What is the record for most 0-0s in the World Cup? England v USA latest scoreless draw in Qatar

The current finals in Qatar look to be on their way to setting an unwanted new record.

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The opening week of the World Cup Finals have been full of contrasting emotions. There has been plenty of excitement and enthusiasm on display with some action-packed games and surprise results.

But there has also been frustration and disappointment with a shocking amount of goalless draws being recorded ever since the tournament got underway with Qatar’s 2-0 defeat against Ecuador on Sunday afternoon.

But does the tournament in Qatar hold the record for the highest amount of stalemates in a World Cup Finals? NationalWorld investigates…

A goal-laden start to a new tournament

Goalless draws weren’t really the in thing when the first World Cup Finals were held in Uruguay in 1930. In fact, the first five finals failed to conjure up a goalless draw! Annoyingly, for us Brits anyway, it was the introduction of two home countries that broke that record at the 1958 finals in Sweden.

Of course, the tournament is best known for the introduction of a brilliant Brazilian teenager called Pele, but even the man that would go on to be one of the greatest players of all-time couldn’t prevent a stalemate as his side failed to break the deadlock in their meeting with England. Wales, in their first ever appearance at a finals, also battled to a goalless draw in their game against hosts and eventual finalists Sweden.

An increasingly worrying trend

Slowly, but surely, goalless draws increased in tournaments that followed with the 1966 tournament in England providing three games that failed to trouble the scorers. That increased to five in the 1974 finals, six in 1978 and a new high of seven was set in the 1982 finals in Spain.

That remains the high point (or should that be low point?) in tournament history but has been matched by the 2006 finals in Germany, the 2010 tournament in South Africa and the finals in Brazil four years later.

Intriguingly, the finals in Russia four years ago only conjured up goalless draw as Denmark and France failed to trouble the scorers.

Has the 2022 World Cup Finals set a new high for goalless draws?

No, at least not yet anyway! But it does seem increasingly likely the tournament in Qatar will at least match the record high of seven.

The first stalemates came on Tuesday when Mexico’s game with Poland and Denmark’s meeting with Tunisia both failed to conjure up a goal. Each of the following three days provided three goalless draws, with the latest coming on Friday night when England laboured to a draw with the USA, taking the current tally to five.