Michalis Mitrotasios1, Alliance Kubayi2, Vasilis Armatas1, Paul Larkin3

1National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Athens, Greece
2Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa
3Victoria University, Institute for Health and Sport, Melbourne, Australia

Analysis of Crossing Opportunities at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2022, 11(1), 43-52 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.220305


The purpose of this study was to investigate open-play crosses at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, with spe- cific reference to the mechanism and match status of the crosses. Descriptive statistics (i.e., frequency counts and percentages) and chi-square tests of association were used to analyse the data. The study observed a total of 949 crosses, resulting in 20 goals scored (2.1%). Descriptive statistics highlighted that offensive teams had more goal-scor- ing attempts when they used counter-attacks (18.6%) compared to organized (18.2%) and direct (10.9%) attacks. A greater number of goal-scoring attempts were observed when teams used out-swinging crosses (17.4%) as opposed to in-swinging (15%) and straight (13.5%) crosses. There was a significant (p < 0.05) association between the type of attack and match status. Winning teams preferred to adopt a counter-attacking style of play; losing teams used more direct attacking strategies, and drawing teams utilized more organized attacks. Losing teams took the highest number of crosses from Zones 1 (61.1%) and 2 (56.7%) compared to other zones. These findings provide practical implications for football coaches to tailor match tactics to replicate crossing scenarios at international competitions.


cross outcome, match status, attacking, goal-scoring

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