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Top Assister Womens World Cup 2019

March 15th, 2021

As an alternative update to the the first challenge were the Mens World Cup 2018 data was looked at, this time it’s a view of the Womens World Cup 2019.

Again I’m going to look at players that assist a goal and at a glance there was one clear player with the most goal assists at this World Cup 2019, that’s Sherida Spitse from the Netherlands, according to Wikipedia, when I head to another site there is a 2 player tie, both with 4 assists so I’m off again to see what the data highlights.

There’s a fantastic FIFA Technical Report on the Womens World Cup 2019, and while there’s fine details on loads of aspects of the games , the one thing it doesn’t cover is a easy table to see the player with the most assists.

So back to the code base, and using the same code base from the previous challenge the top three that popped out were:

  1. Megan Rapinoe (USA) : 21
  2. Amel Majri (France) : 17
  3. Sherida Spitse (Netherlands) : 16

What actions did they perform

Megan Rapinoe was top of the class with 21 passes that lead to a shot on goal.

Figure 1: Megan Rapinoe passes that assisted a shot on goal

So not only was Rapinoe the Golden Boot winner with six goals, tying with Alex Morgan (6 goals) and Ellen White (6 goals), she also had three assists in the tournament, also tied with Morgan (3 assists), and finally captured the Golden Boot for top scorer on the second tiebreaker, doing it with fewer minutes played than Morgan. Her six goals and three assists also saw her win the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament.

Figure 2: Expected goals from Megan Rapinoe passes

Clearly Rapinoe was involved in so much of the attacking actions of the USA team, and deserved the accolades it is only lightly worth noting that a number of Rapinoes actions were from set plays (corners and the like).

But this specific write up as about the top assistor, and the next player to look at in the category is Amel Majri of France.

Figure 3: Expected goals from Amel Majri passes

Majri was a left back in the French squad, but wore the number 10 shirt and certainly represented the creative flare of that shirt with 17 passes that lead to a shot on goal. It is also quite noticeable that Majri was very consistent as to where a ball into the box would be placed, a dream for the attacking 3 of France to predict.

However the award for top assistor in the Woman’s World Cup 2019 rightly goes to Sherida Spitse of the Netherlands, with 16 passes that lead to a shot on goal, of which 4 were goals.

Figure 4: Expected goals from Sherida Spitse passes

Spitse played as a right sided defensive (pivot) midfield player for the Netherlands, and here are video clips of all of Spitse assists. This first one is from a special tactic camera.
Of note there are a number of the Womens World Cup matches covered by tactic cameras.

Spitse (Netherlands) assist for a goal in the match Netherlands vs. Canada – Thursday June 20, 2019

Spitse (Netherlands) assist for a goal in the match Netherlands vs. Japan – Tuesday June 25, 2019

First assist for Spitse (Netherlands) in the match Italy vs. Netherlands – Saturday June 29, 2019

Second assist for Spitse (Netherlands) in the match Italy vs. Netherlands – Saturday June 29, 2019

FWWC 2019 – Set-piece specialist World Cup 2019 Sherida Spitse