Soccer by the numbers

Why zero is better than one and why you should always celebrate a goal with both arms in the air

10: Games you’d have to watch to see one goal in the Premier League scored straight off a long corner kick. It’s no better at World Cups, so take a short corner.

44: Percentage of lucky goals, found in a study of 2,500 pro goals, where “lucky” is defined as something happening that the goal scorer hadn’t intended.

31: australia beat american samoa 31-0 in 2001, the biggest ever win in the world cup qualifying.

5: The best comeback ever. In their 1954 World Cup quarterfinal match against Switzerland, Austria went from 3-0 down after 25 minutes to 5-3 up after 34 minutes, and they won 7-5.

60: average minute of play in a soccer match. Play is interrupted or the ball is out of play for half an hour. So how come there’s only ever about five minutes’ stoppage time?

28: Years of World Cup soccer before there was a 0-0. Brazil and England eked out the “groundbreaking” bore draw on June 11, 1958. 

0: From 2001-02 to 2010-11, a clean sheet earned more points than scoring a goal in the Premier League.

2: If a player celebrates after scoring in a penalty shoot-out by raising both arms in the air, he unsettles the other team’s penalty takers demonstrably more than if he just pumps a fist.

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06 2014 The Red Bulletin

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