Scoring First and Losing: European football leagues 2018-2019

Early exposure to Charles Reep’s work has led me to a four decade fascination with the observation and analysis of goal-scoring in association football.

I have a particular interest in those games in which a team scores first and loses.

So far, in five of Europe’s major leagues (Bundesliga yet to start) there have been seven games of this type:

Time in minutes to equalise (TE), team that scores first (TSF), team that wins (TW).

I have explored these games with some R packages in R Studio. The packages are: tidyverse, ggplot2 and ggrepel.

My basic visualisations:

The Games

The scores in these games

The teams that overcame conceding the first goals:

The basic code I used to create these visualisations:

df <- read.csv(“SFL.csv”)
df %>%
ggplot(df, aes(x=League, y=TE, label = Game)) +
  geom_point(colour = “firebrick1”) +
  geom_label_repel(size = 3, colour = “black”, fontface =  “bold”) +
  ggtitle(“Games in which team scores first and loses”) +
  labs(subtitle = “European Leagues 2018-2019”) +
  xlab (“League”) + ylab (“Time Taken to Equalise (Minutes)”) +

Photo Credit

AFC Bournemouth (Twitter)

Scoring patterns in #WorldCup Knockout Phases 2010-2018

The Quarter Finals are about to take place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

I have been using a naive Bayes approach to anticipate when goals might be scored in the knockout phase of the 2018 tournament.

I chose some priors from the outcomes of the 2010 and 2014 tournament knockout phases. The posteriors for these were:



My priors for 2018 were:

The posteriors for the Round of 16 were:

A comparison of Priors and Posteriors after Round of 16:

It will be interesting to see if this relationship changes in the forthcoming games … particularly in regard of extra time.

Goals scored in Group games #WorldCup 2018: some priors and posteriors

122 goals were scored in the Group games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament.

I have some priors and posteriors for this and two previous tournaments for when goals might be and were scored in 15-minute time intervals.

I have some posteriors for when goals were scored by half:

My priors, by time interval, for the knockout stage in 2018 are:


A record of the 122 goals scored in the Group stages can be found in this Google Sheet.