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Relationship between time and goal scoring in soccer games: Analysis of three World Cups

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The purpose of this study was to record the time that goals were scored in course of soccer games. All matches (n=192) of the three latter World Cups were recorded using video and analyzed with computerized match analysis hardware and video playback system for game performance analysis using Sportscout. Chi-square methods were used for the data analysis and the level of significance was set in p<0.05. The 45-min analysis revealed that in World Cups 1998 and 2002 most goals were scored in the second half (p<0.05), while in the recent World Cup (2006) no significant difference were observed although second half presented greater percentage (52.5%). The 15-min analysis presented that in World Cup of 1998 most goals were scored in last period (76-90, p<0.05). Also in World Cups 1998 and 2002 there was presented a trend towards more goals scored as time progressed. Finally, in the latter World Cup most goals were scored in the last period (32.8%, p<0.05). The statistical analysis showed that there was not a uniform distribution in goals scored (p<0.01) and no differences occurred between World Cups. The results revealed that goal scoring might be depending on time and specifically that more goals are scored as time progresses. The above could be explained by the deterioration in physical conditioning, the tactical play, fluid balance and lapses in concentration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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