After every World Cup team had played once, scoring remained at historical lows in the tournament. The 32 teams combined for just 25 goals in the first 16 games of the Cup, a rate of 1.56 goals per game. That's well down from 2.44 goals in the first 16 games at the 2006 World Cup, and 2.88 goals in 2002.
Overall in the Cup's first 16 games, teams took 410 shots, but just 106 of them were on target, according to ESPN's stats. That's a rate of 26%. In the first 16 games in 2006, there were 435 shots--barely more than this year. But 44% of them were on target. That percentage held for the entirety of the 2006 tournament.
Errant shooting appears to be the decisive factor in the low-scoring start to the Cup. Of the shots on goal in teams' first games this year, 23% found the back of the net--slightly higher than the rate of 20% in the first 16 games last year, and the 18% mark for the tournament overall. This year's rate also is in line with the 23% of shots on goal that were scores in 2002.
What might explain all the misfires? Here are some possible explanations:
Some players have complained about it, and it does seem like an inordinate number of shots are sailing over the woodwork (perhaps because of the altitude, not the ball). But players must adjust to the ball at each World Cup, and an unpredictable flight can affect goalies as well as shooters.
Lack of scoring talent
Perhaps players are shooting poorly because they are poor shooters. If that were the case, though, we might also expect scoring to be down in other top competitions. Yet during the 29 games in the knockout stage of this year's Champions League - the premier European club tournament, featuring most of the world's best players--teams scored 82 goals, compared to 59 in the equivalent 29 games in 2006.
不管所谓的射正率这一说法是否带有主观性，不同数据统计者提供的数据会有所不同。比如，西班牙和瑞士的那场比赛，ESPN的数据是25次射门，五次射正；而赛事组织方国际足联公布的数据则是24次射门，八次射正。与此同时，ESPN数据显示瑞士队有九次射门，两次射正；国际足联的则是八次射门，三次射正。这样一算，区别就大了。国际足联得出的整体射门率（我将用这个词来表示射正的球的比例，不管最终是进还是没进）是33％，ESPN的则是 26％。（很有可能国际足联没有将被扑救的球算在其中）。类似的，2006年世界杯，国际足联统计出来的射门率是48％，而ESPN则是44％。不过在 2002年，双方的数据倒是几乎一致。两大数据来源都表示，与上届相比，本届世界杯的射门率大幅下跌。2006年，这一数字是44％。
Whether a shot is on target is a judgment call, one different scorers make differently. For instance, while ESPN recorded 25 shots for Spain, five of them on goal, in its game against Switzerland on Wednesday, those numbers were 24 and eight, respectively, according to FIFA, the tournament organizers. Similarly, while ESPN had nine shots for the Swiss, two of them on target, FIFA had eight and three, respectively. That adds up to big differences: FIFA has an overall shooting percentage - the term I'll use for percentage of shots that are on goal, whether or not they go in - for the first 16 games of 33%, compared to 26% of shots on target by ESPN's count. (It's possible this is because FIFA doesn't count blocked shots as shots.) Similarly FIFA had an overall shooting percentage of 48% in 2006, compared to 44% for ESPN. However, they corresponded closely in 2002. And both data sources agree that there was a big drop between last year and this year, and that the shooting percentage in the first 16 games in 2006 was 44%.
A statistical fluke
As the Montreal Canadians demonstrated during their run deep into the NHL playoffs, and the Capitals did with their early exit, some teams shoot at surprisingly high percentages, and such performances tend not to be sustainable. Perhaps players have been unlucky and will gain their shooting touch in the last three quarters of the tournament.
Parity and tactics
Every team has played effective defense at times. The tournament's weakest teams seem to have taken to heart the lesson of Greece, the stunning 2004 champions of Europe, who jammed the box with defenders and stymied high-powered offenses. Just two teams have yielded more than two goals in the first 17 games of the tournament, and both reached that ignominious mark only after losing a player to a red card. One sign that players indeed have been frustrated and pushed to take shots far from the goal: FIFA has recorded 241 shots from outside the penalty area through the first 17 games, compared to 186 shots inside the penalty area. Of the closer shots, 40% were on goal, compared to 27% on the farther shots (the rest were blocked or wide). Equivalent stats for prior tournaments aren't readily available, though, so it's impossible to say if this represents a trend toward shooting from farther away.
2010-06-27 20:46 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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