How to Watch Soccer. I.e., When Do They Score?

You’re a busy person, you have work to do. And admit it, you find soccer a little boring to watch. So when should you tune games in?

If you consider the best part of soccer the scoring, as I do, consider that there have now been six games in the World Cup, and a certain pattern of scoring is already emerging.

Of the 13 goals scored so far, a large majority, 8, came in the first half. Now divide the game into four 22.5 minute quarters. Of the 8 first-half goals, a majority came when the players were freshest, in the first quarter: 5-3. Make that the first 24 minutes, and the imbalance is 7-1. As for the second half, the scoring has almost all been in the “fourth quarter”: 4-1.

Which is to say, the scoring tends to come earlyish, or late. Lesson? Watch the first 25 minutes and the last 20. At all costs, avoid the dead middle of the game.