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African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Analysis of the goals scored at the 17th World Cup Soccer Tournament in South Korea-Japan 2002

WWS Njororai

Abstract


The world cup is the ultimate reflection of the development and level of modern soccer. One of the key ingredients of the success of a tournament is the goal-scoring rate. This study was aimed at establishing the rate and pattern of scoring at the 17th edition of the world cup soccer tournament held in South Korea and Japan in 2002. Thirty-two teams played a total of 64 matches scoring 161 goals. An observer, with previous match notation experience, recorded the data manually on data sheets while watching matches live on Television. Among other findings, it was established that an average of 2.52 goals per match were scored; there were more goals per match in the preliminary phase (2.71) compared to the knock out phase (1.88). Most goals (76.4%) originated from the foot, while 23.6% were scored via headers. The penalty area accounted for 85.5% of the goals scored, while 14.3% came from outside the penalty box. Most goals were scored on first touch basis (79.5%), while dribbling and two/three touches led to 5.6% and 14.9% of the goals, respectively. Free play yielded 71.4% of the goals; strikers scored 60.3% and the peak of scoring was between the 76th and the 90th minutes of the matches. It was noted that scoring rate was the 2nd lowest in the history of the soccer world cup. This was attributed to fatigue among elite players due to the overcrowded soccer calendar and the short period between the end of national leagues and the start of the soccer world cup in 2002. It was also evident that teams played well defensively thereby minimizing on goals conceded. Additionally, there was good performance from the traditionally weaker teams.
Key Words: Penalty box, goal scoring rate, free play, set pieces.
AJPHERD Vol.10(4) 2004: 326-332



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