During the final games of the group stages at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, for 3 brief minutes in Group E, both Spain and Germany were in line to be knocked out of the World Cup.

During those 3 minutes, with the scores being Costa Rica 2-1 Germany; Japan 2-1 Spain - the "As it stands" Group E table looked like this:

Group E P W D L GD Pts
Japan 3 2 0 1 +1 6
Costa Rica 3 2 0 1 -5 6
Spain 3 1 1 1 +6 4
Germany 3 0 1 2 -2 1

This would have been remarkable in of itself, but even more so that Spain had a +6 goal difference, mostly coming from their 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica in the opening round.

What is the highest Goal Difference a team has had and also been knocked out of the World Cup at the group stages.

1 Answer 1


That would be Hungary at the 1982 World Cup. They beat El Salvador 10-1 in their first match - the largest ever margin of victory at a World Cup - but then lost 4-1 to Argentina and drew 1-1 with Belgium, which meant they finished 3rd in the group with a goal difference of +6.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.