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K League Stats

If you checked out Naver Sports today, you may have seen this article which is from the K League and is part of their "K League D.N.A." series. The "D.N.A." standing for "Data aNd Analysis", and simply put is the league releasing some of the stats they do not normally release publicly. Things like tackles, passes, saves, and so on. Below I've made screenshots of the graphics and just released simple translations for what they show.

Note: All screenshots are from graphics from the article originally titled "[K리그 D.N.A.] 데이터로 분석한 스플릿 A,B그룹 분석(下)". All data is courtesy of the K League.

The first graphic is simple. It shows the home winning percentage on the left and away win percentage on the right.

Home win percentage
1. Jeonbuk - 82.4
2. Seoul - 64.7
T3. Suwon/Seongnam - 62.5
5. Jeonnam 61.8
6. Jeju - 59.4

Away win percentage
T1. Suwon/Pohang - 67.6
3. Jeonbuk - 59.4
4. Seongnam - 58.8
5. Seoul - 53.1
6.  Gwangju - 47.1

Jae's thoughts
Jeonbuk's impressive home winning percentage is likely the difference between them and Suwon down in second. Slightly surprising is bottom half teams Jeonnam in 5th in the home win side, and Gwangju in 6th on the away win side. Otherwise as one would expect, most of the teams are top half clubs.

The second graphic shows goals scored by half. The left side is goals scored in the first half, the right side is goals scored in the second half.

Goals scored (first half)
1. Suwon 23
2. Jeju 22
3. Jeonnam 20
4. Ulsan 19
T5. Pohang/Seoul/Gwangju - 17

Goals scored (second half)
1. Jeonbuk - 38
2. Suwon - 30
3. Jeju - 29
4. Seoul - 27
5. Pohang - 26
6. Seongnam - 24

Jae's thoughts
Again a couple surprises. The thing that jumped out to me first was that Jeonbuk does not appear in the top seven sides in goals scored in the first half. Also, two bottom half sides, Ulsan and Gwangju, have scored more first half goals than Jeonbuk have thus far. The other small surprise is how high Jeju ranks in both categories. The islanders are second in goals scored in the first half (22) and third in the second half (29). It's also notable how many more goals are scored in the second half than the first. Suwon tops the first half goals scored with 23, that wouldn't crack the top six in goals scored in the second half as Seongnam is currently sixth with 24 scored.

The next graphic is a continuation of the previous one. This one shows goals scored from the 76' to the end of the match (left) and goals scored in added time (right).

Goals scored from 76' to end of match
1. Jeonbuk - 17
2. Seoul - 14
T3. Pohang/Seongnam - 13
T5. Jeonnam/Ulsan - 9

Goals scored in added time
1. Suwon - 4
T2. Jeonbuk/Ulsan - 3
T4. Pohang/Seoul - 2

Jae's thoughts
Nothing really jumps out on this one. Although I'd wish they shown the same for goals conceded. I've written quite about about Busan's struggles with conceded goals late, and am curious how other teams have fared in the same time period.

This chart is quite interesting (IMO). It shows the win percentage of teams when they score the first goal (left), and the win percentage of teams when they concede the first goal. Basically, who holds onto leads and who comes back from being down.

Win percentage when scoring the first goal
1. Seongnam - 96.2
2. Seoul - 90.0
T3. Jeonbuk/Pohang - 88.2
5. Incheon 87.5
6. Suwon 83.3

Win percentage when conceding the first goal
1. Jeonbuk - 53.6
2. Seongnam - 34.4
3. Suwon - 30.0
4. Seoul - 28.6
5. Jeonnam - 26.9
6. Ulsan - 26.7

Jae's thoughts
The first thing that struck me about this graphic is how high the win percentage is when teams score the first goal. Basically if you're playing Seongnam, Seoul, Jeonbuk, Pohang, or Incheon and they score first you're going to lose. 9 out of 10 times if those five sides score first they win. If you're a betting man (or woman) may be useful to know. The other thing is how relatively low the "comeback percent" is other than Jeonbuk. It would seem to reinforce the idea that K League teams are relatively defensive in nature.

Up next is passing statistics. On the left is average pass attempts per game, and on the right is the average percent completed passes.

Average attempted passes per game
1. Seoul - 541.7
2. Daejeon - 469.8
3. Seongnam - 462.7
4. Jeonbuk - 457.2
5. Pohang - 457.0
6. Jeju - 454.6

Average percent completed passes per game
1. Seoul - 77.6
2. Daejeon - 76.5
3. Incheon - 73.7
4. Jeju - 73.0
5. Suwon - 72.7
6. Seongnam - 72.6

Jae's thoughts
First off, I'm a bit skeptical about the number of pass attempts. Seoul averaging 541.7 passes a game is like Barcelona level passing. So there's either some odd counting of pass attempts or there's a lot of backpassing going on. Also, surprised to see Daejeon up there in second in both pass attempts per game as well as percent completed passes per game.

A continuation of the previous graphic. This one shows forward pass attempts per game (left) and percent successful forward passes per game (right).

Forward pass attempts per game
1. Seoul - 190.3
2. Gwangju - 180.2
3. Seongnam - 179.4
4. Jeju - 178.2
5. Pohang - 177.7
6. Jeonbuk - 175.5

Percent successful forward pass attempts per game
1. Seoul - 59.5
2. Daejeon - 57.0
3. Jeju - 56.4
4. Jeonbuk - 55.4
5. Incheon 54.8
6. Seongnam - 54.6

Jae's thoughts
I can't claim to have watched either Daejeon or Gwangju a whole lot this season, but one could make a general guess about their playing style based on these stats. Daejeon is second in pass attempts overall, but does not appear in top six for forward pass attempts. That would suggest they play a lot of short backpasses around the defense and then just hoof it long when they actually try to attack. Gwangju is flipped around. They are second in forward pass attempts, but don't appear in the top six in overall pass attempts. Which would indicate a more aggressive side that tries to go forward quickly and is generally more direct.

The final passing statistic related to the attacking third. They are attacking third pass attempts (left) and successful attacking third passes (right).

Attacking third pass attempts
1. Jeonbuk - 114.5
2. Pohang - 106.7
3. Seoul - 105.4
4. Gwangju - 102.1
5. Ulsan - 96.0
6. Jeju - 93.7

Successful attacking third pass attempts
1. Seoul - 69.1
2. Daejeon - 67.3
3. Pohang - 67.0
4. Seongnam - 66.3
5. Jeju - 65.6
6. Suwon - 64.8

Jae's thoughts
Not much to add. Similar cast of characters from the other passing statistics.

The next statistics are average number of shots per game (left) and average goals scored per game (right)

Average shots per game
1. Jeonbuk - 13.6
2. Jeju - 12.1
3. Suwon - 11.8
4. Pohang - 11.4
5. Jeonnam - 11.2
6. Seoul - 10.5

Average goals scored per game
1. Jeonbuk - 1.64
2. Suwon - 1.61
3. Jeju - 1.55
4. Seoul - 1.33
5. Pohang - 1.30
6. Ulsan - 1.27

Jae's thoughts
Probably one of the more 'expected' categories. The teams you'd expect to take a lot of shots do, and the ones that score more goals are the ones you'd expect as well. The average goals per game is a tad on the low side, but not unexpected.

The next categories are average number of dribble attempts (left) and successful dribbles per game (right).

Dribbles attempted per game
1. Pohang - 10.4
2. Jeonnam - 10.1
3. Jeju - 8.9
T4. Gwangju/Suwon - 7.9
6. Jeonbuk - 7.9

Successful dribbles per game
1. Ulsan - 54.8
2. Pohang - 53.4
3. Jeju - 53.1
4. Incheon - 52.0
5. Suwon - 50.6
6. Busan - 50.0

Jae's thoughts
Again, nothing to surprising. When you consider the players that Pohang and Jeonnam have, you'd expect them to attempt many dribbles per game.

The final categories are defensive ones. The left side shows number of interceptions and the right side shows the percent of shots saved by the goalkeeper.

1. Jeonbuk - 2.3
2. Gwangju - 1.9
T3. Daejeon/Jeonnam - 1.8
T5. Ulsan/Suwon/Jeju - 1.7

Shots saved by goalkeeper
1. Seongnam - 77.69
2. Jeonbuk - 75.86
3. Incheon - 75.63
4. Ulsan - 72.92
5. Pohang - 72.55
6. Suwon - 70.25

Jae' s thoughts
The final group and the lone defensive ones. I'm not sure what they consider an interception, but the numbers seem quite low. As for the goalkeeper, Seongnam is a slight surprise at the top, and @kleague_kilt (a Seongnam fan) has expressed his doubts about the Seongnam number for what it's worth.


  1. That is really interesting. I might try and do something about Seoul and the numbers you put out. Are there going to be anymore articles like that?

  2. The D.N.A. series is a weekly(ish) column the K League has been releasing on Naver Sports. Sometimes it's interesting and new stats, sometimes they're the more common stats that you can already find. I imagine there will be a few more articles released until the end of the season.


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