Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final World Cup Stats


It's all over after 31 days, 64 games, and lots of sleepless nights in Japan. The 2010 World Cup is done but I'm going to add one final post with some pointless statistics.

The final was rather depressing with fouls being the order of the day. Congratulations to Spain and poor sportsmanship to Netherlands who blamed English ref Howard Webb for their loss. I don't think it was Webb that couldn't score an easy goal on a breakaway, nor did he score for Spain there. Yeah, he missed the corner that was due to the Netherlands, but that wasn't the key play of the game. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the game was the constant questioning of every call by the offending team. Players should play and let the referees ref. Kudos to Webb for maintaining his cool, I'd have sent off most of the players by halftime.

Stupid Stats

Out of the 64 games, nearly half (31) were decided by a goal with a further 16 ending in a draw (including those that went to penalty kicks). So nearly three-quarters of the games were close, a stat that no other sport or tournament can lay claim to. The most common score was 1-0 (17 times) with 2-1 happening 11 times.

South America had the best record against other confederations, going 12-6-6 overall (W-D-L). But all 6 of their losses were against European sides, and five of them happened in the knockout tournament. Europe was 15-10-9 as a whole but took the top 3 spots, which is what matters. I mentioned earlier that Japan and Korea advancing to the knockout stage placed Asian football above that of Africa, but their records were not that different: Asia went 4-6-7 while Africa was 4-6-10. CONCACAF is the smallest federation and went 2-4-5. All of these records are against squads from other federations, so games such as Netherlands v Denmark are ignored.

Looking back on the whole tournament, the quality was a bit lacking at times, but it was a lot of fun watching in Japan, where you have so many nationalities cheering on their teams. With the next tournament in Brazil, the game times will be late night and early morning, so it will be a different experience in 2014. Time to start planning the road trip?

Best,

Sean

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