The Qatar 2022 World Cup warm-up: Football goal-scoring evolution in the last 14 FIFA World Cups (1966-2018)



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Keywords football (soccer); goal scoring; World Cup; tactic; sperformance analysis
Attached files
Description The aim of this study was to elucidate pattern of attacking actions leading up to goal scoring during the 14 FIFA World Cups from 1966 to 2018. The study analysed 1881 goals scored during a total of 732 matches. We employed observational methodology design. Before goal analysis began, it was developed the observing protocol in which data related to selected variables, by system of notation, was entered after reviewing each individual goal scoring action. The analysis of all video material was carried out independently by four experienced examiners (three of them are Ph.D in sports science and one is Ph.D. candidate in sports science with at least 7 years of coaching and experience as analyst in football). The inter-and intra-observer reliability presented good level of agreement. The kappa values ranged from 0.82 (goal scoring through open play) to 1.00 (action leading up to goal), showing a very high agreement for all performance variables. Interclass correlation was very high (ICC = 0.966, 95% upper and lower confidence intervals were between 0.933 and 1.00). A statistically significant trend (p < 0.05) from 1966 to 2018 was identified towards a higher relative frequency of goals scored from set play and collective actions from open play. The Chi-square did not reveal significant differences in the frequency of goal scoring patterns and goal-scoring zones. The results also revealed that the majority of goals were scored between the 76th and 90th minutes of a match (22.7%), from open play (70.5%), inside the penalty area (54.7%), one touch finishing (62.5%), and collective attacks in open play (55.8%). These findings may provide a possible strategic direction for improving goal-scoring performance in football, as well as practical implementation in World Cup tournament preparation.

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