thumbnail Hello,

ANALYSIS: Goal Australia sifts through Opta's numbers to determine how the Socceroos' shot-stopper fared compared with the other overworked keepers in Brazil

They might have defied expectations to produce competitive performances at the World Cup, but at least one of Australia's players isn't satisfied with his own efforts.

Mat Ryan went into the tournament on a high after a stellar first season in Belgium, winning a players' goalkeeper of the year award and being linked - albeit tenuously - with Real Madrid.

A hero when it mattered most during his time at the Central Coast Mariners, big things were expected of the 22-year-old after he earned his country's number one shirt ahead of fellow prodigy Mitch Langerak.

Citing a long-range effort from Memphis Depay that he failed to save in Australia's 3-2 loss to the Netherlands, Ryan said, "I felt like I let my country down a little bit."

Although he was offered less than stellar protection from the Socceroos' under-siege backline, it's hard to shake the notion that Plumpton's finest did indeed struggle to live up to his billing as a one-man brick wall.

Unfortunately for the youngster, our largely statistical analysis confirms those suspicions.

Player

Goals Conceded

Saves

Goals Conceded (out box)

Save Percentage (in box)

Shots Faced

Save Percentage

Catches

Clearances (inc. Punches)

Charles Itandje (Cameroon)

9

14

0

43.75

46

60.87

1

2

Mathew Ryan (Australia)

9

8

2

46.15

34

47.06

3

1

Noel Valladares (Honduras)

8

12

1

56.25

47

60

2

3

Eiji Kawashima (Japan)

6

7

0

33.33

43

53.85

2

5

Jung Sung-Ryong (Korea Republic)

5

5

0

28.57

33

50

0

3

Alireza Haghighi (Iran)

4

9

2

75

43

69.23

3

5

Fatau Dauda (Ghana)

4

8

0

50

31

66.67

7

4

Joe Hart (England)

4

1

1

0

21

20

8

2


Of the eight goalkeepers whose team finished bottom of their group, Ryan conceded the joint most goals (nine), equal to Cameroon's Charles Itandje.

Only three players made fewer saves, while Ryan was one of only two keepers, along with Alireza Haghighi, to concede twice from shots taken outside the box. And in the Iran custodian's defence, one of those came from the boot of none other than Lionel Messi.

The Socceroo shot-stopper took three catches, more than four of his peers in our sample group, and managed just one 'clearance' (including punches), but he wasn't exactly facing an aerial onslaught against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain.

As it happens, none of the nine goals Australia conceded were scored with the head, while seven (or 77.7 percent) were scored from inside the box, reinforcing the notion that Ryan was often left little chance after opposition players found themselves able to shoot in dangerous areas, with the odds heavily stacked against the goalkeeper.

Ryan faced 34 shots throughout the three games, with a save percentage of 47.06 in total and 46.15 from efforts inside the area.

His overall save percentage was the second lowest of our eight-man sample group, but his save percentage from shots inside the box was considerably better, fourth overall behind Ghana's Fatau Dauda, Noel Valladares of Honduras and Haghighi.

And given Ryan's inexperience as well as that of his team-mates, the Club Brugge man positively shone compared to England's Joe Hart.



With international tournament experience under his belt from Euro 2012 and fresh from a Premier League title-winning season with Manchester City, England's keeper is playing at the highest level of our sample group.

And the 27-year-old's defence - contrary to public perception - kept him well protected, as he faced just 21 shots in England's three games, the lowest of the eight teams.

As well as being one of only four keepers to concede a goal from outside the box (to Claudio Marchisio against Italy), he found himself dead last in three categories, with just one save made, a save percentage from shots inside the box of zero and an overall save percentage of just 20.

Hart did lead the catching category with eight, suggesting all those years of 'commanding his area' - a goalkeeping quality given wildly disproportionate importance among England's ex-pro pundits - served him well as the Three Lions bowed out of Brazil 2014 in record time.

So cheer up Maty Ryan. Because whenever an Aussie struggles at a sport anywhere in the world, you can bet there's a Pom doing even worse.

Related

From the web