ANALYSIS OF ACTIONS ENDING WITH ATTEMPTS ON GOAL DURING THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The majority of research investigating actions that lead to attempts on goal has focused on a single aspect of an attack, such as possession characteristics, passing sequences, or goal attempts. However, very few studies have looked at all these features together, within the same investigation. The current study looked at attacks that led to an attempt on goal in 16 matches from the knockout rounds of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Each phase of play that ended with an attempt on goal was broken down into three stages (origin of possession, the characteristics of passes leading up to an attempt, and the final attempt on goal) and analysed using Sportscode. A pilot study was carried out to test for intra-observer reliability. Results indicate that attacking moves are more effective when possession originates in the attacking third and from instances such as interceptions, rebounds, and clearances. It was found that 68% of the goals were scored from a sequence of possession involving less than 3 passes. The majority of goals were scored from passes played during open play. However, aerial passes from dead-ball situations were shown to be the most efficient method of creating goals. 34% of all goals were scored from set plays. An analysis into the areas of the field where assists were made found that the central zone between the eighteen-yard box and the half-way line was the most common area for assists leading to attempts on goal. Assists from the wings were the least efficient with only 8 goals from 116 attempts. Attempts on goal were more efficient when an assist was made from within the penalty area. The majority of goals were scored from 'direct shots' (72.7%) and from inside the penalty area (78%). Attempts on goal using the head was found to be an effective method of scoring, with 10 goals from 59 attempts. The temporal analysis of goals showed that more goals were scored in the second half (59.5%) than in the first half (40.5%). When the match was broken down into 15-minute periods, more goals were scored between 61 and 75 minutes than for any other 15-minute period.
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