World Cup goalscoring collapses

During the group phase of the 2014 World Cup, 122 goals were scored (excluding penalties and own goals) in 48 matches, a scoring rate of 2.54 goals per match. The 16 matches played in the second round produced just nine goals in normal time after excluding Huntelaar’s penalty and Yobo’s own goal, a rate of 1.13 goals per match. This is an enormous drop from the group stage so what is going on?

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And then there were eight

The eight World Cup second round matches went pretty much to form with six of the favourites from the Infostrada Sports Forecast model going through and only two of the three tightest matches on paper not won by the favourites. With eight teams left, how does the rest of the competition look?

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Tough task for South American quartet

The matches which began the 2014 World Cup second round on Saturday are both all-South American affairs and each of the countries taking part – Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay – have an incredibly tough route if they are to be successful and win this year’s World Cup. None of the quartet are likely to play another match against a team outside the world’s top eight from now on and, in the case of Chile and Uruguay, they are unlikely to play against a team from outside the world’s current top six.

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World Cup 2014 – what will happen now?

Now that the business end of the World Cup has been reached, the Infostrada Sports Forecast has been updated. Brazil remain the favourites and therefore the most likely winners with an all-South American final between Brazil and Argentina the most probable final at this stage.

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The ‘Copa de Zebra’ revisited

As we reported earlier this week, the 2014 World Cup has been termed the ‘Copa de Zebra’ in Brazil where zebra refers to results being unexpected. Although six of the 16 teams who have progressed to the second round could be termed surprising, there have actually been very few surprise results in Brazil and 14 of the 16 survivors had at least around 40% chance of reaching this stage. The only truly surprising teams in the second round are Algeria and Costa Rica.

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Is World Cup 2014 really the ‘Copa de Zebra’?

In Brazil, this World Cup is being termed the ‘Copa de Zebra’ with zebra meaning unexpected results but the Infostrada Sports Forecast model shows that the number of genuine surprises in match results is actually fairly low with just six matches producing a result which had less than 30% chance of happening.

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Why Dutch shooting accuracy unlikely to continue

Group B rivals Chile and the Netherlands have been the most accurate of the 32 teams with their shooting at the 2014 World Cup.  The Dutch in particular have been genuine sharp shooters with 21 of their 27 shots on target. However, there is reason to believe that this is not sustainable for the remainder of the competition.

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