wasn’t for two goals wrongly disallowed by the Colombian linesman, we’ve been past the 30 goals mark by now, which brings us back to the days of the 1950s and World Cups with some incredible score lines and scoring figures from players, like Just Fontaine scoring 13 goals in one tournament.
Coming back from goals has also been noticed. In the opening match, Brazil conceded first through an own goal from Marcelo. However, it didn’t take them long to get one back from Neymar, and in the second half they scored two more to seal the deal.
In day two of the tournament we had another comeback in the most memorable match of the tournament so far. Spain scored a goal through Xabi Alonso from the penalty spot (which was a wrong decision), but Robin van Persie equalized just before half time, followed by four goals in a masterpiece of counter attacking combined with a complete falling apart of the Spanish defensive game.
Day 3 provided us with two comebacks: First it was the surprising Costa Rica, conceding first from the penalty spot only to come back strong in the second half, crossing the ball and dominating in the air against Uruguay to come away with the 3-1 win.
The day ended with the Ivory Coast playing well against Japan and shaking off their early jitters that included Keisuke Honda scoring for Japan. Serge Aurier with two crosses in the 64th and 66th minute gave the Ivorian side the victory, connecting with Wilfried Bony and Gervinho for the win.
And what about the draws? What about them? They’ll come soon enough, but so far we haven’t had a single one. I’m not sure it means anything, but for those looking to find an explanation to everything, we can say that everyone is playing to win instead of not to lose. Sounds like a cliche, but sometimes they’re actually true.