How Often Do Fifa World Cup Matches End In A Draw?

goalless draw footballWhen 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 Qatar.

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

world cup trophy in the sandPreviously, 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 Russia, there were 64 games played in total, 14 of which ended in a tie.

Five of those were in the knockout stage meaning nine group matches ended with no winner, but none being required after ninety minutes at that stage of the competition.

England were involved in two of those, while Spain and Croatia both drew three of their matches.

Drawn Matches After 90 Minutes (Since France 98)

TOURNAMENTHOSTMATCHESTIE* (% of Games)FINAL DRAWN?
World Cup 1998France6420 (31.3%)No, 3-0
World Cup 2002Japan & South Korea6419 (29.7%)No, 2-0
World Cup 2006Germany6417 (26.6%)1-1, then 5-3 on penalties
World Cup 2010South Africa6418 (28.1%)No, 1-0
World Cup 2014Brazil6416 (25.0%)Yes 0-0, then 1-0 AET
World Cup 2018Russia6414 (21.9%)No, 4-2
Total384104 (27.1%)
Average17.3

* 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:

TOURNAMENTGroup Stage (% of Games)Knockout (Ave/Game)
World Cup 199816 (33.3%)4 (25.0%)
World Cup 200214 (39.2%)5 (31.3%)
World Cup 200611 (22.9%)6 (37.5%)
World Cup 201014 (39.2%)4 (25.0%)
World Cup 20148 (16.7%)8 (50.0%)
World Cup 20189 (18.8%)5 (31.3%)
Total72 (25.0%)32 (33.3%)
Average12.05.3

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)?

TOURNAMENT0-0 90 Mins (% of Games)0-0 a.e.t
World Cup 19985 (7.8%)1 out of 2
World Cup 20024 (6.3%)1 out of 2
World Cup 20068 (12.5%)2 out of 3
World Cup 20108 (12.5%)1 out of 2
World Cup 201411 (17.2%)2 out of 6
World Cup 20181 (1.6%)0 out of 0
Total37 (9.6%)7 (7.3%) out of 15 (15.6%)
Average / Total6.21.2

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 32 games drawn after 90 minutes in knockout stages over this time with 15 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

football match concept score 1-0If 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 128 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 101 occasions, beating 3-1 into third place with 80 times.

These are the 3 most common results during World Cup matches.

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