The purpose of this study was to analyze the timing of goals scored in various soccer leagues around Europe and South America, as well as Federation of International Football Associations’ (FIFA) World Cup, Confederation Cup, Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Champions League and EURO 2012 matches to derive the latest trends with the hope of improving team preparation for matches and game management by coaches. The study derived data from http://www.soccerstats.com and www.fifa.com data bases. The analysis centered on the big five European leagues including England’s Barclays Premier League, Spain’s la liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s lique one; UEFA’s Champions League and EURO 2012; Argentina, Brazil and Chile from South America; The FIFA world cup tournaments and the confederations’ cup with regard to the timing of goals at 15 minute intervals. Data were analyzed and descriptively presented in form of tables and figure. The results showed that more goals were consistently scored in the second half especially in the last 15 minutes of normal regulation time than any other period of the game. It was concluded that the last 15 minutes of soccer matches is a critical phase of the game hence coaches need to prepare their players and manage the game so as to remain at their peak level throughout a match by enhancing their physical and mental conditioning coupled with timely use of substitutions and game management strategies depending on the score at hand.


This article was originally published in the International Journal of Sports Science.


International Journal of Sports Science

Date of publication

Fall 11-1-2014



Persistent identifier


Document Type


Publisher Citation

Njororai Simiyu, W. W. (2014). Timing of Goals Scored in Selected European and South American Football Leagues, FIFA and UEFA Tournaments and the Critical Phases of a Match. International Journal of Sports Science, 4(6A), 56–64.



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