What happens with the penalties in the World Cup Qatar 2022 | Look what they eat you, brother

One in three quarterfinal clashes is decided in penalty shootout since this system was imposed in the World Cups. Consequently, it is time to use the studies carried out on the 32 batches that were kicked from 1978 to today, including the two in Qatar 2022.

Those who have seen the Japanese and Spanish kick this week will have wondered the same thing: Why did they hit him so soft? Why so little cornering? Even more than one will have exclaimed a forceful “What do they do!”. It seems that the terrified of sending her out or overconfidence reigned in the round of 16 definitions that ended up in the hands of Croatia and Morocco.

So far in Qatar 2022, 31 penalties have already been kicked and there were definitions of all kinds: Panenka style, bombings, dumplings, in the middle, to the sticks, shortcuts… But what has not yet been seen was a shot into the clouds. 18 of the penalties ended in goals, 11 turned the goalkeepers into heroes and 2 hit the post. That is, only 58 percent left the kicker happy. Things are so complicated that the two players who took more than one penalty, Messi and Lewandowski, converted one and saved the other.

Things get worse for the “shooters” taking into account only the Spain-Morocco and Japan-Croatia shoot-outs: less than half ended in goals. There were 15 penalties with 7 goals (47 percent), 6 saves (40 percent) and 2 in the sticks (13 percent).

Regardless, history is much more generous to the brave takers for the ball. According to A study of the site The Analyst, between 1982 -the system was imposed in ’78 but the first batch was in the World Cup in Spain- and 2018 they kicked 279 penalties in definitions of this type: 196 ended in a goal (71 percent), 60 were saved (21 percent) and 23 were deflected, including those that hit the posts (8 percent).

Above does not fail, below not so much

One of the conclusions of the report The Analyst is quite blunt: penalty that goes to the highest third of the arc is unassailable. It is not an exaggeration: the 43 penalties that were deposited there in the World Cup shootouts ended in goals. The effectiveness drops when shooting at medium height: 66 penalties, 49 goals and 74% accuracy. as long as aiming low is the least recommended and, at the same time, the most usual: 147 penalties, 104 goals and 71% accuracy.

The penalties that go on target and their success rate, from 1982 to 2018. (Source: The Analyst)

Of course, the mentioned statistics only contemplates the shots that went to the goal. Of enter the shots that hit the posts or dodged the goal and locate them by proximity to the sector they passed close to (and not so close), the percentages worsen although the trend remains.

A somewhat humbler excel than The Analyst’s table, with the 279 penalties kicked between 1982 and 2018, including missed ones.

Penalties kicked into the upper third of the arc end in a goal on 75 percent times (43/57), those that go to medium height, the 72 percent (49/68) and those who go below, the 67 percent (104/154).

Qatar 2022: look what they eat you, brother

So far in this World Cup, goalkeepers have been eating kickers. The Moroccan Bono and the Croatian Livakovic got stuffed in their respective batches and gave proof of it. For now the vast majority of shots (77 percent) were aimed at the bottom third of the arc: a misguided decision so far if the result is taken into account.

Of the 24 penalties that went down, only half ended in a goal. While Aiming at medium height things improve considerably: 5 goals from 6 attempts. Finally, only one aimed high, the Croatian Brozovic, and ended up celebrating.

The 31 penalties (including regular time ones) that were kicked in Qatar and their success rate.

anywhere but strong

If something characterized the penalties that were seen in Qatar 2022 it was the lack of power in many of them, over-prioritizing the final location of the ball. Through subjectivity, the shots could be separated into three categories: smooth, powerful and chopped (a la Panenka). The soft ones were the majority, to the bad of the kickers: 17 shots and 9 goals (52 percent accuracy); the powerful were 12 and ended in goals on 9 occasions (75 percent); while the chopped ones were 2 and only the one from the Moroccan Hakimi ended well (the incredible shot from the Croatian Livaja did not).

Archer’s happiness is bottom right

If any weekend archer is pising on this note, attention: drop down and to your right. Based on the 256 penalties taken in definitions between 1982 and 2018, the most saves were made there.

Percentages of saves according to the destination of the shot, from the batches from 1982 to 2018.

In Qatar 2022 the trend continues as 6 penalties were saved by goalkeepers who dived to their right (Courtois, Szczesny, Livakovic on two occasions, Unai Simón and Bono). In any case, they are not doing so badly with the left: Szczesny, Ochoa, Livakovic, Bono and Rochet became heroes going that way.


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