There has been a lot of talk about the hot and humid conditions at this World Cup in Brazil.
Players have been cramping up in most every game, some have needed to change their shirts in the middle of the action, and we even saw a water break during a match.
However, in reality there have been just 26 of 117 goals scored in the 80th minute or later at the 2014 World Cup entering Wednesday’s games. And this 22 percent proportion is actually similar to previous World Cups.
Have a look at the numbers below (goals scored in extratime have been removed).
|YEAR||GOALS||GOALS 80TH MINUTE OR LATER||PROPORTION|
Two of these 26 late goals were scored against the United States (tied for most at the World Cup with four other teams -- Australia, Japan, Croatia and France): one by Ghana's Andre Ayew and the other by Portuguese winger Silvestre Varela. This has been the continuation of a worrying trend for the US as they also conceded in the 80th minute or later in their last two friendlies before leaving for Brazil.
Is it just coincidence? Or perhaps tiring legs come into play?
If it is related to fitness, then Thursday's match against Germany will present concerns. First, the USA are coming off a match played in Manaus and the four teams which have played there previously have lost their next match. And then there's the minor detail of having one less day of rest compared to the Germans.
Ghana's late goal was cancelled out by John Brooks and the 95th-minute goal conceded to Portugal was a heartbreaker. But if the trend continues against Germany, it could cost the Americans a ticket to the Round of 16.