Tuesday 5 January 2016

1966 and All That.

1966 fever sweeps the land, so I couldn't resist updating this match probability graph from around five years ago that charted the ups and downs of that wet then sunny day in late July.

The match didn't lack for incident. Even discounting a last minute equaliser, a disputed goal and a minor pitch invasion from the 1950's, there were plenty of goal attempts to digest.

70 + attempts made for a breathless 120 minutes and the match still provides marvelous entertainment, underpinned by end to end attacking, robust tackling and the novelty of keepers picking up back passes and centre halves taking throw ins.

Around 2/3rds of the attempts came from outside the box, producing a grand total of zero goals, whereas four of the six goals were scored from locations that were closer than the penalty spot.

The most optimistic of England's forwards was Martin Peters, His dozen attempts at goal were virtually exclusively from distance, with the notable exception of England's second goal that arose from a shot from about seven yards out.

Had shot location models been around 50 years ago, Peters' goal expectation for the final would have been just below 0.7 of a goal.

Two World Cup winners swap stories.
Simulating the game as a shooting contest highlights the necessity of trying to allow for closely related shooting events. Peters' goal followed immediately on from  longer range effort from Hurst that was partly blocked, allowing the ball to sit up nicely for the West Ham player.

Similarly, a swathe of West Germany's goal expectation was contained in their dramatic equaliser. As first Emmerich (1 in 80 chance), then Held (1 in 7) and finally Weber (2 in 5) attempted to convert increasingly inviting opportunities.

They couldn't all score, but in reality Weber did.

In terms of goal expectation, West Germany shaded the first 90 minutes 1.7 expected goals to 1.6, while England "won" the extra time period by 0.5 to 0.2.

Accounting for related chances and the individual likelihood of each attempt, England win 35% of the 90 minute simulations, lose 39% and draw 26% and of those drawn games they win 32% in extra time, lose 12% and refill Wembley four days later 56% of the time.

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