In my previous piece I digested the goal data for the whole of the FIFA Confederations Cup and it made for interesting reading, I won’t give away too much as you can also find it on the Real Football Data homepage but now it is take the goal data from another competition to give us a chance to contrast and compare

The competition in question is the Chinese Super League for the simple reason there is very little football on at this time of year and also because there is not a great deal of data in regards to this league, so we can hopefully get the edge on others in regards to analysis.

At this stage I’ve just taken a week in isolation but should I have the time and because I am something of a completist then there is no real reason why the whole season could be collated. I’ll add that to my do list, a job that makes more sense to do sooner rather than later otherwise it will only take longer to do.

But that aside last week (Week 15) saw 30 goals in 8 matches, that gives us a goal average of 3.75 per game but this was skewed massively due to the fact that there was a 8-1 win for Shanghai Shenhua while Tianjin Quanjian and Guangzhou Evergrande played out a 7 goal thriller. But there were also to 0-0 draws so perhaps it is not all that inflated, this again will be something worth comparing going forward or backward

So let’s take a look at the goal split

1–15 16–30 31–45 45+ 46–60 61–75 76–90 90+
CSL Week 15 2 3 6 0 4 7 8 0
6.7% 10.0% 20.0% 0.0% 13.3% 23.3% 26.7% 0.0%

As you can see compared to the Confederations Cup this tells us a much more different tale, where goals seemed to be favoured before and after the restart in international football when it comes to club football it is very much the preserve of late goals.

The 76-90 minute segment was the most popular with 8 goals, while 61-75 minutes saw 7 goals, add these two segments together and 50% of all the goals were scored in the last half hour of the game. The most logical explanation for this is that the game has stretched more towards the end and players are tiring than opposed to early on when a game is a lot more tight and regulated between the two teams.

This gives us a ‘control’ week where we can now compare the goals on a week to week basis to see if the pattern differs, not only that be we can also compare goal splits from country to country to see if there are any trends in behaviour.

A question it does raise is why was the goal split in the Chinese Super League different to that of the FIFA Confederations Cup. One theory could be that nations want to get a result in the bag quicker in a tight group/knockout stage format while in a league game there are more matches across the competition and it may be felt that they do not need to necessarily start the fixture at breakneck speed which in turn leads to a larger amount of later goals.

That is something that we should keep an eye out of other the weeks and months to come, but I will certainly run next week’s goal data and see what the pattern is between Week 15 and Week 16, there may not be one at all but with the more weeks that pass the more we can build a picture of goal behaviour

That concludes this analysis, let me know if you have any feedback in the comments section below


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