3rd place and Final matches: Statistical historical perspective

3rd place and Final matches: Statistical historical perspective

Post by Stephen Halch » Sat, 16 Jul 1994 05:19:55

Below is an historical statistical perspective of the third place and
championship matches in the World Cup and a review of this year's
participants earlier meetings. There was no third place match in the
first (1930) tournament. In the 1950 tournament, strictly speaking,
there was no championship match although Uruguay 2 - 1 Brazil is
generally considered to be the decider of the final and has been
included in the stats below. In a similar fashion the match Sweden 3 -
1 Spain is included as the third place decider for the 1950
tournament.  Traditionally, both of these matches are high scoring
affairs. With the exception of the final at Italia 90, all of the
championship matches had at least 3 goals.

Third Place statistical perspective

Number of third place matchups: 13
Average/highest/fewest number of goals: 3.92/9/1
Number of extra time matches: 1 (86)
Number of matches won by the team scoring first: 9

In the third place matchup, Sweden seems to have the slight statistical
edge over Bulgaria. In their only previous "neutral" site match (WC74),
nothing was decided. Hopefully, they will rise above this past

                     G  W  D  L  GF  GA  G/G   # games 2 goals or less
Sweden vs. Bulgaria  8  4  2  2   9   8  2.13   6

Previous WC meetings

1974 Sweden 0 - 0 Bulgaria First Round, Dusseldorf, West Germany

Other meetings

1967 Sweden 0 - 2 Bulgaria European Cup Qualifier, Stockholm
1967 Sweden 0 - 3 Bulgaria European Cup Qualifier, Sofia
1980 Sweden 3 - 2 Bulgaria Friendly, Burgas
1981 Sweden 1 - 0 Bulgaria Friendly, Uddevalla
1990 Sweden 2 - 0 Bulgaria Friendly, Stockholm
1992 Sweden 2 - 0 Bulgaria WC Qualifier, Sweden
1993 Sweden 1 - 1 Bulgaria WC Qualifier, Bulgaria

Championship statistical perspective

Number of Championship matchups: 14
Average/highest/fewest number of goals: 4.43/7/1
Number of extra time matches: 3 (34, 66, 78)
Number of matches won by the team scoring first: 7

Historically, two more evenly matched teams could not be hand picked to
meet each other in the final. Nothing separates them in the wins/losses
columns or in the goals for/against columns. They have split their
previous 4 World Cup clashes, with the slight edge to Brazil on goals
scored. Each team dominates on its "home" (hemispherically speaking)
soil, Brazil with a "home" record of 4 wins, no losses, Italy with a
"home" record of 5 wins, 1 loss. Hopefully, the two teams will live up
to all the hype which has surrounded them and will provide us with a
final more reminiscent of 1970 (their previous WC final matchup) than
the fiasco that was a final in Italia 90.

                     G  W  D  L  GF  GA  G/G   # games 2 goals or less
Brazil vs. Italy    10  5  0  5  16  16  3.20   2

Previous WC meetings

1938 Brazil 1 - 2 Italy Semi finals, Marseilles, France
1970 Brazil 4 - 1 Italy Championship, Mexico City
1978 Brazil 2 - 1 Italy 3rd place, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1982 Brazil 2 - 3 Italy Second Round, Barcelona, Spain

Other meetings

1956 Brazil 0 - 3 Italy Friendly, Milan
1956 Brazil 2 - 0 Italy Friendly, Rio de Janeiro
1963 Brazil 0 - 3 Italy Friendly, Milan
1973 Brazil 0 - 2 Italy Friendly, Rome
1976 Brazil 4 - 1 Italy Friendly, Newhaven, Connecticut
1989 Brazil 1 - 0 Italy Friendly, Bologna

Enjoy the final two matches of the 15th edition of the World Cup. May
the fans of the winning teams be gracious in victory and the losing
teams magnanimous in defeat (a lot to ask for from the r.s.s readership
I know, but I can always hope).


'...Now Geoff Aunger... oh onside, Onside! ... Berdusco...BERDUUUSCO!!!'
Vic Rauter's call of Eddie Berdusco's tying goal against Brazil, June 5,1994