Archive for June 2010

Spain edges past Portugal

Wednesday, 30th June 2010 8:41pm
Spain reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup after beating neighbours Portugal 1-nil in a round of 16 match.

The goal Spain scored is the only goal Portugal conceded in the tournament but the team also had two goalless draws.

Portugal scored seven goals and they were scored in one match and they failed to score against any other team.

Whilst their defence was sound, its fair to say that that their strike force only fired once and that was it.

Spain will now go and meet and Paraguay and the tournament turning out so well for a team that had a bad start after losing opening match to the Swiss.

With the round of 16 coming to an end, no team leading at half time has lost a match so far.

With just eight matches to go before the end of the tournament it will be interesting to see which team will be the first to lose after leading at the break.

TrendFrequencyPercentage(%)
Home team leading at half time, home team winning at full time 1434.1
Away team leading at half time, away team winning at full time 1229.3
Home team trailing at half time, home team winning at full time 00.0
Away team trailing at half time, away team winning at full time 00.0
Draw at half time, home team winning at full time 819.5
Draw at half time, away team winning at full time 717.1
Matches ending in result 4173.2


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Paraguay wins shootout over Japan

Wednesday, 30th June 2010 8:27pm
The first penalty shootout at the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw Paraguay edge past Japan after a goalless draw over 120 minutes.

Either team had never reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup but Paraguay had a slight edge over the Japanese.

Paraguay managed to score all its five penalties but Japan missed the fourth one to lose 5-3 on penalties.

This was Paraguay's second goalless draw so far having had the same scoreline in the last group fixture against New Zealand.

Paraguay will now meet Spain in the quarters after Spain beat Portugal.

Today I will take a quick look at the scorelines in the tournament so far:


lines at full time and their frequency in the FIFA World Cup

Graph

ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 7
0 - 1 8
0 - 2 3
0 - 3 2
1 - 0 6
1 - 1 6
1 - 2 5
1 - 3 1
2 - 0 3
2 - 1 5
2 - 2 2
3 - 0 1
3 - 1 2
3 - 2 1
4 - 0 1
4 - 1 2
7 - 0 1


So there has been seven goalless draws and also six matches have finished one all.

It looks like no team may now be able to score more than four goals and therefore Portugal's 7-nil will remain the highest score.


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Brazil easily dispatches Chile

Wednesday, 30th June 2010 8:20pm
Brazil won its South American battle against Chile winning 3-nil in the 2010 FIFA World Cup second round match.

Chile started the tournament winning its first two matches 1-nil but then failed to beat Spain with ten resulting in the team finishing second in H hence the match against Brazil.

Brazil scored the first two goals inside four minutes and then scored the last goal in the second half.

The 3-goal margin becomes Brazil's biggest winning margin in this tournament so far.

In the earlier fixture the Netherlands beat Slovakia 2-1 to set up the fixture with Brazil.

Slovakia who qualified ahead of Italy in Group F were outplayed by the Dutch and only managed to score the consolation goal through a penalty towards the end of the match.


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England loss sets up Argentina-Germany encounter

Monday, 28th June 2010 9:31pm
England limped out of the FIFA 2010 World Cup after losing 4-1 to Germany and the Germans will now meet Argentina who dispatched Mexico.

England who had scored two goals before this match added another one to finish with three but the Germans managed to score four goals for the second time in this tournament.

Argentina went three up before Mexico found the net and by then it was too late.

At the break the South Americans had scored and they went on to add a further one to cement their place in their quarters to meet a team that dismissed them from the tournament four years ago.

Now could be a good time to have another look at the goal margins so far:


Goal MarginFrequency
0 14
1 23
2 9
3 4
4 1
7 1


Winning by an odd goal is still the most popular goal margin so far.


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2nd round World Cup: Argentina vs Mexico

Saturday, 26th June 2010 7:22pm
Group B leader Argentina will face Group A runner up Mexico in the fourth fixture of the round of 16.

Argentina has been impressive so far scoring seven goals in its three matches and conceding just one.

Argentina also won all its matches to be one of two teams with a perfect score. The other one is the Netherlands.

Mexico finished second after holding the hosts South Africa and then beating the 2006 finalists France before losing top of the table clash against Uruguay one nil.

So Mexico only failed to score in its defeat to Uruguay but kept one clean sheet against France.

For the rest of the stats from the group stages look at the table below:


ArgentinaMexico
From GroupBA
Played33
Points94
Drawn01
Won31
Lost01
Goal difference61
Clean sheets21
Failed to score01
Goals scored73
Goals conceded12
Ave. goals scored2.31.0
Ave. goals conceded0.30.7
Biggest winArgentina 4 - 1 Korea
France 0 - 2 Mexico
Biggest lossNo lossMexico 0 - 1 Uruguay
Score 3 or more10
Concede 3 or more00
Home matches
Played21
Points60
Drawn00
Won20
Lost01
Goal difference4-1
Goals scored50
Goals conceded11
Ave. goals scored2.50.0
Ave. goals conceded0.51.0
Away matches
Played12
Points34
Drawn01
Won11
Lost00
Goal difference22
Goals scored23
Goals conceded01
Ave. goals scored2.01.5
Ave. goals conceded0.00.5

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2nd round World Cup: USA vs Ghana

Saturday, 26th June 2010 6:35pm
Group C leaders United States will meet Ghana runners up in Group D in the second fixture of the round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The USA has one win and two draws whilst Ghana won one, drew one and lost one.

Ghana's has scored two goals and both goals have come from penalties. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to score from open play against the United States.

The United States showed its fighting prowess after coming back from 2-nil to draw and almost win the match against Slovenia.

Here is some of the stats from the two teams so far:


GhanaUSA
From GroupDC
Played33
Points45
Drawn12
Won11
Lost10
Goal difference01
Clean sheets11
Failed to score10
Goals scored24
Goals conceded23
Ave. goals scored0.71.3
Ave. goals conceded0.71.0
Biggest winSerbia 0 - 1 Ghana
USA 1 - 0 Algeria
Biggest lossGhana 0 - 1 Germany
No loss
Score 3 or more00
Concede 3 or more00
Home matches
Played21
Points13
Drawn10
Won01
Lost10
Goal difference-11
Goals scored11
Goals conceded20
Ave. goals scored0.51.0
Ave. goals conceded1.00.0
Away matches
Played12
Points32
Drawn02
Won10
Lost00
Goal difference10
Goals scored13
Goals conceded03
Ave. goals scored1.01.5
Ave. goals conceded0.01.5

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Spain, Chile reach second round

Saturday, 26th June 2010 2:51pm
Spain and Chile reached the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup after coming first and second respectively in Group H.

Spain beat Chile 2-1 after scoring two first half goals and with Switzerland being held to a goalless draw by Honduras, the two teams took the first two positions.

Chile is the only South American team not to win its group and for coming second it will now meet the winner of Group G, Brazil.

Honduras' failure to score against the Swiss means they go home having failed to find the back of the net.

Brazil and Portugal played out a goalless draw and hence snatch the two top two places in that group.

Ivory Coast won 3-nil and finished third with North Korea going home having conceded the most goals than any other team in the tournament so far.

So if we put all the 32 teams into one big table like a league, this is how the table would look like after the group stages:


TeamPlayedWonDrawLostForAgainstGDPts
Argentina 3 3 00 71 69
Netherlands 3 3 00 51 49
Uruguay 3 2 10 40 47
Brazil 3 2 10 52 37
Germany 3 2 01 51 46
Japan 3 2 01 42 26
Spain 3 2 01 42 26
Chile 3 2 01 32 16
Portugal 3 1 20 70 75
Paraguay 3 1 20 31 25
USA 3 1 20 43 15
England 3 1 20 21 15
Ivory Coast 3 1 11 43 14
Mexico 3 1 11 32 14
Slovenia 3 1 11 33 04
Ghana 3 1 11 22 04
Switzerland 3 1 11 11 04
Korea 3 1 11 56 -14
Slovakia 3 1 11 45 -14
South Africa 3 1 11 35 -24
Australia 3 1 11 36 -34
New Zealand 3 0 30 22 03
Serbia 3 1 02 23 -13
Denmark 3 1 02 36 -33
Greece 3 1 02 25 -33
Italy 3 0 21 45 -12
Nigeria 3 0 12 35 -21
Algeria 3 0 12 02 -21
France 3 0 12 14 -31
Honduras 3 0 12 03 -31
Cameroon 3 0 03 25 -30
Korea DPR 3 0 03 112 -110

So Argentina would be top and North Korea's inferior goal difference means it would finish last.


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Le Guen leaves Indomitable Lions

Saturday, 26th June 2010 2:48pm
Paul Le Guen has resigned as Cameroon coach after the African giants failed to win a single match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Indomitable Lions lost its first match against Japan and despite scoring first against Denmark they went on lose.

After the loss to the Danish Le Guen's team were out of the World becoming one of two teams to play their last fixture without any hope of progressing to the next round.

In the last fixture against the Netherlands, Cameroon lost 2-1 and go home pointless.

Below is some of the stats from Cameroon's group matches:


Le Guen's Cameroon
Team GroupE
Played3
Points0
Won0
Drawn0
Lost3
Goal difference-3
Clean sheets0
Failed to score1
Goals scored2
Goals conceded5
Ave. goals scored0.7
Ave. goals conceded1.7
Biggest winNo win
Biggest lossJapan 1 - 0 Cameroon
Cameroon 1 - 2 Denmark
Cameroon 1 - 2 Netherlands
Scored 3 or more0
Conceded 3 or more0
Home matches
Played2
Points0
Won0
Drawn0
Lost2
Goal difference-2
Goals scored2
Goals conceded4
Ave. goals scored1.0
Ave. goals conceded2.0
Away matches
Played1
Points0
Won0
Drawn0
Lost1
Goal difference-1
Goals scored0
Goals conceded1
Ave. goals scored0.0
Ave. goals conceded1.0

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Rehhagel leaves Greek post

Saturday, 26th June 2010 2:43pm
Otto Rehhagel has resigned as Greece coach after his team failed to progress beyond the group stages at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Greece lost its first match against South Korea 2-nil but managed to beat ten men Nigeria 2-1 in the second match. The goals against Nigeria were Greece's first at a World Cup.

In the final match Greece lost 2-nil to Argentina and exited the tournament with three points.

Rehhagel won Euro 2004 with his Greek team but then failed to get to Germany 2006 World Cup.

Below is some of the stats from Greece's three matches:


Rehhagel's Greece
Team GroupB
Played3
Points3
Won1
Drawn0
Lost2
Goal difference-3
Clean sheets0
Failed to score2
Goals scored2
Goals conceded5
Ave. goals scored0.7
Ave. goals conceded1.7
Biggest winGreece 2 - 1 Nigeria
Biggest lossKorea 2 - 0 Greece
Greece 0 - 2 Argentina
Scored 3 or more0
Conceded 3 or more0
Home matches
Played2
Points3
Won1
Drawn0
Lost1
Goal difference-1
Goals scored2
Goals conceded3
Ave. goals scored1.0
Ave. goals conceded1.5
Away matches
Played1
Points0
Won0
Drawn0
Lost1
Goal difference-2
Goals scored0
Goals conceded2
Ave. goals scored0.0
Ave. goals conceded2.0

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Slovakia knocks out Italy

Friday, 25th June 2010 1:59pm
Slovakia knocked out the defending champions Italy from the 2010 FIFA World Cup after winning 3-2.

Italy only needed a draw to qualify for the round of 16, but the defending champions and four time winners found themselves trailing by 1 goal at half time before Slovakia lead 2-nil.

The result meant that Slovakia got second place behind the group winners Paraguay who played a goalless draw against New Zealand.

New Zealand therefore finished the tournament undefeated and conceded just two goals.

In Group F, the Netherlands won the group after beating Cameroon 2-1 to score a perfect score.

Japan were the runners up after beating Denmark 3-1.

Denmark could have qualified if they had won but Japan were quick off the blocks scoring two goals in the first half.

So far no team leading at half-time has gone on to lose the match and the table below shows the winning trends so far:


TrendFrequencyPercentage(%)
Home team leading at half time, home team winning at full time 928.1
Away team leading at half time, away team winning at full time 928.1
Home team trailing at half time, home team winning at full time 00.0
Away team trailing at half time, away team winning at full time 00.0
Draw at half time, home team winning at full time 721.9
Draw at half time, away team winning at full time 721.9
Matches ending in result 3272.7


There are four matches to go now to complete the group phases as Groups G and H play their matches.

It will interesting to see which team will become the first team to win having trailed at half time.


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Socceroos finish off with a win

Thursday, 24th June 2010 2:03pm
Australia made it sure it finished its 2010 FIFA World Cup on a high after beating Serbia 2-nil.

The Socceroos had a terrible start to the tournament losing 4-nil to eventual group winners Germany, but the team made amends as it went along culminating in the win over Serbia.

The win was not good enough for the team to stay a bit longer in South Africa as Ghana went through on goal difference.

Ghana lost its final group match 1-nil against Germany who won the group with six points.

Ghana has so far scored two goals and both goals being penalties.

Every team in Group D secured a win but Serbia's two losses meant it finished bottom of the group.

Here are the second half scorelines for the 2010 FIFA World Cup so far:


ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 12
0 - 1 6
0 - 2 4
1 - 0 8
1 - 1 3
2 - 0 3
2 - 1 3
6 - 0 1


So no team has scored more than two goals in the second half so far apart from Portugal. Portugal scored six in its match against North Korea.


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England, USA scrap through

Thursday, 24th June 2010 1:57pm
England and the United States made it to the second round with their first wins in their Group C FIFA 2010 World Cup.

England scored their only goal in the first half and this was the team's second goal of the tournament in its match against Slovenia where England had to win to progress.

The USA left it late in injury time before also winning 1-nil in a match against Algeria.

The USA won the group on number of goals scored and will now meet Ghana from group D whilst England will now meet arch-rivals Germany.

Algeria finished the tournament without scoring a single goal whilst Slovenia could consider themselves unlucky going out on four points but being in the competition until the USA scored its goal.

Algeria could take heart from the fact they only conceded two goals and both in the later stages of their matches.

I will take a look at the first half score lines so far in this post and then second half in the next post:


ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 17
0 - 1 7
0 - 2 1
1 - 0 6
1 - 1 6
2 - 0 2
2 - 1 1

So so far nearly half the matches have gone into the break goalless.


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South Africa fails to progress

Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 1:46pm
The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa failed to progress to the second round after finishing third in Group A.

The hosts won their last fixture against France 2-1 but the damage was done in their match against Uruguay when they lost 3-nil. Mexico therefore got second place on goal difference.

France, the 2006 finalists finished bottom of the group with no win but a draw and one goal.

In Group B, Argentina won the group with maximum points after beating Greece 2-nil with two second half goals.

South Korea joins them after managing a 2-all draw with Nigeria. Nigeria needed to win the match in order to reach the knockout stages but despite scoring first, they were unable to take advantage.

The next round of matches will decide groups C and D. In Group C England will play Slovenia whilst the United States will play Algeria.

In group D, Australia will play Serbia whilst Germany will face Ghana.


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Goals galore as Portugal rout North Korea

Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 1:33pm
If there were not many goals in the first round of matches then Portugal produced a bucketful of them as they beat North Korea 7-nil.

The match was 1-nil at the break and there was no indication that six goals were to come in the second half as the North Koreans held their ground.

This is now the biggest winning margin in the competition so far and the table below shows the winning margins for all the 32 matches played so far:


Goal MarginFrequency
0 10
1 12
2 6
3 2
4 1
7 1


So the second round of matches saw 42 goals as opposed to 25 in the opening fixtures. 19 of the goals were scored in the first half and the second half has just four goals extra.

In Group H, Chile maintained its 100% record after beating Switzerland 1-nil and whilst Spain got its first win winning 2-nil against Honduras. Spain missed a penalty.

The last round of matches starts today with South Africa playing France with both teams aiming to stay in the tournament.

A draw between Uruguay and Mexico will knock off both teams.

Nigeria will be hoping from a helping hand from Argentina to progress whilst South Korea has its fate in its own hands.

Greece could also qualify if they beat Argentina and South Korea do not win against Nigeria.


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Efficient Brazil overcome Ivory Coast

Monday, 21st June 2010 6:38am
The efficient Brazilian team overcome Ivory Coast 3-1 in their Group G fixture at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Brazil who won their opening fixture 2-1 against North Korea now have six points and Ivorians stay on one point.

Brazil scored first in the first half followed by two goals in the second half before the Ivorians scored their consolation.

The next match in the group will be Portugal against the North Koreans.

In Group F the defending champions Italy had to once again come from behind to draw against New Zealand.

New Zealand scored first the Italians needed a penalty to make the scores even.

In an earlier match, Paraguay dispatched Slovakia 2-nil to now sit on top of Group F.

Here is the graph showing the goals conceded by each team so far:


graph


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Cameroon exists World Cup

Sunday, 20th June 2010 6:47am
Cameroon is the first team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup to enter into its final fixture without any hopes of reaching the second round after losing 2-1 to Denmark.

Cameroon were the first to score in the first half and Danes responded before the break before scoring a winner in the second half.

Denmark and Japan will play each other in the final group match with Denmark needing a win to advance to the second round but a draw will do for Japan.

With Cameroon's defeat, the Netherlands have won the group and can now afford to rest their players for their remaining group fixture. They are also the first team to reach the last 16 in this tournament.

In a Group D match, ten men Australia managed to hold on to a draw to go into the last fixture against Serbia still with a chance of qualifying for the second round.

A draw in their last match against Germany will be enough for Ghana to advance to reach the knockout phase.

For Germany a draw may not be enough and so this sets up to be an exciting encounter.

Below is the graph showing the goals each time has scored so far:


graph

After tomorrow's matches I will show the graph for the goals conceded.

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England, Algeria in goalless draw

Saturday, 19th June 2010 6:55am
Algeria made sure they will go into their final group stage match with a chance to qualify for the second round after a goalless draw against England in their Group C encounter.

Algeria had lost to Slovenia in their opening match and win a against the USA will give them a chance for second round if Slovenia draws or beats England.

In the other Group C fixture, USA came from 2-nil down at half-time to force two-all draw to get another point and stay in second place in the group.

Slovenia are the unlikely table toppers in Group C with four points are now a point away from the second round.

In a shocking result in Group D, Serbia beat Germany 1-nil after a first half goal after Germany had been reduced to ten men.

Germany had a penalty saved and that was the first penalty to be saved in the tournament so far.

After a brilliant start for Germany when they scored four goals past Australia they will now go into their last match against Ghana fighting to stay in the tournament.

Ghana will meet Australia in their second match and a win will see them through to the second round.

With draws making a comeback after the two draws in Group C, this time I will look at the drawing trend in the tournament so far:


TrendFrequencyPercentage
Draw at half time, draw at full time 675.0
Home team leading at half time, draw at full time 112.5
Away team leading at half time, draw at full time 112.5
Drawn matches 834.8


So six matches drawn at half time have ended draws and so far only two teams trailing at half time have managed to force a draw.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues and in the remaining group matches.


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Greece wins first points as Nigeria crumbles

Friday, 18th June 2010 1:51pm
Greece won its first points at the World Cup finals after coming from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1 in a Group B fixture.

Nigeria were the first to score but once they were reduced to 10 men, Greece took advantage to score its first goals in the World Cup finals and with that the three points.

In the other group B match, Argentina won 4-1 against South Korea and this became the most high scoring match of the tournament so far with five goals scored.

Argentina are now favourites to win the group with their last match being against Greece. South Korea will meet Nigeria. All teams can still qualify.

In the group A match, Mexico edged out France 2-nil and a draw in their last match against Uruguay will see them and Uruguay qualify.

The hosts South Africa and 2006 finalists France look very likely to exit at the group stage. France are still to score a goal in this year's tournament.

So lets have a look at the winning goal margins are shaping out after 20 matches played so far:


Goal MarginFrequency
0 6
1 8
2 3
3 2
4 1
5 0


Still winning by an odd goal is still leading followed by drawn matches.


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Liverpool, Gunners clash in first round

Thursday, 17th June 2010 10:35pm
The 2010/11 English Premier League fixtures have been released and Liverpool will host Arsenal at Anfield in the first round.

Liverpool finished seventh last season whilst the Gunners got third place and therefore next season both could be trying to make amends as they also challenge for the title.

Another interesting fixture will see Tottenham Hotspurs host their rivals for fourth place last season Manchester City in round one. In that same fixture last season City lost 3-nil and that was the last match for former manager Mark Hughes.

The promoted sides Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool will face Manchester United, Chelsea and Wigan respectively.

The Premier League season will kickoff on August 14 and round 38 will be played on 22 May, 2011.

TipsChallenge will be running another Premier League tipping competition.


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Swiss shock favourites Spain

Thursday, 17th June 2010 1:54pm
In the last match of the first round of group matches, Switzerland beat Spain 1-nil to post arguably one of the biggest shocks of the tournament so far.

The European champions are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in South Africa and all the Swiss needed was a goal in the second half that secured all three points.

Spain will now need to get points in their next two matches in order to stay in the tournament.

In the same group H, Chile also beat Honduras 1-nil to record their first win in the World Cup for in more than 40 years.

With the end of the first round of matches, lets take a look at the scorelines in the 16 matches played so far:


ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 2
0 - 1 4
1 - 0 2
1 - 1 4
2 - 0 2
2 - 1 1
4 - 0 1


Winning by one goal has been the most popular and lets hope that in the second round of matches we will see at least both teams scoring.


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Ivory Coast, Portugal in stalemate

Wednesday, 16th June 2010 1:29pm
The 2010 FIFA World Cup saw its second goalless draw as Ivory Coast drew Portugal in a Group G fixture.

In arguably one of the toughest groups in the competition, both teams were trying to avoid defeat considering that Brazil are also in this group.

In the other group G match, Brazil edged out North Korea 2-1 to lead the group on three points.

North Korea became the first losing team to score a goal after all the previous losing teams had failed to score a goal.

In the first match of the day, New Zealand drew Slovakia to earn their first point at the World and also first goal at the World Cup.

The goal in injury time denied what looked like a Slovakian and now the group is tied up on 1 point after the other tie between Italy and Paraguay ended one-all.

There are just two fixtures to go in this first round of fixtures as Honduras take on Chile and Spain faces the Swiss challenge.

So for now lets take a look at the first and second half scorelines for the first 14 matches of the tournament which has seen very few goals:


ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 8
0 - 1 1
1 - 0 3
1 - 1 1
2 - 0 1

and for the second half:


ScorelineFrequency
0 - 0 5
0 - 1 2
1 - 0 2
1 - 1 2
2 - 0 2
2 - 1 1


So 8 matches out of the 14 played so far have gone to the break goalless and hence only six goals in the first half.

The second half has seen nine goals in total to get an average of just a goal match.


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Japan off to a winning start

Tuesday, 15th June 2010 1:57pm
Japan won its first World Cup match outside Japan when they beat Cameroon 1-nil in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Group E match.

The goal scored in the first half was enough for a team that had failed to win in all its five pre-World Cup friendlies.

In that same group the Netherlands scored two second half goals against Denmark to top the group on goal difference.

In Group F, the defending champions Italy managed a draw having gone a goal down in the first half. The other match in that group will see New Zealand play Slovakia.

After the New Zealand/Slovakia Group G fixtures will kick in with with Ivory Coast playing Portugal and Brazil entertaining North Korea.

The most popular scoreline so far has been 1-nil and so this is confirmed with the goal margins in the following table:


Goal MarginFrequency
0 4
1 4
2 2
4 1


With just five matches in this round to go, no losing team has so far managed to score a goal.

All the winning teams have maintained clean sheets and lets see if the remaining five matches can maintain that.


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Goals galore as Germany crushes Socceroos

Monday, 14th June 2010 10:25pm
Germany became the first in the 2010 FIFA World Cup to score more than two goals after beating Australia 4-nil in their Group D fixture.

Before this match only South Korea had scored two goals but the Germans scored two goals in each half to shoot to the top of Group D.

Australia's Tim Cahill also became the first player to receive a straight red card in this year's tournament when he got his marching orders in the second half.

In the other Group D match, Ghana beat Serbia 1-nil through near the end of the match.

In a Group C fixture Slovenia beat Algeria 1-nil to top the group that also includes England and USA.

This is the halfway mark of the first group matches and there have been very few goals with 13 goals scored so far.


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England, USA share the spoils

Sunday, 13th June 2010 3:21pm
England and USA drew their opening 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C fixture one-all with both teams scoring in the first half.

England was the first to score but the Americans replied just before half-time for this to become the first match so far to see two goals scored in the first half.

Greece's drought at the World Cup continued with the Greeks falling 2-nil to South Korea. The South Koreans scored in each half to top Group B on goal difference.

In the other group B match, Argentina edged out Nigeria with a lone first half goal.

So five matches in and we have three draws already and so far the highest winning margin is two in the two matches where there has been a result.

Its still too early in the tournament and on day 3 Algeria will play Slovenia and in Group D Serbia will play Ghana followed by the Germany/Australia match.


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South Africa passes first test

Saturday, 12th June 2010 6:19pm
South Africa passed the first test after making sure as hosts they did not losing their first match in the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

They could indeed have won the match in the second half but a draw seemed liked a fair result after Mexico dominated all the early exchanges.

The second test will be to come out of the group and on their second half showing they may as well come out of the group.

There wasn't much to write about in the second Group A fixture between France and Uruguay which ended goalless apart from the first red card of the tournament issued to Uruguay's Lodeiro.

So its two draws and two goals so far and lets what the next set of matches will bring.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0


Inter appoints Benitez to replace Mourinho

Friday, 11th June 2010 1:55pm
The UEFA Champions League winners have appointed former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez to replace Jose Mourinho who left for Real Madrid.

Mourinho won a treble with the Serie A champions and then decided to leave for Real and the expectations on Benitez could be quite high.

Inter has won the the Serie A title over the last five seasons.

At Liverpool, Benitez's team finished in seventh place to qualify for the Europa Cup.


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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0


World Cup Preview : Argentina

Friday, 11th June 2010 6:41am
Argentina may not be everybody's favourite for the 2010 World Cup but they are one of the most talented teams in this year's tournament.

In particular the 1986 winners have arguably the most potent strike force which includes current World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

In their strike force are two players who had a lot of influence in both the Europa Cup final and the Champions League final.

Sergio Aguero had an assist in both Atletico Madrid goals whilst Diego Milito scored both Inter Milan goals in their win over Bayern Munich.

The problem for Argentina is for their coach Diego Maradona to coordinate this team into a winning machine and once he does that I think they can go as far as the final.

In Argentina's group are South Korea, Nigeria and Greece and their opening match will be against Nigeria.


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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0


World Cup Preview : Socceroos

Thursday, 10th June 2010 11:01pm
The Socceroos are going to their second FIFA World Cup tournament in a row having qualified also for the 2006 edition in Germany.

The Socceroos find themselves in a tougher group than they had last when Germany hosted the event.

In the Socceroos group will be Germany, Ghana and Serbia and the Socceroos will need to beat one of these teams to have any chance of getting into the second round.

In 2006 the Socceroos reached the second round and were then knocked out by eventual winners Italy.

Whilst the star for the Socceroos in 2006 was Harry Kewell, this time the stars have to be Tim Cahill and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Its very hard to say that the team has got stronger since 2006 and this means its going to be a lot tougher to progress at this year's tournament.

There is no doubt that since joining the Asian Federation qualifying has become a lot easier and the problem will now be at the tournament itself.

Its upfront where the Socceroos seem to have the most problems. There is only one recognised striker in the squad in Josh Kennedy but he is not a top notch striker.

However, the Socceroos will expect goals to come mostly from midfield and in particular from Cahill. Others like Marco Bresciano could chip in with a goal or two.

Scott McDonald was dropped from the squad because he did not fit in the way the team plays and this shows that the team is only going to play in one particular way with a lone striker upfront.

The Socceroos will open their campaign against Germany and a win in that match will make things look so much brighter for Pim Verbeek's team.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0


World Cup Preview : South Africa

Thursday, 10th June 2010 10:43pm
The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts, South Africa will kick-off the tournament in a match against Mexico.

South Africa are hosting the tournament and therefore as hosts find themselves seeded in Group A.

The Bafana Bafana match against Mexico will go a long way in giving an indication of where they stand. That match could define their whole tournament.

Bafana Bafana missed the 2006 tournament having been to South Korea/Japan in 2002.

They have never been out of their group in two previous attempts but home advantage means that they may this time get enough points to reach the second round.

Apart from Mexico, the other teams in their group are 2006 finalists France and Uruguay.

This makes it a very tough group and its hard to see France not getting out of the group but a draw between France and Uruguay could be what South Africa wants assuming they win against Mexico.

A loss against Mexico will mean a very tough road ahead and so the hosts will need to settle quickly and treat the first match as a final.

South Africa's strongest weapon could be in their coach Carlos Alberto Parreira who has won the World Cup before and he was brave enough to drop local hero Benni McCarthy from the squad.

Parreira will therefore be hoping that his team will play more than three matches in this tournament.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0


Fury turns to Straka

Wednesday, 9th June 2010 11:27pm
The North Queensland Fury coach for their second season in the A-League will Frantisek Straka.

Straka replaces inaugural coach Ian Ferguson who is now an assistant at Perth Glory.

Straka will be assisted at Fury by Stuart McLaren as they build a Fury side that has lost most if its players due to financial problems at the club.

The Fury just missed the finals by two points.

Now only Adelaide United are without a coach after Aurelio Vidmar left to join the Socceroos setup.


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Category: A-League | Comments : 0


Benitez, Liverpool part company

Friday, 4th June 2010 6:43am
Liverpool's manager Rafa Benitez has left the team after a reign of six years after finishing trophyless last season.

In the just ended season Liverpool finished seventh in the league and failed to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

This is only the second time during Benitez's time for Liverpool to finish outside the Champions League places.

In the Europa Cup Liverpool were knocked out by Atletico Madrid who went on to win the final against Fulham.

Here is some of the stats for Liverpool for the 2009/10 season:


Rafa's Liverpool
Position7
Played38
Points63
Won18
Drawn9
Lost11
Goal difference26
Clean sheets17
Failed to score11
Goals scored61
Goals conceded35
Ave. goals scored1.6
Ave. goals conceded0.9
Biggest winLiverpool 6 - 1 Hull
Biggest lossLiverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool
Fulham 3 - 1 Liverpool
Portsmouth 2 - 0 Liverpool
Liverpool 0 - 2 Chelsea
Scored 3 or more9
Conceded 3 or more2
Home matches
Played19
Points42
Won13
Drawn3
Lost3
Goal difference28
Goals scored43
Goals conceded15
Ave. goals scored2.3
Ave. goals conceded0.8
Away matches
Played19
Points21
Won5
Drawn6
Lost8
Goal difference-2
Goals scored18
Goals conceded20
Ave. goals scored0.9
Ave. goals conceded1.1

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0


Grant takes over at Upton Park

Thursday, 3rd June 2010 8:38pm
Former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has been named as the new manager for West Ham.

Grant comes to Upton Park to replace Gianfranco Zola who was sacked at the end of the season after the Hammers finished fourth from bottom.

The Hammers could only amass 35 points and that was enough to keep them in the top flight. Three years ago the Hammers also flirted with relegation and also survived.

For a team that lost so many matches, lets take a look at the Hammers winning/losing trend for the 2009/10 season which Grant will need to reverse:


TrendFrequencyPercentage(%)
West Ham leading at half time, West Ham winning at full time 725.9
West Ham leading at half time, West Ham losing at full time 00.0
West Ham trailing at half time, West Ham winning at full time 00.0
West Ham trailing at half time, West Ham losing at full time 1140.7
West Ham drawing at half time, West Ham winning at full time 13.7
West Ham drawing at half time, West Ham losing at full time 829.6
Matches ending in result 2771.1

and the Hammers drew 11 matches and this was the trend:


TrendFrequencyPercentage
West Ham drawing at half time, West Ham drawing at full time 545.5
West Ham team leading at half time, West Ham drawing at full time 327.3
West Ham trailing at half time, West Ham drawing at full time 327.3
Drawn matches 1128.9


Its interesting to note that West Ham never lost a match where they were in the lead at half time.

The Hammers led at half time in 10 matches and went on to win 7 of those matches and drew the other three but did not lose.

The downside is that they didn't win any match they fell behind at the break only salvaging three draws in those matches.


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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0



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