THE WORLD CUP

Of the 48 games played in the initial stage of the 2014 World Cup, 9 ended in ties. The accompanying chart is based on data from the remaining 39 games, with the focus on the winning teams. Each bar shows the percentage of the 39 games in which the winning team outperformed its opponent in some way or another. For example, the yellow bar reveals that in 48.7% of these contests (19 of 39 games), the winning team had more corner kicks than its opponent.

Surprisingly, the winning teams in these 39 games were not uniformly superior in possession time, corner kicks, shots on goal, or fouls. Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that on 3 occasions the winning team possessed the ball LESS, had FEWER corner kicks, did NOT have as many shots on goal, and had MORE fouls.

World Cup

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