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Anticipating ball in play times at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup starts in a few hours time. I am looking forward to accessing the data shared on the official website for the tournament. One of the measures that will interest me is ball in play time. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the median ball in play time for the first twelve games of the tournament was 55 minutes 30 seconds. The game by game profile for those games was: The range was: Chile v Australia and Argentina v Bosnia & Herzogovina (both 61 minutes); Brazil v Croatia (53 minutes). Photo Credit Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (Derek Holtham, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Conversation Pieces

I have had an opportunity to write a number of articles for The Conversation in recent months. These include an item about the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I wrote about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil too. The football posts included: A discussion about predictions of the World Cup winner. A discussion of home advantage. An explainer about World Football Elo Ratings. An explainer about goal-line technology. A discussion about video replay and the spirit of sport. A post about penalty shoot outs. An evaluation of Germany and Argentina. Photo Credits Queen's Baton Relay Renfrew (Paisley Scotland, CC BY 2.0) Panorama Maracana Stadium (Jimmy Baikovicius, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bing and Google: Predicting World Cup Football Success

Introduction Last month, I looked at a number of predictions about performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I did not mention Bing and Google at that time. Bing On 11 June 2014, Bing announced a number of World Cup services that included Bing predicts. Starting today, if you search for “World Cup Predictions”, or any group matches (both preliminary as well as later in the single elimination rounds) we will display the chances of each respective team to win. Bing models evaluate the interaction of: previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location home field (for...

171 Goals at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Mario Goetze's goal in the 113th minute of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final was the 171st and last goal of the tournament. I have tracked these 171 goals in fifteen minute blocks during the 64 Matches played (I thought this would make the inclusion of two periods of extra time in the knockout stage much neater). There were goals scored in 57 of these Matches. The final goal tally does not include goals scored in penalty shoot outs. 136 goals were scored in the 48 Group games. 35 goals were scored in the 16 games in the Knockout stage. There were four penalty...

The day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final

Today is Final day at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A month ago, I wrote a post for The Conversation here in Australia. It was titled World Cup 2014 Predictions: who will take the title? I indicated that many of the predictions pre-World Cup pointed to a Brazil v Argentina World Cup Final. Germany's success against Brazil gave me a new favourite to consider. I wrote about the relative merits of Germany and Argentina in another post for The Conversation. This evening I have read Simon Gleave and Infostrada's take on the Final. They observe: The 2014 World Cup final is impossible to call on...

Goalscorers at the 2014 World Cup: Group Games

136 goals were scored in 48 Group games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These goals are listed here in order of scoring. Round 1 (49 goals) Round 2 (45 goals) Round 3 (42 goals) Goals Scored in 15 Minute Blocks in Group Games 52 goals in the First Half, 84 in the Second Half Photo Credit Brazil Soccer World Cup Red Devils v Russia (Elio Di Rupo, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A Fourth Penalty Shoot Out at the 2014 World Cup

Introduction There were two penalty shoot outs in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. There was an eventful shoot out in the Round of 8 (Game 59, Netherlands v Costa Rica). This post looks at a fourth penalty shoot out in the Semi-Final game (Match 62) between the Netherlands and Argentina. Netherlands v Argentina Netherlands' penalties against Sergio Romero: Argentina's penalties against Jasper Cillessen: The Penalties The Netherlands had been successful in their previous shoot out against Costa Rica. In this game against Argentina, their first penalty taker Van Persie had been substituted. Ron Vlaar took the penalty and it was saved. Subsequently...

A Third Penalty Shoot Out at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Introduction Last week I wrote about two penalty shoot outs in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. There has been a third, eventful shoot out in the Round of 8 (Game 59, Netherlands v Costa Rica). The Shoot Out In the last minute of extra time, the Netherlands' coach Louis van Gaal replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul. There was an explosion of tweets about this decision (see Van Gaal and Tim Krul). The Guardian Online carried this quote from Louis: We thought it through. Every player has certain skills and qualities and they don’t always coincide. We felt Tim would...

Two Penalty Shoot Outs 2014

Introduction I enjoyed preparing and writing a post for The Conversation about penalty shoot outs at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This post looks at players and goalkeepers in the two penalty shoot outs to date (Brazil v Chile and Costa Rica v Greece). Brazil v Chile The official record of the shoot out: The goalkeepers in the shoot out were: Julio Cesar (Brazil) and Claudio Bravo (Chile). Brazil took the first penalty. This is the sequence of their penalties and Claudio Bravo's decisions: For Chile and Julio Cesar's decisions: Costa Rica v Greece The official record of the shoot out: The goalkeepers in the shoot out were: Keylor...

The Knockout Stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Introduction The Knockout Stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup commenced with Game 49, Brazil v Chile on 28 June at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte. Goals Scored 35 goals were scored in 16 games. Elo Ratings Eight higher Elo Ratings teams scored the first goal and won (Colombia v Uruguay; France v Nigeria; Germany v Algeria; Argentina v Switzerland; Germany v France; Brazil v Colombia; Argentina v Belgium; Germany v Argentina). One higher Elo Ratings team scored the first goal and drew 1v1 (Brazil v Chile). The higher ratings team won the penalty shoot out. Two higher Elo Ratings teams drew 0v0 (Netherlands v...