#AC2015: Goals Scored and Performance Against Elo Ratings



The Asian Cup 2015 concluded this evening with Australia’s win in extra time against Korea Republic.

85 goals were scored in the Tournament (61 in Group Games and 24 in Knockout Games).

My record of the goals can be found here.

When Goals Were Scored

I monitored when goals were scored during the Tournament. I used 15 minute intervals to do this.

In the Group Games the pattern was:


In the Knockout Games:


Elo Ratings

I looked at the performance of teams at the Asian Cup 2015 in relation to their Elo Ratings.

Higher Elo rated teams won 24 of the 32 games played at the Tournament.

22 higher rated teams scored first and won their games. There were two games in which the higher rated team did not score first but did win the game (Australia v Kuwait, UAE v Qatar).

Of the eight games lost by higher Elo rated teams, DPR Korea (v Saudi Arabia), Uzbekistan (v China) and Iran (v Iraq) scored first and lost. There were five games where a lower Elo rated team scored first and won (including the win for Korea in the Group Game against Australia).

Photo Credit

Screen Grab from the Match Centre of the Official Website.

Quarter Final Penalty Shoot Outs at #AC2015


Two of the four quarter finals at the 2015 Asian Cup Tournament were decided by penalty shoot outs.

Both shoot outs were won by teams with a lower Elo Rating than their opponents: Iraq (v Iran); UAE (v Japan).

Iraq and the UAE took the second penalties in their games.

Iraq v Iran


The sequence of penalties in this game was:


An AFC video of the shoot out is available here. The Iraq penalties 5 and 8 appear to be good examples of goalkeeper dependent penalties.

UAE v Japan


The sequence of penalties in this game was:


An AFC video of the shoot out is available here. The first UAE penalty appears to be another example of a goalkeeper dependent penalty.

Photo Credits

Frame grabs from AFC videos (Iraq, UAE)

#AC2015 Performance Against Elo Ratings in the Group Games


I monitored the Group Stage of the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar in 2011.

My data are here.

At that time I used the FIFA Rankings to monitor the progress of the participating teams.

This year I am using Elo Ratings.

In 2015, seven of the eight games played in Round 1 of the Group games were won by higher Elo rated teams. The exception was Jordan’s defeat by Iraq.

Australia and the UAE went 1v0 down against their lower rated opponents (Kuwait and Qatar respectively) but won their games.

Korea Republic, Uzbekistan, China, Iran and Japan have all won their games scoring first.

Jordan lost 0v1 against Iraq who started the Tournament three Elo rating places below Jordan (separated by 11 points).

Photo Credit

This somewhat fail panorama (L, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)