Multivariate analysis of indirect free kick in the FIFA World Cup 2014

Rubén Maneiro Dios, José Luis Losada López, Claudio Alberto Casal Sanjurjo, Antonio Ardá Suárez

Abstract


Indirect free kicks are relatively common in soccer and have the potential to change the outcome of a match. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of these kicks, to identify variables associated with success, and propose a model for optimal execution.

We analyzed and coded 506 indirect free kicks taken in 64 matches during the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil and conducted univariate, bivariate (chi-square), and multivariate (binary logistic regression) analyses. Our results show very low success rates in terms of shots, shots between the posts, and goals. Nevertheless, 89% of goals scored from indirect free kicks led to the teams gaining valuable points. Determinants of success included a dynamic attack based on the creation and occupation of spaces and the intervention of up to four attackers.  Our findings offer an interesting starting point for trainers to build on tactical strategies designed to improve free-kick performance.


Keywords


Logistic Regression; observational methodology; soccer; corner.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/analesps.33.3.271031

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