Another day of upsets at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Japan producing a late comeback to stun Germany 2-1. Canada nearly pulled off an upset of their own, with Belgium walking away with an undeserved 1-0 win. There was nothing undeserving about Spain's win over Costa Rica, with Luis Enrique's side thrashing their opponents 7-0. Earlier, Croatia were held to a goalless draw by an impressive Moroccan side.
By The Numbers has the best stats from the four World Cup matches played on Wednesday:
Morocco 0-0 Croatia
12 games in, this World Cup has already witnessed three goalless games, after having just one in the entirety of the 2018 edition. To make matters worse, the combined xG of 1.01 (Morocco 0.35 - Croatia 0.66) was the lowest in the tournament so far.
At the age of 37, Luka Modric's 10 ball recoveries were more than the entire Moroccan team combined (9). It's also the best so far in the tournament, tied with Declan Rice. Not bad for a player who's played in World Cups from three different decades.
This was Morocco's third goalless draw at the World Cup - the most by any African team in World Cup history.
Croatia's streak of 11 straight WC matches scoring at least one goal was the longest active streak entering the 2022 FIFA World Cup; Portugal's 6-match run is now the longest active streak among the 2022 World Cup teams.
Germany 1-2 Japan
Germany has lost its opening match at 3 straight major tournaments.
Today's loss was Germany's first in a game in which it held a halftime lead at the FIFA World Cup since 1978 vs Austria. pic.twitter.com/PVm2op0lgM
- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 23, 2022
This is the fourth time two former World Cup champions have lost to non-champions in their opening game.
2022: Argentina (Saudi Arabia), Germany (Japan) - 2014: Uruguay (Costa Rica), Spain (Netherlands) - 2002: France (Senegal), Uruguay (Denmark) - 1982: Argentina (Belgium), West Germany (Algeria)
Germany lost to Japan despite a tally of 3.3 xG. No team has ever lost a World Cup match with such a high xG value since 1966 (from when data collection began).
It was a night of firsts for Japan in the World Cup - their first ever comeback win, their first ever win after conceding the first goal and their first ever win after trailing at half-time.
Japan coach, Hajime Moriyasu, certainly got his subs spot on, with this the first time two substitutes scored for an Asian (AFC) team in a World Cup match. Ritsu Doan ended a 20-game scoreless streak while featuring for Japan, while Takuma Asano's goal was the latest winner for Japan in a World Cup match.
This is only the fifth time an AFC team have come from behind to win at a World Cup. The fourth was Saudi Arabia vs Argentina yesterday, who also did it in 2018 against Egypt (2-1). South Korea were the first to do it in their controversial 2-1 win over Italy in 2002, and they followed it up in 2006, with a 2-1 comeback win over Togo.
Spain 7-0 Costa Rica
Spain had 81.3% possession in their 7-0 win against Costa Rica, the highest in a World Cup match since 1966.
They also out passed Costa Rica 976-165. DOMINANCE! 😳 pic.twitter.com/3ScKf72oMt
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 23, 2022
Spain's seven-goal margin of victory was the largest in a World Cup match since Portugal defeated North Korea by the same scoreline in 2010. This is also the largest amount of goals Spain have scored in a World Cup match.
An incredible night for Gavi, who became the first player born in 2004 to score in a World Cup. At the age of 18 years and 110 days, he's also the youngest to score in a World Cup since a 17-year-old Pele netted thrice in 1958. Gavi is also the first teenager to score for Spain in a World Cup.
Spain's total of 976 passes was the second-highest at a World Cup (since this data collection began in 1966). The highest being 1008 passes ... by Spain against Russia in 2018. England's total of 716 passes against Iran in this World Cup is the third-highest.
Spain became only the sixth nation to score 100 goals or more in the World Cup. They have a long way to go to catch the top two though (Brazil - 229, Germany - 227)
Costa Rica did not manage a single shot in their 7-0 loss vs Spain. The only other time that a team was limited to zero shots on goal in a FIFA World Cup match since 1966 was ... Costa Rica in 1990 vs Brazil.
Belgium 1-0 Canada
Canada are the first World Cup team since 1978 to attempt at least 20 shots and 1 penalty kick and not score a goal 😳
They took the pitch to 'Started From the Bottom'. The latest victims of the Drake curse 😅 pic.twitter.com/uHe69CLIAz
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 23, 2022
Canada's total of 2.59 xG without scoring is the highest in the tournament so far. The highest in 2018 was Germany (2.79 xG) in their 0-2 loss to South Korea.
Canada are scoreless in all four of their World Cup games played. They now have the record for most games played by any team that has not scored a goal in World Cup history (China, Congo DR and Trinidad & Tobago on 3).
Thibaut Courtois is the first Belgian goalkeeper to save a penalty in regulation/extra time. The Real Madrid shot-stopper has saved 4 penalties in 2022, which is incredible considering he saved a total of 6 from the 29 he's faced in his time with the Madrid giants.
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)