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What’s the longest goalless streak at a major international tournament?

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“In light of next year’s World Cup taking shape, I spent the international break reliving the last World Cup and noticed that Argentina scored their last goal in the competition in the eighth minute of their quarter-final against Belgium,” begins Boris Cule. “Despite this, they came within minutes of a penalty shoot-out in the final, which they may well have won. What is the longest goalless run of any winning team at a major competition? And my second question is, given that Argentina went without a goal for a total of 322 minutes (they played extra-time in both the semi and final), was this the longest goalless run of any team in any major competition ever?”

Markus Palder has been looking back to Italia 90 and has a slight twist on the question as he has only included goals scored from open play. “West Germany may have scored in each of their games during their winning run, but their last outfield goal was Andreas Brehme’s in the 82nd minute in the last-16 match against Holland. Lothar Matthäus scored a penalty against the then CSFR in the quarter final before Brehme’s deflected free-kick against England helped take the game to penalties before Brehme decided the whole tournament from the spot against Argentina.” That gave the side a run of three complete matches, and 303 minutes in total, without a goal from open play. Take the run into the 1994 World Cup, when they had merged with East Germany, and Jürgen Klinsmann’s 61st minute strike against Bolivia takes that run to 364 minutes.

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