Since its first kick-off on 12 June, when Brazil beat Croatia 3-1, 48 World Cup matches have been held, bringing the group stage to an end. So far, 136 goals have been scored, which means a 2.83 goal average per match. In fact, this is the highest goal average since the 1970 World Cup, which was of 2.97 goals per game.
Four group stage matches were held in each of the 12 World Cup host cities. Four stadiums have bid farewell to the party: the grounds in Curitiba, Cuiabá Natal and Manaus. Fan Fests will continue to be held in these cities. Indeed, if all the 12 host cities are taken into consideration, 2.9 Brazilians have attended the official and free of charge public viewing events.
At the stadiums, 2.4 million spectators have meant an average attendance of 51,132 people per game. This figure is rather significant, particularly when considering that some stadiums only have capacity for 40 thousand people. Even so, this tournament’s attendance average is the third highest in history, only behind the 1994 (68,991) and 2006 (52,491) World Cups.
With the end of the group stage, half of the squads have had to postpone their dream of lifting the trophy for at least another four years. Sixteen national squads have been eliminated. Another sixteen teams have qualified for the knockout stage, which starts this Saturday (28.06) with the hosts taking to the pitch again. Brazil faces Chile at the Mineirão at 01:00pm. From now on, whoever wins goes through to the next round. The loser is eliminated. In case of a draw, teams play 30 minutes of extra-time, split into two 15 minute halves. If they are still tied at the end, a penalty shoot-out will decide who goes through.
In addition to Brazil and Chile, Saturday will also see another South American bout in Rio de Janeiro, where Colombia takes to the pitch against Uruguay at 05:00pm.
The other round of 16 matches are: France and Nigeria, Germany and Algeria, Holland and Mexico, Costa Rica and Greece, Argentina and Switzerland, USA and Belgium.
Check out the full World Cup match schedule