The Spot

Germany Scored Three Goals in 76 Seconds and Four Goals in Four Minutes

Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose celebrates scoring his record-breaking 16th World Cup goal, one of seven for Germany.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Everyone, including Slate, has noted that Germany scored five goals in an 18-minute span on Tuesday. That figure, though, understates what the Germans accomplished. For a good portion of that 18 minutes, the ball wasn’t in play because it was sitting in the back of the net and Die Mannschaft was celebrating. The ESPN broadcast made it hard to determine how fast Germany had scored in actual game time, as the copious goal replays were always butting in to the on-field action. In order to get an accurate count, I rewatched the first half using ESPN’s “tactical cam” replay, which shows the game from above and affords a clear view of each goal and the precise moment when play subsequently resumed.

Germany scored its five first-half goals in 18:27 of real time—from the 10:22 mark for Thomas Müller’s opening strike to Sami Khedira’s goal at 28:49. Soccer was being played for just 15 minutes and 10 seconds of that 18:27, so it’s more accurate to say that Germany scored five goals in 15 minutes. (To be clear, I’m only subtracting time for each of the first half’s roughly 50-second-long post-goal stoppages. This doesn’t account for time when the ball was out of play for a throw-in and other miscellany.)

It took just less than three minutes of real time—2 minutes, 58 seconds to be precise—for Germany to score goals two, three, and four. Amazingly, the ball was in play for just 76 seconds during this three-goal bonanza. That’s three goals in an average of 25 seconds each.

If you include the fifth goal, Germany notched its last four tallies of the first half in 6 minutes and 40 seconds of real time. The ball was in play for 4:06, so Germany scored goals two through five in just more than a minute apiece.

Germany scored its second goal at the 22:09 mark. Play resumed after the Germans’ fifth goal with 29:31 on the clock. During this 7 minutes and 22 seconds, the ball was in play for 4:06 and various Germans were celebrating various goals for 3:16. If you’d prefer to see that in percentages: For a good seven-and-a-half-minute stretch, people were playing soccer 56 percent of the time, and the Germans were dancing 44 percent of the time.

Add it all up, and the ball was out of play for 3 minutes, 59 seconds after Germany’s five first-half goals. At the end of the half, however, the referee added just one minute as allowance for time lost. This was a merciful decision. Given the pace at which Germany was scoring, the ref might have saved Brazil from giving up three or four more goals.

Correction, July 8, 2014: The URL of this post misstated that Germany scored three goals in 76 minutes. The Germans scored three goals in 76 seconds.