[BY THE NUMBERS] After the first two dates of group play, Euro 2012 was on course to break the record for goalscoring since the current format that included
group play was adopted in 1980. But scoring has plummeted in the knockout phase, leaving the Euro 2012 scoring average at 2.38 goals per game, the second lowest since the tournament expanded to 16
teams in 1996.
The first 16 games produced an average of 2.88 goals per game, half a goal more per game than was scored during the group stage four years ago in Switzerland and Austria and more than three-quarters a goal more than was scored in the group stage at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
But instead of opening up for the final group matches, play became more conservative with an average of just 1.88 goals per game scored in the final eight group games. And the first five knockout games produced only 1.80 goals per game.
The Italy-England and Spain-Portugal games were the first scoreless draws of Euro 2012. It marked the first time since Euro 1988 that no group matches ended in 0-0 ties.
Euro 1988 is the only tournament in the current format that did not have any scoreless ties.
Note: 8 teams until 1996.