#WWC2015 Knockout Stage


Eight games have been played in the Knockout Stage of the 2015 Women’s Football World Cup in Canada.

 19 goals have been scored. (6 first half, 13 second half.) By game interval, the scoring pattern has been:


The higher FIFA ranked team has won 7 of the 8 games played. The exception is: Brazil (7) lost to Australia (10).

The team that scores first has won 7 of the 8 games played. The exception is Norway who scored first against a higher FIFA ranked team (England) and lost.

Ball in play times for the seven Knockout games have been:


The range of ball in play time ranges from Japan v Netherlands 63 minutes to the USA v Colombia game, 41 minutes.

I am compiling my data here.

Photo Credit

Eating poutine and cheering on Canada at the Women’s World Cup (Stephanie Yoder, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

#WWC2015 Group Games


All thirty-six Group games have been completed at the 2015 Women’s Football World Cup in Canada.

107 goals have been scored. (53 first half, 54 second half.)

There have been two 0v0 draws (Canada v New Zealand; USA v Sweden).

The team that scored first has won 23 of the 36 games played.

The team that scored first has not lost in 31 of the 34 games in which a goal was scored. The exceptions are: Cote D’Ivoire scored the first goal against a higher FIFA ranked team (Thailand) and lost; Switzerland scored first against a lower ranked team (Cameroon) and lost; Spain scored first against a lower ranked team (Korea Republic) and lost.

The higher FIFA ranked team has won 21 of the 36 games played. The exceptions are drawn games: Sweden (5) drew with Nigeria (33); Spain (14) drew with Costa Rica (37); Mexico (25) drew with Colombia (28); Germany (1) drew with Norway (11); Canada (8) drew with New Zealand (17); USA (2) drew with Sweden (5); Korea Republic (18) drew with Costa Rica (37); Canada (8) drew with Netherlands (12); China (16) drew with New Zealand (17); Sweden (5) drew with Australia (10). Higher ranked team defeated: Ecuador (48) lost to Cameroon (53); Netherlands (12) lost to China (16); France (3) lost to Colombia (28); Switzerland (19) lost to Cameroon (53); Spain (14) lost to Korea Republic (18).

My record of the Group games can be found here.

Goals scored by game interval in the Group Stage are:


Secondary data from the tournament include a notional ball in play figure in minutes. To date, the official record of ball in play time is:

36 BiP

After thirty-six Group games, the Brazil v Korea Republic and Japan v Cameroon games have had the longest ball in play time, 59 minutes. The shortest ball in play time has been in the Canada v New Zealand game, 41 minutes.

Photo Credit

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 – Edmonton (IQRemix, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Discipline + Defence + Red Shirts: A Winning Formula at the 2010 FIFA World Cup?

The 2010 FIFA World Cup web site has some fascinating information about Spain’s performance at the tournament. In this post I want to draw attention to Spain’s:

  • Discipline
  • Defence

as characteristics of a winning team. There is something about their kit I would like to share too.

I believe their discipline and defence were exceptional. What is important to note is that Spain started the tournament with a defeat to a lower FIFA ranked team.

As background information here are some details about the sixteen teams who appeared in the Knockout Stages of the tournament:

Country Games Goals




Goal Difference Yellow






Spain 7 8 2 +6 8 0 0
Netherlands 7 12 6 +6 21 1 1
Germany 7 16 5 +11 11 0 0
Uruguay 7 11 8 +3 9 0 1
Paraguay 5 3 2 +1 9 0 0
Brazil 5 9 4 +5 7 0 1
Argentina 5 10 6 +4 7 0 0
Ghana 5 5 4 +1 11 0 0
Portugal 4 7 1 +6 8 0 1
Slovakia 4 5 7 -2 11 0 0
England 4 3 5 -2 6 0 0
Korea 4 6 8 -2 6 0 0
Chile 4 3 5 -2 13 0 0
Mexico 4 4 5 -1 9 0 0
Japan 4 4 2 +2 7 0 0
USA 4 5 5 0 9 0 0


Spain had a very small number of yellow cards given to them throughout the tournament. Five of their eight cards were in the Final. Compared to their opponents they had fewer yellow cards and conceded fewer fouls. They received no yellow cards in four of their games.  The game against the Netherlands was the first game of the tournament where Spain were given a yellow card in the first half of a game.

Opponent Fouls  Conceded
Spain Opponent
Switzerland 8 21
Honduras 9 19
Chile 13 21
Portugal 13 18
Paraguay 12 25
Germany 7 9
Netherlands 19 28

Here are the patterns of their games:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Spain had an admirable discipline and defence record in the 2010 World Cup. After their first game defeat to Switzerland they conceded only one more goal (Chile in the qualifying group). Spain did not concede a goal in the Knockout Stages of the tournament.


Spain’s defence was more disciplined than their opponents throughout the tournament in terms of the fouls conceded and in limiting shots at goal. Their performance exemplified the suggestion that attacks win games, defences win championships. The final Group Game (Game 3) was the only occasion when an opponent equalled the number of shots Spain made.






24 8


22 9


9 9


19 9


16 9


13 5


18 13

Red Shirts

Spain is referred to as La Furia Roja. Martin Atrill and his colleagues reported in 2008 that:

Since 1947, English football teams wearing red shirts have been champions more often than expected on the basis of the proportion of clubs playing in red. To investigate whether this indicates an enhancement of long-term performance in red-wearing teams, we analysed the relative league positions of teams wearing different hues. Across all league divisions, red teams had the best home record, with significant differences in both percentage of maximum points achieved and mean position in the home league table. The effects were not due simply to a difference between teams playing in a colour and those playing in a predominantly white uniform, as the latter performed better than teams in yellow hues. No significant differences were found for performance in matches away from home, when teams commonly do not wear their “home” colours. A matched-pairs analysis of red and non-red wearing teams in eight English cities shows significantly better performance of red teams over a 55-year period. These effects on long-term success have consequences for colour selection in team sports, confirm that wearing red enhances performance in a variety of competitive contexts, and provide further impetus for studies of the mechanisms underlying these effects.

Spain played four of their games in the World Cup in red shirts and three in their away, blue, strip. They lost their first and only game of the tournament whilst wearing red shirts. They received the World Cup trophy in their red shirts despite playing the game in their blue shirts.

A Winning Team

The combination of discipline and defence marked Spain out as a distinctive team at this World Cup. In the semi-final against Germany no yellow cards were given to either team. Both teams in that game conceded fewer than ten free kicks each (Spain 7 and Germany 9). Spain’s defence was so effective that they did not concede a goal in the Knockout Stages of the tournament.

Photo Credit

Old and Wise

FIFA World Cup Final in Toronto