Current edition of the World Cup is on pace to average more goals per game than any tournament since 1958.
Germany just hung four on Portugal. It was a bit of a shocking result, at least from the perspective that most observers expected Portugal to put up a bit more fight. But it was another relatively high-scoring game at World Cup 2014? Not surprising at all.
Now 12 games into the quadrennialtournament, the World Cup is averaging 3.42 goals per game. Nigeria-Iran promises to bring that average down, but as long there is at least one goal in that game or the United States-Ghana match, the World Cup will head into its sixth day averaging at least 3.0 goals per game. The last time a World Cup averaged that many goals for an entire tournament was 1958 when Pele burst onto the scene and the 12 teams combined to average 3.60 over just 35 total matches.
Ever since the 1994 World Cup, the average scoring has been on a steady downward slope. In 2010 it bottomed out at 2.27, the second lowest average in World Cup history (1990 averaged just 2.20).
To put this all in a bit more perspective, the current World Cup is averaging more goals than any of the top leagues around the world averaged in 2013/14. The Netherlands' Eredivisie was the highest scoring of the top European leagues at 3.20 and the Bundesliga was just a shade behind at 3.16. No other top European league averaged more than 2.80 last season. In theAmericas, Major League Soccer is the current pace setter at 2.89 goals per game.
So, yeah, if this edition of the World Cup seems a bit more exciting than you're used to, this is a big reason why.