World Cup 2014 panel

Round 2 of the World Cup – the halfway mark

We are halfway through the 2014 World Cup, and the surprise team of the tournament has been Costa Rica. They were one of the first teams to qualify for the knockout stages after victories over Uruguay and Italy.

Giancarlo Gonzalez and Christian Gamboa of Costa Rica celebrate after winning their group D preliminary round match against Italy. EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

They will qualify from Group D – a group in which the three other teams have won a combined total of seven World Cups.

Two teams predicted to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament will not be there.

Spain and England have lost all their games to date. Another team predicted to make the knockout stages, Portugal, secured a draw with the US at the very end of their game in Round 2 to retain their hopes of progressing.

Portugal snuck in last minute equaliser against the US. EPA/Jose Sena Goulao

Australia’s defeat against the Netherlands confirmed the team’s departure from the World Cup despite Tim Cahill scoring one of the most memorable goals of the tournament.

Tim Cahill with a stellar volley.

Some 45 of the 94 goals scored in tournament were scored in Round 2, with 28 of these scored in the second half of the games.

One of the key indicators in many of the predictions for the World Cup was the World Football Elo Ratings.

This is how teams have fared against their Elo Ratings when it has come to goal scoring:

  • some 13 higher Elo Ratings teams have scored first and won
  • two higher Elo Ratings teams scored first and lost
  • two higher Elo Ratings teams scored first and drew
  • three higher Elo Ratings teams have drawn 0-0 with lower Ratings teams
  • six lower Elo Ratings teams scored the first goal of the game and won
  • one lower Elo Ratings team scored the first goal of the game and drew
  • five lower Elo Ratings teams have scored the first goal of the game and lost.

Despite the variation in performance of higher Elo Ratings teams, 24 of the higher rated teams have not lost and there have been eight wins by lower rated teams.

The Conversation is a non-profit + your donation is tax deductible. Help knowledge-based, ethical journalism today.