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World Cup Final Draw
England in Group G
- England have been drawn into Group G with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. They will start off by playing Tunisia in Volgograd on 18th June followed by Panama five days later in Nizhny Novgorod. The final group game will be against seeded team Belgium in Kalinigrad on 28th June.
Belgium have only beaten England once in 21 attempts, a friendly match in 1936. All four competitive matches have resulted in draws after 90 minutes. The first (4-4) was during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland - England's first experience of extra time. The second was in the group stages of the '80 European Championship in Italy. The third and most memorable was in the second round of the '90 World Cup when David Platt scored the winner in the 119th minute. Most recently, during the King Hassan II Tournament prior to the '98 World Cup, the match proceeded directly to penalty kicks where England naturally lost.
England have previous experience of opening games at a World Cup against Tunisia having met at the 1998 edition in France. That day the prevailed 2-0 thanks to Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes. The only other meeting was a friendly in Tunis in 1990 that England were lucky to get a draw out of. Steve Bull getting the equaliser in the last minute.
England have never played Panama before although the Central Americans drew with Wales in Cardiff in November 2017. This will be Panama's first World Cup having pipped the United States to the last automatic qualifying spot.
- Posted: 1st December 2017 3:39pm
Why do England always do badly in Penalty Shoot-Outs?
A bit of englandstats analysis.
- England are truly awful at Penalty Shoot-Outs. Of the eight they have been involved in they have only triumphed in one: versus Spain in the Euro '96 quarter-final.
The number of penalties taken is relatively even: England 40 - Opposition 41. So, we can have a look at the numbers to see if a pattern emerges. Hitting the target doesn't seem to be a problem. England have only missed the target three times whilst opposition takers have missed six times. So clearly being able to hit a target 24ft wide and 8ft high from 12 yards is not the issue. However, if we look at the goalkeepers we find that opposition 'keepers managed to save 11 England penalties whereas England goalkeepers have only saved three. Also, in all but one of the penalty shoot-outs the opposition goalkeeper has managed to save at least one of England's spot kicks. The match that they didn't? England won!
Being able to tuck the ball just inside the post or into the roof of the net is difficult and the risk of missing the target obviously increases. What we can read from the statistics is that English takers seem to be more content with the 50/50 approach of trying to make the 'keeper dive the wrong way. Whereas opposition takers are far more willing to take a risk of putting the ball beyond the reach of the 'keeper.
It's only a small data sample but it would seem that it's a risk worth taking.
- Posted: 25th November 2017 5:14am