How the 108 goals at UEFA EURO 2016 went in
How did they go in?
47: Right foot
37: Left foot
Since naturally left-footed people are reckoned to be only around 12% of the world’s population, these figures attest either to lefties’ ability in front of goal – or to the capacity of modern footballers to be equally effective with both feet. Left-footed goals accounted for just 24.7% of strikes at UEFA EURO 2008 and 17.1% at UEFA EURO 2012. The headed-goals ratio at UEFA EURO 2008 was 19.5%, rising to 28.9% in Poland and Ukraine four years later.
How often did they go in?
Average time of first goal: 41 minutes
Average goals per game: 2.12
The number of goals being scored in the closing minutes of games seemed phenomenally high during the tournament’s early stages, though the quirk settled down as the championship progressed. The most common scoreline in the group phase (before extra time muddied the waters) was 1-0 – ten incidences – with 11 of the 36 matches finishing in draws, Hungary’s 3-3 with Portugal the second highest-scoring fixture of the finals.
Where were they struck from?
Inside five-metre box: 19
Inside penalty area*: 72
Outside penalty area: 17
That relatively few goals were registered from outside the penalty area may be a reflection of the high quality of defending and goalkeeping at UEFA EURO 2016. That so few goals came from inside the five-metre box (traditionally prime territory for rebounds) may also be a nod to the No1s’ handling skills as well as teams’ aptitude for defending effectively in their own areas.
*not including five-metre box
What type of goals were they?
Open play: 96
Direct free-kick: 4
The proportions are perhaps not so surprising; it is very hard to beat top-quality keepers with direct free-kicks, even in the rainy conditions that were common in France. At the last two EUROs, goals from free-kicks – 2.6% in 2008, 1.3% in 2012 – and from penalties – 5.2% in 2008, 3.9% in 2012 – were even rarer.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) July 3, 2016