That number is an all-time record in the history of the quadrennial tournament, surpassing the 171 goals scored in 1998 and 2014. Each game averaged 2.7 goals.
Now comes the hard part – deciding which one of the 172 was the best.
FIFA on Monday announced the 10 nominees for the 2022 Goal of the Tournament Award. Fans can vote for their favorite strike here before the poll closes on Thursday.
Let’s recap the 10 goals up for vote:
Salem Al-Dawsari’s curling winner vs. Argentina
Saudi Arabia started Group C with one of the most shocking results in the tournament’s history. The 2-1 win came after Salem Al-Dawsari’s sensational strike from the left edge of the penalty box curled past Emiliano Martínez.
Richarlison’s scissor kick vs. Serbia
Opening the World Cup with a brace? Brazilian striker Richarlison did just that. After breaking the deadlock against Serbia in the Group H opener in the 62nd minute, Richarlison pulled off a stunning scissor kick 11 minutes later to seal the 2-0 win.
Cody Gakpo’s left-footed, outside-the-box hit vs. Ecuador
Three goals in three group stage games saw Cody Gakpo break out for the Netherlands. He scored a late header against Senegal in the Group A opener, then got the Oranje off to an early lead against Ecuador with a powerful strike with his weak foot from just outside the box.
Enzo Fernández announces himself vs. Mexico
The Young Player of the Tournament didn’t even start in Argentina’s first two group games. Enzo Fernández came off the bench against Mexico on Matchday 2 and unleashed an astonishing, curling strike that Guillermo Ochoa had no shot at saving. That set the course for the 21-year-old to play a pivotal role in La Albiceleste’s title run.
Vincent Aboubakar lifts high chip shot vs. Serbia
Talk about an instant impact. Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench for Cameroon in the 55th minute with the team down 3-1 against Serbia, then scored a ridiculous lofted chip shot eight minutes later to help spur the 3-3 comeback on Matchday 2. He was initially called offside, but VAR overruled it.
Luis Chávez’s rocket free kick vs. Saudi Arabia
In desperate need of more goals to advance from the group stage, Luis Chávez gave Mexico hope on Matchday 3 with one of the most powerful and unstoppable free kicks you’ll ever see from 30 yards out.
Kylian Mbappé seals Poland’s elimination in round of 16
Down just 1-0 late in the round of 16, Poland tried knocking on the door to equalize against France – until Kylian Mbappé slammed it shut. The young French star scored his first of the game in the 74th minute, then locked the door in the first minute of added time with a hard-hit finesse into the top-right corner.
Richarlison, Brazil go tiki-taka vs. South Korea
Brazil put on a rout over South Korea in the round of 16, winning 4-1 after four first-half goals. The third in the game from Richarlison got the nod, as he elegantly controlled the ball with his head before he, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva fed each other quick one-touch passes for the finish.
Paik Seung-ho’s long-range shot vs. Brazil
The aforementioned lone goal for South Korea came via Paik Seung-ho’s outside-the-box effort to get his nation on the board. Struggling to crack Allison all game, Seung-ho set himself up brilliantly for the left-footed shot that took a partial deflection off a Brazilian defender en route to smashing the right netting.
Neymar and the pinnacle of jogo bonito vs. Croatia
Getting past Dominik Livaković was a struggle for teams all throughout the tournament, and it took Brazil until the end of the first period of extra time to crack him. Neymar, Rodrygo and Lucas Paquetá all combined with tremendous link-up play to show the world what jogo bonito is.