The Five Fastest World Cup Finals Goals

It is not easy to win a World Cup or indeed a World Cup match but scoring early may help. Here are the quickest ever goals scored at the showpiece tournament.

Bryan Robson celebrates England's fastest goal at a World Cup

There have been some spectacular World Cup goals over the years and a some of them have come very early in matches.

Here are the five fastest strikes in World Cup history, with all five coming inside the first 30 seconds of their specific game.

5) Clint Dempsey

In the 2014 World Cup group stage, former Fulham striker Dempsey bagged a goal after just 30 seconds for the USA.

It was America’s first Group G match as they faced Ghana in Natal with Dempsey getting his country’s campaign off to a perfect start. The striker received a pass from Jermaine Jones, before beating his marker and then firing into the far corner.

Ghana thought they had snatched a point with eight minutes remaining, but the US dramatically went back in front after 86 minutes and held on to win.

4) Bryan Robson

In the 1980s, midfielder Robson was England’s talisman and he scored his first World Cup goal in Spain in 1982.

The Three Lions were up against European rivals France in Bilbao and went in front after just 27 seconds thanks to ‘Captain Marvel’. A long throw was flicked on by Terry Butcher and Robson got there ahead of Jean-Luc Ettori to volley low into the net.

England went on to win the match 3-1, with Robson scoring another and former Ipswich and Arsenal striker Paul Mariner also on the scoresheet.

3) Ernst Lehner

You have to go back to 1934 to find the third fastest World Cup goal of all time, with Germany’s Lehner next on the list.

This goal, scored after just 24 seconds, came in the Third Place play-off game against Austria on June 7 in Naples.

Lehner was an outside right that played over 60 times and in two World Cups for his country and was 22 years old when he found the net in this game.

Having lost to Czechoslovakia in the semi-final, Germany were determined to make up for that defeat and went on to beat their neighbours 3-2.

2) Vaclav Masek

In 1962, Czechoslovakia made it to the final of the World Cup before eventually losing to Pele and Brazil in Chile.

The Czechs only scored seven times during the tournament and three of those goals came in the semi-final victory over Yugoslavia.

They only scored twice in the group stages, making it out of Group 3 as runners-up with three points, but it was one of those group goals that made history.

Striker Masek, who at the time of writing is now 80 years old, found the back of the net after just 16 seconds of a match against Mexico.

Sometimes people say you can score too early and that was potentially the case this time, with the Czechs going on to lose the game 3-1. Masek’s record of the fastest World Cup goal though lasted for 40 years.

1) Hakan Sukur

The fastest World Cup goal of all time was scored in Daegu in 2002, when striker Hakan Sukur scored for Turkey after just 11 seconds of their Third Place play-off match against South Korea.

The former Inter Milan and Galatasaray frontman broke the record despite the Koreans starting the game with their kick off!

Sukur’s team-mate Ilhan Mansiz dispossessed a defender before nudging the ball into the path of the Turkey captain, who coolly slotted the ball past Lee Woonjae in the Korean goal.

It took the co-hosts just eight minutes to equalise, but Turkey were 3-1 up at half time and went on to win the match 3-2.

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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