Evaluation of goal scoring patterns between the 2016 copa America and the 2016 European championship

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Journal Article
Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 2018, 9 (1)
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© 2018, Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. Background: Soccer is one of the most popular worldwide sports and performance is dependentuponmanyfactors including technical, biomechanical, tactical, psychological and physiological aspects. Previous investigations have identified that the frequency of goals increases as matches progress, however, previous research in this area is limited as it is based on data from very few competitions. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to examine the goal scoring patterns between two major international tournaments, the 2016 European championship and the 2016 Copa America. Methods: The sample consisted of 83 games: 51 games from the 2016 European Championship and 32 from the 2016 Copa America. Results: A total of 197 goals scored in 83 games were analysed. Analyses revealed that a significantly greater percentage of total match goals were scored in the first half Copa America matches compared to the European championship (47.8% vs. 39.3%, P = 0.02). No differences were found in the second half between tournaments. There was a significantly higher goal scoring frequency in the second half (60.7%) compared to the first half (39.3%) in the European championship (P = 0.02), but no differences were found between halves for the Copa America. Chi square analysis revealed a significantly (P < 0.01) higher goal scoring frequency in the first 15-minute interval for the Copa America (24%) compared to the first 15 minutes of the European Championship (12%). Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that South American nations appear to take an offensive approach in the first 15 minutes which is indicative that there may be a country-related style of play related to goal scoring patterns in major international tournaments. Future studies need to extend this research across several international tournaments and/or between club versus country to determine if there is a country-related style of play element to goal scoring patterns between European and South American international tournaments.
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