Friday, 1 July 2016

Penalties: Going Over And Missing

Unfortunately, I didn't see the above Tweet until the game was over (I wasn't watching the game anyway), but as I scrolled through my timeline and saw it, my immediate reaction was that it must have been a mistake. The price on Over was, in my opinion, wrong - and for clarification, after a little confusion, the bet was for penalties scored as opposed to taken.
My penalty shoot-out spreadsheet, yes, sad bastard that I am, I do actually have one, is fresh in my mind right now with updates from the recently concluded Copa America Centenario and ongoing Euro 2016 tournaments, so I am well aware of what the average number of penalties taken and scored in a shoot-out is. Aren't we all?

In the Euros, prior to yesterday, for penalties scored in the previous 15 shoot-outs, the mean was 7.87, but more importantly both the median and the mode were 9, and all were comfortably above seven. 

It's true that four of the last five Euro shoot-outs went Under 7 scored, but only six of the 15 in total have, but it's also true that international shoot-out penalties are being scored at a lower percentage since 2000 than they were previously (down from 75.97% to 72.71%), a trend also seen in the Euros (down from 71.64% to 69.81%) but had I been watching and seen that price, I would have jumped on. 

I'm well aware that Pinnacle have far greater analysis tools than I do, and may well have factored in the probable penalty takers and each individual's scoring probability etc., but even if we drill down to that level of detail, given that Poland scored five rather good penalties just five days ago, and that Portugal have a couple of decent players on their team, I'm struggling to see how Under 7 could possibly be favourite.

A few other pointless stats - the fewest penalties taken is 6 (Iran v China, 1988) the fewest scored is 2 (Paraguay v Brazil, 2011) while the most taken is 24 on two occasions (Ivory Coast v Ghana, 1992 and Ivory Coast v Cameroon, 2006) and the most scored was 23 in that latter game.

Across all international tournaments for which I can find the details, the average number scored is 7.71, the median is 7 and the mode is 6.

As for those missing statistics, if you have details of the following penalty shoot-outs, do share:
And on a personal note, it is ten years to the day since I took my (then) little boy to Gelsenkirchen to watch Portugal knock England out of the World Cup on penalties, England scoring one (Owen Hargreaves) out of four on that occasion. Lampard, Gerrard and Carragher all missed, and we had to endure the sight of Ronaldo taking the glory penalty.

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