WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
WORLD CUP RECORD
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
The Soviet Union’s first World Cup appearance came in 1958. After posting a 1-1-1 record in the Group Stage, the country needed a 1-0 play-off victory over England to advance to the Knockout Stage. The Soviet Union then lost 2-0 to Sweden, the eventual runner-up finisher.
In 1962, the Soviet Union won its group with a 2-1-0 record, but a rough draw in the Quarter-finals paired it with Chile, the host nation. Chile prevailed 2-1 and ultimately took third place in the tournament.
The Soviet Union’s third World Cup appearance was its best yet. The team cruised through the Group Stage with a 3-0-0 record, including a 2-1 victory over Chile, the team that had ousted it four years earlier. A Knockout Stage win over Hungary placed the Soviet Union in the Semi-finals, but losses to West Germany and Portugal ensued.
The first game of the 1970 World Cup pitted the Soviet Union against the host country, Mexico. The match resulted in a scoreless draw as both countries went on to finish 2-1-0 in the Group Stage. The Soviet Union bowed out in the Quarter-finals with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
Did Not Participate
After missing two World Cups, the Soviet Union returned in 1982 with a 1-1-1 record in the Group Stage. The team edged Scotland in goal difference and advanced to the Second Round. There, a 1-1-0 record matched Poland for the group lead, but Poland moved on with a better goal difference.
The Soviet Union won its group in 1986 with a 2-1-0 record and a +8 goal differential, built largely on a 6-0 victory over Hungary. The Soviets fell 4-3 to Belgium in the Round of 16, with Igor Belanov scoring all three of the team’s goals.
A tough Group Stage draw contributed to the Soviet Union’s 1-0-2 record in 1990, as it was the only team from its group not to advance to the Knockout Stage. Argentina, the group’s third-place team, went on to finish runner-up in the tournament.
Competing as Russia for the first time, the team again found itself in a challenging group, finishing 1-0-2 and failing to advance to the Round of 16. Group winner Brazil won the World Cup, while Sweden, the group’s second-place finisher, took third place in the Knockout Stage.
It was yet another 1-0-2 record for Russia in 2002. The two defeats were by one goal each, a 1-0 loss to co-host Japan and a 3-2 loss to Belgium.
Did Not Participate
Russia surrendered just three goals in the Group Stage, but only scored twice, finishing with a record of 0-2-1. If Russia could have turned a turned a 1-1 draw against Algeria into a victory in the final game of the Group Stage, the team would have moved on.
Russia is hosting the World Cup for the first time. The tournament will take place at 12 venues spread across 11 cities, with the final to be played at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Russia will look to advance to the Knockout Stage for the first time since 1986, when it competed as the Soviet Union.