The Rio Report

The stats behind the World Cup draw

Now that the World Cup draw has been made we can really start to look forward to next summer's festival of football.

The Press Association have analysed all 993 goals scored and conceded by the 32 World Cup finalists across the 352 qualifying matches they collectively played (including all of Brazil’s internationals in 2013, which were added in lieu of them needing to qualify).

Their stat pack section lists head-to-head stats for the teams drawn into each group, either where one team’s strength aligns to an opponent’s weakness or where a strength is cancelled out by that of an opponent.

There is also a second section which lists the top and bottom three ranked nations for a range of stat types.

And finally there’s a section giving some high-level information for each of the 32 teams, including their biggest strengths and weaknesses, their FIFA Ranking and how this has changed.

Head-to-head stats

Group A – Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico, Croatia

Cameroon scored 22% (3) of their goals from outside the penalty area, while Brazil conceded 47% (31) of theirs from this distance. However Mexico only conceded 7% (5) and Croatia 11% (9) of their goals in this way.

Brazil conceded 7% (5) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, while Mexico scored 35% (4) of theirs in this period.

Croatia scored 43% (1) of their goals from inside the 6 yard box, while Mexico conceded 29% (24) of theirs from this distance.

Mexico scored 32% (7) of their goals from inside the 6 yard box, while Croatia conceded 56% (31) of theirs from this distance.

Mexico scored 16% (7) of their goals from corners, while Cameroon conceded 50% (31) of theirs in this way

Group B – Spain, Chile, Australia, Netherlands

Australia scored 56% (3) of their goals from the wings, but their group opponents conceded the 3 lowest proportions from these areas: Spain 0% (1), Netherlands 20% (2), Chile 24% (3).

Chile scored 17% (6) of their goals from corners, but none of their group opponents conceded any corners in qualifying.

Spain scored 71% (2) of their goals from central areas, while Chile conceded 64% (27) of theirs from these positions.

Australia scored 52% (2) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, while Spain conceded 100% (32) of theirs in this period.

Netherlands took 93% (5) of possible points from winning positions, while Chile took 0% (28) of theirs from losing positions.

Group C – Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece

Japan scored 30% (7) of their goals from headers, while Greece conceded 50% (30) of theirs in this way.

Colombia took 85% (25) of possible points from winning positions, but Ivory Coast took 56% (5) from losing positions and Greece took 50% (8).

Ivory Coast scored 26% (1) of their goals in the first 15 minutes of matches, but Greece conceded 0% (1) of theirs in this period.

Greece scored 19% (7) of their goals from outside the penalty area, while Colombia conceded 23% (25) of theirs from this range.

Colombia scored 19% (5) of their goals from free kicks, while Greece conceded 50% (31) of theirs in this way

Ivory Coast took 56% (5) of possible points from losing positions, while Colombia took 85% (25) of theirs from winning ones

Group D – Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica, England

England scored 19% (6) of their goals from outside the penalty area, while Italy conceded 33% (29) of theirs from this distance.

England scored 26% (5) of their goals from their left flank, while Italy conceded 44% (32) of theirs in from this area.

England scored 13% (7) of their goals in the first 15 minutes of matches, while Uruguay conceded 20% (24) of theirs in this way

England scored 48% (8) of their goals from the wings, while Costa Rica conceded 58% (24) of theirs from these areas.

England conceded 50% (28) of their goals from set pieces, but Uruguay scored 33% (3) of theirs in this way

England conceded 25% (23) of their goals from headers, but Italy scored 42% (2) of theirs in this way

England conceded 25% (23) of their goals from headers, but Costa Rica scored 33% (4) of theirs in this way

Costa Rica scored 33% (4) of their goals from headers, while Italy conceded 33% (26) of theirs in this way.

Costa Rica scored 22% (8) of their goals from their left flank, while Italy conceded 44% (32) of theirs in this way.

Italy took 50% (8) of possible points from losing positions, while Uruguay took 82% (30) of theirs from winning ones.

Italy scored 16% (4) of their goals from long balls, while Costa Rica conceded 17% (30) of theirs in this way.

Uruguay conceded 20% (24) of their goals in the first 15 minutes of matches, and all of their group opponents scored among the 7 highest proportions of goals in this period: Costa Rica 22% (2), Italy 16% (5), England 13% (7)

Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras, France

Switzerland scored 24% (7) of their goals from their left flank, while Ecuador conceded 38% (28) of theirs from this area.

Ecuador scored 20% (2) of their goals from free kicks, but Switzerland conceded 0% (1) of theirs in this way.

Honduras scored 28% (7) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, while Switzerland conceded 50% (27) of theirs in this way.

Honduras failed to score in 38% (32) of their matches and France in 30% (30), while Switzerland kept a clean sheet in 70% (1) of theirs

Ecuador scored 35% (5) of their goals from inside the 6 yard box, while Honduras conceded 33% (25) of theirs from this distance

Group F – Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Bosnia

Argentina scored 77% (1) of their goals from central areas, with all their group opponents conceding the 8 highest proportion of goals from here: Nigeria 75% (31), Bosnia 67% (29), Iran 57% (25)

Nigeria scored 27% (1) of their goals from free kicks, while Iran conceded 57% (32) of theirs in this way

Nigeria scored 64% (1) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, while Bosnia conceded 33% (23) of theirs in this way

Iran scored 40% (1) of their goals from their right flank, while Argentina conceded 27% (23) of theirs in this way

Bosnia took 100% (1) of possible points from winning positions, while Iran took 11% (25) of theirs from losing positions

Bosnia scored 60% (8) of their goals from central areas, while Nigeria conceded 75% (31) of theirs from here.

Group G – Germany, Ghana, USA, Portugal

Germany took 100% (1) of possible points from losing positions, while USA took 81% (31) of theirs from winning ones.

Ghana scored 20% (2) of their goals from free kicks, while USA conceded 29% (30) of theirs in this way

Ghana scored 24% (9) of their goals from their right flank, while Portugal conceded 45% (29) of theirs in this way

USA scored 15% (9) of their goals from corners, while Portugal conceded 36% (30) of theirs in this way

Portugal scored 50% (5) of their goals from the wings, while Germany conceded 60% (26) of theirs in this way

Group H – Belgium, Algeria, South Korea, Russia

Algeria scored 50% (5) of their goals from the wings, while all 3 of their group opponents conceded among the 9 highest proportions from these positions: Belgium 75% (32), South Korea 64% (29), Russia 60% (26).

Russia scored 60% (8) of their goals from central areas, but 3 of their group opponents conceded among the 6 smallest proportions from here: Algeria 14% (1), Belgium 25% (3), South Korea 27% (6)

Belgium scored 33% (3) of their goals from set pieces, while South Korea conceded 55% (31) of theirs in this way and Algeria conceded 43% (26)

Belgium took 93% (9) of possible points from winning positions, while Russia took 0% (32) of theirs from losing positions

Algeria scored 19% (1) of their goals from long balls, while Russia conceded 20% (31) of theirs in this way

Algeria scored 31% (6) of their goals from headers, while Russia conceded 60% (32) of theirs in this way

South Korea scored 30% (6) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, while Belgium conceded 75% (31) of theirs in this period

Russia scored 20% (4) of their goals in the first 15 minutes of matches, while South Korea conceded 27% (32) of theirs in this period and Belgium conceded 25% (29)

Top and bottom threes

Here are some rankings of the best and worst teams across a range of goalscoring and conceding measures.

Goal scoring rates

Highest goals scored per match:

  1. Germany 3.60
  2. Netherlands 3.40
  3. Ghana 3.13

Lowest goals scored per match:

  1. Croatia 1.17
  2. Ecuador 1.25
  3. Cameroon 1.29

Highest goals conceded per match:

  1. Chile 1.56
  2. Uruguay 1.39
  3. Ecuador & Germany 1.00

Lowest goals conceded per match:

  1. Spain 0.38
  2. Belgium & England 0.4

Close range goals

Highest proportion of goals scored from inside the 6 yard box:

  1. Croatia 43%
  2. USA 38%
  3. Chile 38%

Lowest proportion of goals scored from inside the 6 yard box:

  1. Russia 5%
  2. France 6%
  3. Argentina 9%

Highest proportion of goals conceded from inside the 6 yard box:

  1. Iran 57%
  2. Croatia 56%
  3. Bosnia 50%

Lowest proportion of goals conceded from inside the 6 yard box:

  1. Belgium, Netherlands, Nigeria & Spain (all 0%)

Long range goals

Highest proportion of goals scored from outside the penalty area:

  1. Nigeria 36%
  2. Netherlands 24%
  3. Cameroon & France 22%

Lowest proportion of goals scored from outside the penalty area:

  1. Spain 0%
  2. Portugal 4%
  3. Ecuador 5%

Highest proportion of goals conceded from outside the penalty area:

  1. Nigeria 50%
  2. Brazil 47%
  3. Netherlands 40%

Lowest proportion of goals conceded from outside the penalty area:

  1. Greece, Iran, Russia & Spain (all 0%)

Headed goals

Highest proportion of goals scored from headers:

  1. Ecuador 45%
  2. Italy 42%
  3. Australia 36%

Lowest proportion of goals scored from headers:

  1. Germany 0%
  2. Colombia 4%
  3. Argentina 6%

Highest proportion of goals conceded from headers:

  1. Russia 60%
  2. Cameroon & Greece 50%

Lowest proportion of goals conceded from headers:

  1. Australia, Belgium, Bosnia, Ghana, Netherlands, Nigeria 0%

Set piece goals

Highest proportion of goals scored from set pieces:

  1. Iran 40%
  2. Nigeria 36%
  3. Portugal & Uruguay 33%

Lowest proportion of goals scored from set pieces:

  1. Germany 3%
  2. Argentina 9%
  3. Greece 13%

Highest proportion of goals conceded from set pieces:

  1. Iran 57%
  2. South Korea 55%
  3. Cameroon, England, Greece 6%

Lowest proportion of goals conceded from set pieces:

  1. Netherlands & Spain 0%
  2. Australia 8%

Goals from the wings

Highest proportion of goals scored from the wings:

  1. Croatia 64%
  2. Belgium 61%
  3. Australia 56%

Lowest proportion of goals scored from the wings:

  1. Argentina 11%
  2. Colombia & Germany 22%

Highest proportion of goals conceded from the wings:

  1. Belgium 75%
  2. Algeria 71%
  3. Italy 67%

Lowest proportion of goals conceded from the wings:

  1. Spain 0%
  2. Netherlands 20%
  3. Chile 24%

Points won

Highest proportion of points taken from winning positions:

  1. Bosnia, Cameroon, France, Ghana 100%

Lowest proportion of points taken from winning positions:

  1. Chile 78%
  2. Uruguay 82%
  3. USA 81%

Highest proportion of points taken from losing positions:

  1. Germany & Spain 100% (Germany only in one losing position and Spain never were)
  2. Bosnia 67%

Lowest proportion of points taken from losing positions:

  1. Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Mexico, Russia 0%

Team-by-team summaries

FIFA ranking points are given with their position in brackets e.g. England 1041 (13) means that England have 1041 ranking points and are ranked 13th in the World.

Algeria

FIFA ranking: 800 (26) from 907 (19) one year ago

1 of 7 teams to score in every qualifying match

Scored the largest proportion of goals from long balls: 19%

Argentina

FIFA ranking: 1251 (3) from 1349 (3) one year ago

Scored the largest proportion of goals created from central positions: 77%

Kept the smallest proportion of clean sheets: 25%

Australia

FIFA ranking: 564 (59) from 719 (33) one year ago – 3rd biggest fallers of the 32 finalists and the lowest-ranked side in the tournament

Conceded the 2nd largest proportion of goals from counter attacks: 25%

Scored the 2nd highest proportion of goals in the final 15 minutes of matches: 52%

Belgium

FIFA ranking: 1098 (11) from 881 (20) one year ago – 3rd most improved of the 32 finalists

1 of 7 teams to score in every qualifying match

Conceded the largest proportion of goals created from the wings: 75%

1 of 6 teams not to have conceded more than once in a match

Bosnia

FIFA ranking: 886 (21) from 881 (20) one year ago

1 of 6 teams not to have conceded more than once in a match

1 of 4 teams not to have dropped any points from winning positions

Scored 3 or more goals in the 2nd largest proportion of matches: 60%

Brazil

FIFA ranking: 1102 (10) from 994 (13) one year ago

Conceded the 2nd largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 47%

Scored 2 or more goals in the 3rd highest proportion of matches: 84$

Cameroon

FIFA ranking: 612 (51) from 520 (61) one year ago

Scored the 3rd fewest goals per match: 1.29

Conceded the highest proportion of goals from corners: 50%

Chile

FIFA ranking: 1014 (15) from 853 (21) one year ago – 4th most improved of the 32 finalists

3rd largest proportion of goals from inside the 6 yard box: 43%

Conceded the most goals per match: 1.56

Colombia

FIFA ranking: 1200 (4) from 1110 (8) one year ago

Scored the 2nd smallest proportion of goals from headers: 4%

1 of 3 teams not to score from a corner

Costa Rica

FIFA ranking: 738 (31) from 509 (64) one year ago – 2nd most improved of the 32 finalists

Failed to score in the 2nd highest proportion of matches: 31%

Scored the 4th highest proportion of headed goals: 33%

Croatia

FIFA ranking: 971 (16) from 1078 (10) one year ago

Largest proportion of goals from inside the 6 yard box: 43%

1 of 2 teams not to score more than twice in any matches

Scored the fewest goals per match: 1.17

Ecuador

FIFA ranking: 852 (23) from 951 (17) one year ago

Scored the largest proportion of goals from headers: 45%

Scored the 2nd fewest goals per match: 1.25

England

FIFA ranking: 1041 (13) from 1167 (6) one year ago – 5th biggest fallers of the 32 finalists

1 of 6 teams not to have conceded more than once in a match

Scored the 6th highest proportion of goals from outside the box: 19%

Conceded the highest proportion of goals from corners: 50%

France

FIFA ranking: 893 (19) from 938 (18) one year ago

Scored the 3rd largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 24%

Failed to score in the 3rd highest proportion of matches: 30%

Germany

FIFA ranking: 1318 (2) from 1421 (2) one year ago

1 of 2 teams to score at least 2 goals in every match

Scored the 3rd largest proportion of goals created from central positions: 69%

Scored the most goals per match: 3.60

Ghana

FIFA ranking: 849 (24) from 762 (29) one year ago

Scored the 3rd most goals per match: 3.13

Scored the 4th largest proportion of goals from inside the 6 yard box: 36%

Greece

FIFA ranking: 1055 (12) from 1004 (12) one year ago

1 of 4 teams not to have conceded a goal from outside the penalty area

1 of 3 teams not to score from a corner

Honduras

FIFA ranking: 688 (41) from 572 (56) one year ago

Failed to score in the highest proportion of matches: 38%

Conceded the 6th lowest proportion of goals down their left flank: 13%

Iran

FIFA ranking: 650 (45) from 611 (44) one year ago

1 of 4 teams not to have conceded a goal from outside the penalty area

Scored the highest proportion of goals from set pieces: 40%

Conceded the highest proportion of goals from set pieces: 57%

Conceded the highest proportion of goals from inside the 6 yard box: 57%

Italy

FIFA ranking: 1120 (7) from 1169 (5) one year ago

Scored the 2nd largest proportion of goals from headers: 42%

Scored the 4th lowest proportion of goals from outside the penalty area: 5%

Ivory Coast

FIFA ranking: 918 (17) from 974 (15) one year ago

1 of 7 teams to score in every qualifying match

Scored the largest proportion of goals in the first 15 minutes of matches: 26%

Japan

FIFA ranking: 638 (48) from 810 (24) one year ago – 2nd biggest fallers of the 32 finalists

Scored the 4th lowest proportion of goals in the first 15 minutes of matches: 7%

Scored the 7th highest proportion of headed goals: 30%

Mexico

FIFA ranking: 892 (20) from 984 (14) one year ago

Conceded the 5th lowest proportion of goals from outside the area: 7%

Scored the 4th highest proportion of goals in the final 15 minutes of matches: 35%

Netherlands

FIFA ranking: 1106 (9) from 1128 (7) one year ago

1 of 2 teams to score at least 2 goals in every match

Scored the 2nd largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 24%

Conceded the 3rd largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 40%

Scored the 3rd most goals per match: 3.40

Nigeria

FIFA ranking: 710 (36) from 553 (57) one year ago – 5th most improved of the 32 finalists

1 of 7 teams to score in every qualifying match

Scored the largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 36%

Conceded the largest proportion of goals from outside the area: 50%

Scored the highest proportion of goals in the final 15 minutes of matches: 64%

Portugal

FIFA ranking: 1172 (5) from 1178 (4) one year ago

Scored the highest proportion of goals from corners: 25%

Scored the 3rd highest proportion of goals in the final 15 minutes of matches: 52%

Russia

FIFA ranking: 870 (22) from 1084 (9) one year ago – biggest fallers of the 32 finalists

1 of 6 teams not to have conceded more than once in a match

1 of 4 teams not to have conceded a goal from outside the penalty area

South Korea

FIFA ranking: 577 (54) from 728 (32) one year ago – 4th biggest fallers of the 32 finalists

Scored the 2nd largest proportion of goals from long balls: 19%

Conceded the 2nd highest proportion of goals from set pieces: 55%

Spain

FIFA ranking: 1507 (1) from 1564 (1) one year ago

1 of 7 teams to score in every qualifying match

Scored the largest proportion of goals created from central positions: 71%

Didn’t score a single goal from outside the area

1 of 6 teams not to have conceded more than once in a match

Switzerland

FIFA ranking: 1113 (8) from 966 (16) one year ago

Kept the largest proportion of clean sheets: 70%

Scored the 6th highest proportion of goals from free kicks: 18%

Uruguay

FIFA ranking: 1132 (6) from 1047 (11) one year ago

Scored the 3rd largest proportion of goals created from set pieces: 33%

Kept the 2nd smallest proportion of clean sheets: 27%

Conceded the 2nd most goals per match: 1.39

USA

FIFA ranking: 1019 (14) from 776 (27) one year ago – most improved of the 32 finalists

2nd largest proportion of goals from inside the 6 yard box: 43%

Concede the 4th highest proportion of goals from free kicks: 29%