One of the first pieces of non poll data that I collated was for the FIFA Confederations Cup group stages where I showed you where all the goals were scored in 15 minute segments, if you missed that first time around it is something that you can read by clicking this highlighted link
But now with the tournament reaching a conclusion we can now take a look at where all the goals were scored, don’t forget that when the group stage ended there were 34 goals scored in 12 matches, that would give us an average of just under 3 goals a game, 2.83 to be precise.
So with four more additional matches played the goal tally then increased to 43 goals, meaning that from the total 16 tournament matches played the final goal average was 2.68 so we actually saw a drop off in the average after the group stages.
The drop off would have been even greater had Germany and Mexico not shared 5 goals between them in their Semi Final match up, although the logical explanation for this would quite simply be the fact that with more at stake in the later stages of the competition teams obviously become more cautious and look not to lose first rather than go on to win.
Now that we know the goals scored in the tournament and the average goals per game, lets then take a look at when the goals were scored.
With the model I have made the data looks as follows:
As you can see the bulk of the goals were scored just before half time with just under a quarter of those coming in the 15 minute segment before the break but also the second most popular time to score a goal is in the 15 minute segment after the break.
If you were to add those two section together then 18 of the 43 tournament goals would have been scored either just before or just after the break. In comparison if you were looking for late drama then there would not have been all that much as just 11 goals were scored from minute 76 to 90+ (not including Portugal’s extra time winner over Mexico)
So it seems as if teams were keen to get ahead early and control the game from there rather than try and snatch a goal late on. As a comparative measure lets take a look at just the goals scored from the Semi Final stage onwards and see when they were scored in isolation
If we look at these 9 goals it tells us a much more different story – albeit the goal sample is much much smaller, so it is easier to skew any findings. That said though the goal patterns indicate goals either very early on, just after the break or late in injury time. The findings here are perhaps a bit inconclusive because there are so few goals to look at but still interesting never the less.
The thing we will now have to look at is whether tournament behaviour is different to league behaviour due to the sudden death nature of the former, in the days or weeks probably the latter due to the dearth of football we will then compare and contrast as to when goals are scored.
An interesting footnote from the end of the previous article was this:
With just four games left in the competition it will be interesting to see just how much different the split will look by the end of the week but if there is one thing we have learned going into the Semi Finals is that you should keep an eye out for goals in the range of 31 to 60 minutes. I will wrap things up next week and will see if that theory stands true
So the theory did ring true but arguably there was not enough goals to follow the group stages to really make a significant change in the data.
That concludes my findings on this piece, if you have any feedback then please share it in the comments below
I hoped you enjoyed reading this and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org