One Hot Minute: Confederations Cup final
One Hot Minute: Confederations Cup final

One Hot Minute: Confederations Cup final

This week’s €100,000 One Hot Minute match is the Confederations Cup final but with the tournament being a relatively new innovation in international football, we have cast the net wider to look for goalscoring patterns to assist with this week’s predictions.

Sunday’s showdown in St Petersburg will be only the 10th final in the tournament’s history so we have analysed the opening goals scored in every final in the history of the competitions that count as qualifiers for the Confederations Cup – namely the World Cup and each continent’s main international competition.

It turns out that early goals are unusually common in major international finals, so an early guess could well pay off. Over a third of the opening goals in the matches we looked at were netted inside the first quarter of an hour, so it’s reasonable to expect a fast start on Sunday.

The most recent final back in 2013 was typical of this, with Fred opening the scoring for Brazil after only two minutes, and the two previous tournaments also saw a team leading inside the first 15 minutes of the final.

If you suspect that this year’s Confederations Cup final may prove to be a cagier affair – or a more even match-up – than usual, then a later hotspot for opening goals is between the 36th and 40th minute, which has seen a similar tally to the first three five-minute periods.

Even though there has only been one Confederations Cup final that was 0-0 at half time – France’s 2003 win over Cameroon – the recent trend of low-scoring finals means the possibility can’t be discounted.

In the second halves of history’s major international finals, breaking the deadlock just before the hour mark is relatively common, with only four opening goals arriving in the final quarter of an hour.

Data correct as at June 27, 2016

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