ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA released its technical report on the World Cup on Tuesday. Following are some of the key points:
- Quarter-finalists Russia scored once for every 4.5 shots on goal, making them the tournament’s most efficient team in this respect. They were followed by France (6), Colombia (6.5), Japan (6.7) and Belgium (6.7).
Germany were by far the most inefficient in this category, needing 36 shots to score a goal, well behind Mexico, the next lowest-ranked with 20 shots per goal.
- Spain had the highest level of possession at an average 69 percent, even though they only reached the second round.
They were followed by Germany (67 percent), Argentina (64) and Saudi Arabia and Switzerland (58). None of those teams went beyond the second round.
France, the champions, were 19th in the possession ranking with 49 percent. Runners-up Croatia had 56 percent, while beaten semi-finalists England and Belgium both had 53 percent.
Iran saw the least of the ball, controlling it just 33 percent of the time in their matches.
- One in every 29 corners led to a goal, a significant increase from previous tournaments — the figure was one in 61 in 2010 and one in 36 in 2014.
- Teams at the 2018 World Cup were more compact in defence. There was a tournament average of 26 metres between a side’s deepest defender and highest attacker when out of possession.
- There was a 32 percent drop in shots from outside the penalty area compared with the 2010 World Cup, the report said, attributing the figure to “tight, compact defending.”
However, efficiency improved - one out of 29 long-range shots produced a goal compared with one out of 42 in Brazil in 2014.
- Serbia ran the most, with their team covering an average of 113 kilometres per game, followed by Germany (111.9 km) and Russia (110.7km).
France were 28th, averaging 101 kilometres per match. Argentina, Nigeria, Mexico and Panama were the only teams to complete less than 100 kilometres per match.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Hugh Lawson