Comparison of Attacking Plays in Soccer Games between Japanese and Spanish U12 Players

Masao Nakayama, Toshihiro Ogata, Midori Haranaka and Yusuke Tabaei

[Received February 16, 2016; Accepted October 25, 2016] 

This study investigated aspects of attacking plays inside and around the penalty area in soccer games. Notational analysis was employed to compare U12 Japanese and Spanish players. The games were from U12 Junior Soccer World Challenge 2015, of which 14 games from 8 Japanese teams and 10 games from 2 Spanish teams (24 games in total) were analyzed.
The results indicated a significantly higher percentage of penetration (9.1%) into the penalty area (PA) by Spanish teams compared to Japanese teams (4.4%). Spanish teams appeared to penetrate from the side (right: 23.4%, left: 28.6%) and central line (48.0%) of the PA, whereas 75.3% of the penetrations by Japanese were through the central line. In terms of attacking plays prior to PA penetration, the majority of Japanese attacking plays were toward the central line. Compared to the Japanese tendency, Spanish attacking plays seemed to involve a greater amount of dribbling and passing from deep wide area before penetrating the PA. Furthermore, Japanese teams tended to make more shots off target compared to Spanish teams. In order to increase the number of shots on target, it may be beneficial to dribble and maintain possession after PA penetration.

Keywords: notational analysis, attacking plays, Japanese and Spanish U-12

[Football Science Vol.14, 1-7, 2017]