Fifa Women's World Cup - Game Day One

For my first post on my new website I thought I would start a series of blogs on the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France. We are super lucky that StatsBomb are providing free access to the data for this years tournament and even luckier they are providing this around 24 hours post the days matches!

The first day saw only two teams in action, with the hosts France playing the Korea Republic. To start with, lets look at a brief shot summary of the game.

Team Name Goals Shots On-Target Off-Target Blocked
France 4 21 8 7 6
Korea Republic Women’s 0 5 0 2 3
a Table 1. A summary of shots by team during the first game of the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019

Just by looking at this summary, it looks like France were on top of this one. They outshot Korea and deservedly scored 4 goals in the process. So now, let’s plot these goals and take a look at the freeze frame provided by StatsBomb.

The goals in the 34th and 46th minute came from corners. With Wendie Renard climbing above the opposition to head home. While the two other strikes come from the right foot of a French player. We can see from the freeze frame provided by StatsBomb the position of all the players on the pitch at the time of the goal, show that these goals were scored from often crowded positions on the pitch.

So, from this data France out shot Korea, but how about passing. We can use the data to define forward and backwards passes, where on the pitch they were made and if they were successful or not. Let’s take a look at the brief summary of pass counts.

Team Name Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes Completed Forward Passes Backward Passes
France 641 88 % 562 387 254
Korea Republic Women’s 328 76 % 249 227 101
a Table 2. A summary of passes by team during the first game of the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019

So again we can see the dominance of France in this match. They almost doubled the number of passes of Korea and were more accurate in possession. Now let’s see where most of their passes were made in relation to position on the pitch, keeping in mind that direction of play is always left to right.

Team Name Total Passes First Third Middle Third Final Third
France 641 88 370 183
Korea Republic Women’s 328 182 136 10
a Table 2. A summary of passes by location for each team during the first game of the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019

We can see by this graph that France often had possession in the middle to final third of the pitch, compared to Korea. This is obviously a massive advantage when it comes to creating goal scoring opportunities. They also played a high number of forward passes in the final third, indicated by the blue spot.

We know France ended up winners, quite convincingly in this match. The data gives an insight to how they managed this through shots and passes. But there is always more to football and this is only a brief example of how we can use StatsBomb’s free data to analyse matches.

I forgot to mention in my last post, but thanks to StatsBomb again for providing this free data. It’s uncommon for this to happen in what is such a massive market for match event companies in football.

Hopefully, this first post on the Fifa Women’s World Cup was insightful. If you would like to know how some of this data was produced, please feel free to get in touch below, or message me on Twitter.

Josh Trewin
Josh Trewin
Data Scientist

I’m a data scientist, learning my way through R / Python and applying to football data from StatsBomb, provided for free through GitHub. Follow my journey on here or Twitter to find out when I add new content.

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