NATAL Brazil (Reuters) - The World Cup’s opening group games have produced several record-breaking moments in a scintillating start to the tournament. Here are five such moments.
1. The first 15 games produced 49 goals, an average of 3.06 per game.
The scoring spree has made this World Cup one of the most exciting in memory and it is on track to be the highest scoring since the 1958 finals in Sweden which averaged 3.60 goals.
Hosts Brazil helped push up the tally with a 3-1 victory against Croatia while Germany’s 4-0 win over Portugal in their opener boosted the total.
So far the Dutch have netted the most in a match, thrashing Spain 5-1 in the tournament’s highest scoring game. Only one match has so far finished goalless - Iran v Nigeria.
The 1998 World Cup in France produced 171 goals, the most overall in a tournament.
2. Clint Dempsey scores fifth-fastest World Cup goal
The United States captain shocked Ghana 30 seconds into the match when he slammed a left-footed shot in off the post in their Group G opener.
The strike, behind Bryan Robson’s goal in 27 seconds for England in 1982 and ahead of Emile Veinante’s 35-second goal for France in 1938, also made Dempsey the first American to score in three World Cups.
The fastest goal at a World Cup was scored after 11 seconds by Turkey’s Hakan Sukur against hosts South Korea in 2002 in the third-place playoff match.
3. Six come from behind wins in the first 16 games
The see-saw action has shown that no lead is safe. Brazil fell behind to an own goal to Croatia to start tournament but fought back for a 3-1 win.
World champions Spain opened the scoring with a Xabi Alonso penalty before Robin Van Persie led a Dutch fightback.
Costa Rica recovered to shock Uruguay, Switzerland regrouped to defeat Ecuador in stoppage time and the Ivory Coast rebounded to beat Japan. Belgium came from behind to win against Algeria.
4. Germany become first team to play 100 World Cup games
Germany became the first side to play 100 matches as the three-time champions strolled to a 4-0 victory against Portugal.
Germany boast a record of 61 wins, 19 draws and 20 defeats while scoring 210 goals and conceding 117. They won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990.
5. Juergen Klinsmann maintains undefeated opening day record
United States coach Klinsmann preserved his record of having won the opening match at every World Cup he has competed in as a player and coach after a last-gasp 2-1 victory against Ghana.
Klinsmann played for Germany at the 1990, ‘94 and ‘98 World Cups and guided them to third spot at the 2006 finals on home soil.
Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Ken Ferris