Iran News ...


6/27/06

Iran, the Best of the Worst

By Afshin Ganjoo

Iranian fans waited 8 years to see their Team Melli in the World Cup. Team Melli answered their long wait with an early exit. While many have concentrated on this disappointing performance, Iran was not the only disappointment in this world edition of the beautiful game. In fact, Iran was the best of the worst.

The worst teams of the 2006 World Cup ended up at the end of their groups. Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Serbia & Montenegro, Iran, United States, Japan, Togo, and Saudi Arabia makeup the worst teams of the tournament. 

The headlines show that of the eight teams, Serbia & Montenegro with no points and a goal difference of -8 was the worst of the bunch. Iran, United States and Trinidad & Tobago all had 1 point and a goal difference of -4. Iran and United States scored 2 goals while Trinidad & Tobago was kept scoreless. And one of United States two goals was an own goal by Italy's Zaccardo. So Iran can be crowned as the best of the bunch based on the headlines. But behind the headlines, we can find more evidence supporting this conclusion.
 

 

Group

P

GF

GA

Rank

Average Competitors Rank

Shots

Shot on Goal

Shot Accuracy

Average Possession Percentage

Costa Rica

A

0

3

9

26

29

28

11

39%

45%

Trinidad & Tobago

B

1

0

4

47

20

22

7

32%

42%

Serbia & Montenegro

C

0

2

10

44

15

21

8

38%

38%

Iran

D

1

2

6

23

23

30

19

63%

41%

United States

E

1

2

6

5

21

21

4

19%

51%

Japan

F

1

2

7

18

22

27

10

37%

48%

Togo

G

0

1

6

61

24

27

12

44%

43%

Saudi Arabia

H

1

2

7

34

24

26

9

35%

47%

 

The number of shots attempted by the gang of eight varied from the lowest of 21 by United States and Serbia & Montenegro to 30 by Iran. Iran also led with 19 shots on goal, by far the best. United States only managed 4 shots on goal which is by far the worst. The other six managed between 7 to 12 shots on goal each. When calculating the shot accuracy, we find that Iran had the highest shot accuracy of %63. United States had the lowest shot accuracy of %19. The others varied from %32 to %44 in shot accuracy. Based on these statistics, Iran was not far from many teams who qualified for the next round, including Mexico with 34 shots, 18 shots on goal and %53 shot accuracy. 

On average ball possession per game, the percentage varied from the lowest of %38 by Serbia & Montenegro to the highest of %51 by the United States. Iran had the second lowest ball possession of %41. Considering how little Iran had the ball, it is amazing that they managed as many shots as they did. Iran's competitors Mexico, Portugal and Angola managed 40 shots on Iran and 22 shots on goal. 

A review of FIFA's ranking of the teams before the start of the World Cup identifies United States as the most disappointing performer of the eight worst teams. Coming into the tournament ranked 5th in the world, the average ranking of its competitors was 21. In fact, United States was the only team in the worst eight that allowed two lower ranked teams in its group to qualify for the next round. Serbia & Montenegro had the toughest average competitor ranking of 15 while Costa Rica had the easiest average competitor ranking of 29. The average competitor ranking of the rest varied from 20 to 24.  

Iran matched the average rank of its competitors and perhaps based on that, it should have done better. But at the end, lack of warm-up matches, injuries to key players and less than average club experience finished them off too early. Iran ended at the last of its group, but among the worst, it proved to be the best.

... Payvand News - 6/27/06 ... --



comments powered by Disqus

Home | ArchiveContact | About |  Web Sites | Bookstore | Persian Calendar | twitter | facebook | RSS Feed


© Copyright 2006 NetNative (All Rights Reserved)