博彩行业:VAR, free-kick crackers make it 'set-piece World Cup'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, June 20, 2018
Adjust font size:
Iury Gazinsky (R) of Russia vies with Ahmed Fathi of Egypt during a Group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

VAR and a trio of spectacular free kicks have led to a spike in the number of goals from set plays in Russia, with some already calling it "the World Cup of set pieces".


With all the teams having played at least one game, roughly half of the goals at the tournament so far have come from set pieces -- which will disappoint the football purists.


It led to one joke doing the rounds on social media saying that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which is making its World Cup debut, will have more assists than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Aliou Cisse, coach of Senegal, said: "We know that nowadays defensive systems are very tight so set pieces will be decisive weapons during the group matches."


The numbers bear that out.


Following Sweden's 1-0 win against South Korea on Monday, thanks to a penalty awarded with the help of VAR, football analytics firm Opta Sports said 53.8 percent of the 26 goals up to that point had come from set plays.


That chimes with the calculations of Mads Davidsen, technical director at the Chinese top-tier side Shanghai SIPG, who said: "That is significantly higher than previous tournaments.


"At Euro 2016, in total 30 percent of goals were scored from set pieces and the last World Cup in 2014 the number was around 38 percent."


Davidsen, a UEFA Pro coach from Denmark, added: "Cup tournaments will always have a higher set-piece scoring percentage than domestic leagues because it's 'easier' to prepare and train set pieces, and national teams have the time issue of having few training sessions together during a year, so it's difficult to work detailed on your style of play.


"There is no doubt VAR has had an effect as well."


There were 13 penalties awarded during the whole of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, not including penalty shootouts.


There have already been 10 awarded in Russia even though the tournament is still only in its early stages.


VAR has vastly increased the number of spot kicks because more infringements are being seen than before.


Making it stick


But the tournament in Russia has also thrown up three spectacular direct free-kick goals.


Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a late strike in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain while Aleksandar Kolarov fired home the winner for Serbia in their 1-0 victory over Costa Rica. Aleksandr Golovin struck a stunner for hosts Russia in their 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia.


Goalkeepers in the past have complained about World Cup balls that wobble and dip unpredictably, making it a nightmare to catch or stop, particularly when the likes of Ronaldo have perfected their technique from set plays to get maximum movement.


The Adidas Telstar 18 ball used for this World Cup was supposed to be more stable in the air.


Not so, say several goalkeepers, including Russia's Igor Akinfeev, who believes the ball at this tournament is partly responsible for goals from long-distance such as Philippe Coutinho's curler from open play for Brazil and free kicks like the ones by Ronaldo and Kolarov.


"There is a lot of criticism of this ball but we cannot change this now," said Akinfeev. "As goalkeepers we have to keep the ball, make it stick to our palms."


Davidsen believes that as the World Cup progresses, the number of goals from open play will increase.


"As it's the first game for all teams, everyone is a bit nervous, not taking any chances, so there is more emphasis on set pieces," he said.


Follow www.kilc.com.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
  • 男女差别有多大?河北省首次公开发布分性别统计分析报告 2019-04-19
  • 湖南《当代商报》工作人员遇害案告破 警方通报:情杀 2019-04-19
  • 概括起来就是:人在任何时候都有神赐的田地生长粮棉等生物而足食丰衣。 2019-04-18
  • 中华人民共和国监察法 2019-04-18
  • 新时代 新作为 新篇章 2019-04-17
  • 四川乐山公交车爆炸案系人为 嫌疑人已被控制 2019-04-16
  • “男童在幼儿园噎食死亡”,信息渠道应当畅通无阻 2019-04-16
  • 荆楚网网络视听节目许可证 2019-04-10
  • 构建地区命运共同体的重要平台(望海楼) 2019-04-09
  • 十九大代表、海口市公安局琼山分局飞鹰大队大队长冯晖:把十九大精神讲清楚、讲明白 2019-04-04
  • 西藏首届科技创新创业大赛报名启动 2019-04-04
  • 调皮!野象强行冲关“出境游” 玩了两小时自己回家来 2019-04-02
  • 特不靠谱先生言而无信,翻云覆雨小人,王八吃秤砣铁了心要与我朝为敌了。[福尔摩斯] 2019-03-30
  • 你总是不怕风大扇了舌头。另外,你的帖子我仍然是根本就没看,我对你的这类帖子不感兴趣,因为这没有什么用处,只会挑起无谓的争论。因为你是在预测遥远的未来,遥远的未来 2019-03-28
  • 卡梅伦后悔举行公投:所有政治生命都以失败告终 2019-03-28
  • 508| 16| 142| 706| 524| 374| 336| 222| 927| 87|