A Look Back At England’s World Cup Campaign

Underlying Performance

The group stage was a pretty straightforward affair for England. The opening game against Scotland saw England be awarded a fairly soft penalty, while also dropping off slightly in the second half, but they created the better chances and did enough to win.

Against Argentina England created ~2 xG not including the missed penalty, but a good performance by goalkeeper Vanina Correa kept the score down for the South American side. At the other end of the pitch, England only conceded two incredibly low-quality shots, so much so, that on the xG timeline it’s rounded down to 0.

The final game against Japan was dubbed the real test, but, with Japan having some poor numbers in their opening two games and rebuilding their team with some younger talent, it didn’t really feel that way. It was England’s closest game on xG, but Japan’s chances came through a late rally when chasing the game.

Moving into the knock-out round, the 1.1 – 0.7 xG from the Japan game was reproduced, with England being put on the ropes at the start of the second half and almost going down. A trailing leg from Gabrielle Onguene saw a goal ruled out, while youngster Alexandra Takounda missed a huge chance which could have had a big impact on the game.

Before some sloppy defending after being 3-0 to the good, the performance against Norway was probably the best of the tournament. Norway didn’t help themselves with their performance, but England did a great job at stopping Norway advancing the ball to their attackers while being strong in attack – creating ~2 xG not including the penalty.

Against the USA the xG was equal, not including the England penalty. While the conservative style of the US also helps, England only really conceded low-quality chances and mostly in the first half. At the other end of the pitch it was more quality than quantity with the Ellen White goal and penalty, while also having a half decent chance at the start of the second half.

Going off the above numbers, there’s lots of positives for England to take. Even against the best side in the world, they had an even game, while they looked pretty comfortable against strong sides like Japan and Norway.

One thought on “A Look Back At England’s World Cup Campaign

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