Euro 2016 is turning into the tournament of last-minute goals


If there's one thing we've learned from Euro 2016, it's that you should never leave a game early.

That's because as of Friday afternoon, there had been more goals in the final five minutes of matches than there had been in the whole of the first half put together.

When goals have been scored in Euro 2016

After Italy's 1-0 win over Sweden, which Eder won for the Azzurri in the 88th minute, there had been 11 goals in the last five minutes compared to 10 in the first half.

England, of course, have been on both sides of the equation, surrendering a stoppage-time leveller to Russia in their first match before Daniel Sturridge sunk Wales in the 91st minute in Lens.

If you're looking for reasons why this has been the case, the expanded format may be at least part of the reason.

With more smaller nations taking part than usual, there has been a lot of organised, deep defending, with teams working hard to break them down - and eventually doing so, as in France's win over Albania.

Albania's Mergim Mavraj looks dejected after France scored
(Nick Potts/EMPICS)

Of course, it's worth keeping in mind that the period described as the last five minutes isn't actually five minutes at all because it also contains stoppage time.

With an average of four minutes of added time played at the end of each game this summer, that period is actually nine minutes long.

And of the 11 goals scored, six of them have come in stoppage time.

Russia celebrate their late equaliser against England
(Ariel Schalit/AP)

Nevertheless, that's still an awful lot of late goals - so no leaving early to avoid the traffic.

While the proportion of late goals has been striking in France, it's worth pointing out that it's not as much of an anomaly as you might think.

In fact, over the last four European Championships, late goals have been pretty common.

Graphic showing when goals have been scored in European Championship matches

So what it boils down to is this: everyone leaves it late in the Euros.