A Notational Analysis of Attacking Plays Leading to Attempts on Goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals
University of Wales
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The FIFA World Cup is one of the most successful sporting competitions to this day. It brings together nations from five continents, all of which experience the game in different ways. Each individual team adopts different attacking plays as there are many different strategies which can lead to goal scoring opportunities. To examine which attacking plays were deemed most successful, the final 8 matches were analysed using specifically designed hand notation sheets which observed the origin of an attack, the amount of passes within an attack, the side in which the attack enters the attacking third of the pitch and a breakdown of corner kicks within the matches. Data was analysed using SPSS (SPSS 17.0, SPSS Inc, Chicago, Illinois). The analysis showed that winning and losing teams employed different attacking strategies. Teams which were deemed successful tended to create more goal scoring opportunities by adopting the 'direct play' approach (p<0.01) whereas losing teams tended to try and retain possession from the defensive third of the pitch. Teams which generated more corner kicks had a 1:4 chance of creating goal scoring opportunities. A greater number of successful attacks can be found to be generated from the defensive third, whilst harnessing fewer rather than greater passing sequences (p<0.01). The results from this study support findings from previous research. However, findings may only be relevant to the games played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and may not be appropriate for football played at other levels.
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