Skip to content

History says Confederations Cup third-place match could produce goals

Jun 29, 2013, 8:40 AM EDT

Will Neymar lead Brazil to a fantastic start as the home nation? Getty Images

Third-place matches are a bit like having the cake and ice cream office party for the departing worker at 3 in the afternoon. It’s a “party” in the technical sense – hence the cake and ice cream, or perhaps some of those delicious high-end cupcakes that were de riguer for so long, but it falls well-short of a full-fledged, rip-snortin’ good time kinda thing.

So we have the third-place Confederations Cup match to contemplate, Italy vs. Uruguay.

No, I don’t expect people to bust out the seven-layer dip and gather the neighbors for Sunday’s contest. But do know this about third-place matches in these FIFA competitions:

They do tend to produce goals. So we have that, at least.

The last four third place matches in the Confederations Cup (2005 and 2009) or the World Cup (2006 and 2010) have combined to average 5.25 goals.

It’s really not so hard to understand. The pressure is off, so teams discover a lesser regard for caution. They can play a little more loosey-goosey.

It wasn’t exactly that way four years ago at the Confeds Cup in South Africa, although a drab match did turn exciting near the end as Spain and the hosts combined for five goals.

Four years prior, Germany prevailed over Mexico in a 4-3 extra time thriller.

Germany also scored liberally in a 3-2 third-place win over Uruguay in Port Elizabeth at World Cup 2010. And Germany was also third-place proceeding in 2006, downing Portugal 3-1.

By the way, if you know a guy who knows a guy, or if you just want to bet a six pack with your neighbor, I’ve always noticed that third-place matches tend to be about “give a care.” That is, look for the team that probably cares about finishing third (usually the lesser accomplished nation) over the team certainly disappointed not to be in the final.

Latest Posts
  1. Watch Live: Everton vs. Chelsea (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

    tim_howard Getty Images

    Watch Everton and Chelsea clash, right here.

  2. Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland: Austin helps QPR get three points

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Premier League Getty Images

    One goal does not an exciting game make, but Harry Redknapp will be content to snare his first three points of the year.

  3. Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City: Diouf’s dribble springs upset

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mame Biram Diouf’s dazzling run through Man City was the moment, but Stoke won the match with defense.

  4. Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion: Dyer’s double sends Swans top

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Swansea flying after third-straight win to start the season.

  5. Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace: Zaha hands Warnock dream comeback

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

    Remember the name Rolando Aarons, as the 18-year-old Jamaican-born Englishman starred in leading Newcastle back.

  6. West Ham United 1-3 Southampton: Stylish Saints bag first win of the season

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Schneiderlin double hands Saints their first win of the PL season.

  7. LIVE – Half time update: QPR, Swansea ahead, Stoke holding Man City

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

    All the action from a frantic first half. Watch the 2nd half live, right here.

  8. West Ham officially adds Alex Song on loan from Barcelona

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    ?????

    The long-time Arsenal midfielder is returning to both London and the Premier League.

  9. Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Sloppy Utd overshadows Di Maria debut

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    The Premier League got its first taste of what Di Maria can do when he served an absolutely gorgeous 50-yd ball to a streaking van Persie.

  10. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans win three on the spin to the start the season? Watch their game against West Brom live, right here.

  11. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers' Park challenges Sunderland's Larsson during their English Premier League soccer match in London Reuters

    Jozy Altidore is on the bench for Sunderland, but the bigger striker news is that Chelsea target Loic Remy is not on the bench for QPR.

  12. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Newcastle left it til late, but finally found a winner courtesy of Papiss Cisse. Getty Images

    The newest England call-up and ‘Ginger Pirlo’ Jack Colback will join a dangerous NUFC unit that sees Remy Cabella, Moussa Sissoko and Siem de Jong in the mix.

  13. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Southampton (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Can Saints grab their first win the season away from home against West Ham? Watch live, here.

  14. Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Stoke City (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Bacary Sagna makes the lineup for City, who will start Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic up top.

  15. Report: Loic Remy heading from QPR to Chelsea in $13 million move

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Hull City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mourinho will remember Remy’s Man of the Match performance for Newcastle United in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at St. James Park last season.

  16. Report: US, Bayern Munich starlet Julian Green to join Hamburg on loan

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

    Brazil Soccer WCup Belgium US AP

    According to reports in Germany, Green, 19, heading to Hamburg for the 2014-15 season.

  17. Report: Ajax accepts $23 mil Daley Blind bid from Manchester United

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:20 AM EDT

    Netherlands' Daley Blind, center, celebrates with Bruno Martins Indi, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) AP

    Don’t mind Louis van Gaal: he’s just setting Manchester United up to immediately contend.

  18. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Manchester United (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:07 AM EDT

    10633046555_cbefbc577e_z

    It’ll be a big day at Turf Moor regardless of result, as it’ll mark Louis van Gaal’s first Premier League win or Burnley’s first PL point.

  19. WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 3

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    LE_WEB_BANNER_40px_RGB_POS

    How and where to watch every single PL game live online or via the app.

Featured video

Breaking down Di Maria, Balotelli deals