When we bet on the final result of a football match, one popular choice is to bet on the match being drawn after 90 minutes. After all, matches are very often tied as teams find it hard to break each other down. Doubtless, this will again be the case at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in North America.
Of course, for a lot of people they are betting on their team and will place a win bet, but for neutrals and more studious bettors, if they believe that a match will end in a draw then they will make a wager on it happening.
It might not always be a desired result, but a draw for some teams can be almost as good as a win and one with attractive betting odds to match. But how likely is a draw during the World Cup?
Looking Back To Past World Cups
Previously, we have looked into how often draws occurred at international football’s other mega event the European Championships but what about the World Cup?
At the previous World Cup in Qatar, there were 64 games played in total, 15 of which ended in a tie.
Five of those were in the knockout stage meaning ten group matches ended with no winner, but none being required after ninety minutes at that stage of the competition.
England were involved in one of those, while Croatia both drew four of their matches and still ended up in third place.
Drawn Matches After 90 Minutes (Since France 98)
|TOURNAMENT||HOST||MATCHES||TIE* (% of Games)||FINAL DRAWN?|
|World Cup 1998||France||64||20 (31.3%)||No, 3-0|
|World Cup 2002||Japan & South Korea||64||19 (29.7%)||No, 2-0|
|World Cup 2006||Germany||64||17 (26.6%)||1-1, then 5-3 on penalties|
|World Cup 2010||South Africa||64||18 (28.1%)||No, 1-0|
|World Cup 2014||Brazil||64||16 (25.0%)||Yes 0-0, then 1-0 AET|
|World Cup 2018||Russia||64||14 (21.9%)||No, 4-2|
|World Cup 2022||Qatar||64||15 (23.4%)||Yes, 2-2, then 3-3 AET, then 4-2 on penalties|
* Tie after 90 minutes
In the main, each event of the past quarter decade has seen an average of just over 17 ties each tournament play out as a draw. France 1998 saw the most draws in this period and it has generally declined since, but there is not enough data to suggest this will be an ongoing trend.
Roughly just over a quarter of world cup games since France 1998 have ended in a draw after 90 minutes.
If we split the draws by group stage vs knockout stage it looks like this:
|TOURNAMENT||Group Stage (% of Games)||Knockout (Ave/Game)|
|World Cup 1998||16 (33.3%)||4 (25.0%)|
|World Cup 2002||14 (39.2%)||5 (31.3%)|
|World Cup 2006||11 (22.9%)||6 (37.5%)|
|World Cup 2010||14 (39.2%)||4 (25.0%)|
|World Cup 2014||8 (16.7%)||8 (50.0%)|
|World Cup 2018||9 (18.8%)||5 (31.3%)|
|World Cup 2022||10 (20.8%)||5 (31.3%)|
|Average||11.7 (24.4%)||5.3 (33.0%)|
In general around a quarter of group games and a third of knockout games have ended in a draw after 90 minutes for World Cup matches since 1998. The obvious standout is 2014 where very few matches were drawn at the group stage (16.7%) and half of games in the knockout stage went to extra time.
The data is too limited to say empathically that knockout games produce more draws, although it would make sense given the higher stakes in these games.
How Common Are Goalless Draws (Since France 98)?
|TOURNAMENT||0-0 90 Mins (% of Games)||0-0 a.e.t|
|World Cup 1998||5 (7.8%)||1 out of 2|
|World Cup 2002||4 (6.3%)||1 out of 2|
|World Cup 2006||8 (12.5%)||2 out of 3|
|World Cup 2010||8 (12.5%)||1 out of 2|
|World Cup 2014||11 (17.2%)||2 out of 6|
|World Cup 2018||1 (1.6%)||0 out of 0|
|World Cup 2022||7 (10.9%)||1 out of 1|
|Total||44 (9.8%)||8 (7.1%) out of 16 (14.3%)|
|Average / Total||6.3||1.1 out of 2.3|
International competitions are often thought of as producing less goals compared to club tournaments. This is true to some degree and the number of goalless games at the World Cup over the past 6 tournaments, 9-10% of games, is slightly above the club average of around 7-8% for English club football.
In general just under 1 in ten games end goalless but the data is variable with just one 0-0 draw in 2018 compared with no less than 11 in 2014.
When it comes to knockout matches 15 games in total have finished goalless at the end of 90 minutes in the tournaments since 1998, however, less than half of those, 7, ended 0-0 at the end of extra time.
There were 37 games drawn after 90 minutes in knockout stages over this time with 16 ending 0-0, so just under half of the games that go to extra time are goalless in 90 minutes.
1-0 Most Common Result For World Cup Matches
If you are looking to place a bet on the result of an individual World Cup match then it might be handy to know what the most common score in the tournament’s history is.
Well, we can say that 137 have finished with a 1-0 result, making that score line the most likely.
Bettors often opt for a 2-1 result and this has actually been the result on 112 occasions, beating 3-1 into third place with 83 times.
These are the 3 most common results during World Cup matches.