Denken am Fußballweltmeisterschaft

Just finished watching Uruguay pummel South Africa, and had a few thoughts.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the scoring was very low this time around, but we'd see what happened when Brazil, Portugal, and Spain got into it. Average goals per game when I mentioned it? Almost exactly 0.75 per team per game. Those three? 0.67 per team per game. What's up with that?

And Brazil managed to be the only winning team to surrender a goal in their first game. I'm not sure what's weirder there, that only one winning team surrendered a goal, or that that team was Brazil, or that the team to score in the losing effort was North Korea. Bizarre any way you slice it.

And one of the guys doing the right-side throw-ins for Honduras (I missed whether it was Palacios or the midfielder)? All of his throw-ins were allowed to stand, even though they had more spin on them than the average MLB slider. Huh?

I wonder what the biggest surprise of the first round of games is. Switzerland over Spain (man, that was a strong swiss bunker; never seen that strategy work so effectively)? Japan over Cameroon? South Africa's draw with Mexico? The US's draw with England would also be in the conversation, but I would rate all three of those others as bigger surprises.

The first round of games ended with twenty-five goals in the sixteen games. Oy.

I'd really like to see a histogram of when soccer goals are scored. That is, something indicating frequency of scoring at any particular moment of the game. I suspect there isn't much of a pattern, but I'm curious if there is. I suspect the only pattern is that goals in the first minute or two are very rare, and that goals at the very end of each half are more common. I wouldn't be surprised if the middle looked like a scatter chart, though. But I still wonder.

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