In its biggest-ever survey, world football's governing body, Fifa, yesterday published details of 12,865 goals scored in 5,119 matches over the past 10 years.
The match average was 2.5 goals in the mid-1980s. In the late 1980s this slumped to just over two. It reached a high of 2.8 in 1993 and currently stands at 2.7.
The disappointing World Cup finals in Italy in 1990 - with only 2.2 per match - prompted Fifa to introduce rule changes favouring attacking play. The reforms paid off at the 1994 World Cup in United States, where fans enjoyed an average of 2.7 per match.
Iraq heads the list of scorers, netting nearly two per match between 1985 and 1995. Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands and New Zealand are next on 1.8. The highest score was Uganda 9 Iran 8, in November 1989.Reuse content