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Stats: Set Pieces

(from SPOTV via youtube.com)
On Wednesday, I looked at how scoring for the league has gone up 20%.  On Thursday, I looked at what each team in the K-League Classic averages for possession.  On Friday, I looked at how much each team shoots, how many they put on target, and how accurate they are overall.  Today, I am interested in how well teams do with set pieces.


Corner Kicks

K-League Classic: Corner Kicks
Team
Corner Kicks (avg.)
League Position
Ulsan
6.42
4th
Seongnam
5.83
3rd
Jeonbuk Motors
5.27
1st
Sangju Sangmu
4.83
7th
Suwon FC
4.83
10th
Jeonnam Dragons
4.58
11th
FC Seoul
4.27
2nd
Pohang Steeler
4.25
8th
Jeju United
4.09
5th
Suwon Bluewings
4.08
9th
Gwangju FC
4
6th
Incheon United
3.25
12th

At the foot of the table, not surprisingly, is Incheon United.  They only win about three a game, which with the bulk of their striker Kevin and his ability to win aerial duels, seems like an area they would want to focus more on.  At over six a game, Ulsan are averaging the most corners this year.  However, I think much of this can come down to two games.  In week nine, Ulsan lost to Seongnam but won 10 corners.  The next week Ulsan drew against Pohang, but won 15 corners.  Ulsan have been given 77 corners, so in just those two games, they took a almost a third of all their corners this year.  Interestingly enough, they did not score at all from corners in those games (or at all), which brings me to my next point.

I am not sure how it is in other leagues, but it feels as though not many goals are being scored from corner kicks this year.  Tallying all 194 goals, only 15 came from corner kicks, which amounts to about 8%.  Considering the height of players in the league and how shaky many keepers are when it comes to patrolling their area for set pieces, I figured that number would be higher.  Here is a table of the number of corners each team has taken, how many they have scored from, and their rate of success.

K-League Classic: Corner Kicks

Team
Total Corners
Goals from Corners
Rate of Success (%)
Seongnam
70
4
6%
Jeonbuk
58
3
5%
Jeju
45
2
4%
Incheon
39
1
3%
Sangju
58
2
3%
Gwangju
44
1
2%
FC Seoul
47
1
2%
Suwon Bluewings
49
1
2%
Pohang
51
0
0%
Jeonnam
55
0
0%
Suwon FC
58
0
0%
Ulsan
77
0
0%
Total
651
15
2%

Looking at the rate of success of teams scoring from corners changes the make-up of the table.  At the top is Seongnam, who have scored 4 goals this year.  Two of those were on direct kicks from Tiago (against Suwon FC and Sangju Sangmu), which is pretty amazing I think.  To catch one keeper off of his line is great, but two, I never thought would happen.

I guess the success rate scoring from corners is probably similar to that of heading a cross into the net.  I read something that said goals from crosses only amounted to 10%, so that it was not a great tactic to utilize.  Maybe the same is true of set pieces since there are so many bodies in the box, but I feel as though this is an area that teams can improve upon, especially since keepers in the K-League can become flappers at the first instance of dangers.

Free Kicks, Fouls, and Offside

K-League Classic: Free Kicks, Fouls, and Offside
Rank
Team
Free Kicks (avg.)
Fouls (avg.)
Offside (avg.)
1
Gwangju FC
18.91
17.71
1.18
2
Jeonbuk Motors
17.09
15.45
1.64
3
Jeonnam Dragons
16.92
15.42
1.5
4
Ulsan
15.92
13.42
2.5
5
Suwon FC
15.83
14
1.83
6
Incheon United
15.67
14.42
1.25
7
Suwon Bluewings
15.08
12.83
2.25
8
Seongnam
14.17
12.33
1.83
9
FC Seoul
14.09
11.73
2.33
10
Jeju United
14.09
11.36
2.73
11
Pohang Steeler
13.67
12.33
1.33
12
Sangju Sangmu
13
10.67
2.33
Surprisingly, Gwangju FC are the most fouled side, so they average the most free kicks.  Ulsan, seem to be the best defense at playing the offside trap.  Just as with corner kicks though, I am interested in seeing what the conversion rate is for free kicks.  

K-League Classic: Free Kicks
Team
Total Free Kicks
Goals from Free Kicks
Rate of Success (%)
FC Seoul
155
4
3%
Jeju
155
4
3%
Sangju Sangmu
156
4
3%
Pohang
164
2
1%
Seongnam
170
1
1%
Suwon Bluewings
181
1
1%
Jeonbuk
188
1
1%
Incheon Utd.
188
1
1%
Suwon FC
190
1
1%
Ulsan
191
2
1%
Jeonam
203
1
(less than) 1%
Gwangju
208
0
0%
Total
1738
17
1%
As with corner kicks, when we look at the success rate of teams, the places in the table change.  Going from first to last is Gwangju FC, who have not scored from a free kick at all.  Maybe that is why so many teams foul Gwangju players, since it seems unlikely that they will score from outside the box.  Going to the top are FC Seoul, Jeju United, and Sangju Sangmu who each have four goals. 

FC Seoul, who lost Molina in the summer, have done fairly well without their  primary deliverer of set pieces.  Shin Jin-ho, Dejan, and Osmar have all scored from free kicks this year and Adriano hit one against Daegu FC in the FA Cup.  This variance in personnel who take the free kicks makes the team unpredictable and maybe that is why they have had the most success in the K-League this year.  

Jeju, on the other hand, have four goals but none of them have come directly from kicks.  Instead, players in the box either get a head or foot on the ball and that makes sense considering how much height the team has.  I feel as though Jeju's height is what makes them such a dangerous team to play against.  

Finally, it seems as though teams do even worse on free kicks than they do on corner kicks.  Of the total goals scored this year, 9% have come from free kicks, but the conversion rate is a very anemic 1%.  

Penalty Kicks

K-League Classic: Penalty Kicks Scored
Team
Penalty Kicks Scored
Gwangju
3
FC Seoul
3
Sangju
3
Incheon Utd.
2
Jeonbuk
1
Seongnam
1
Ulsan
1
Jeju
1
Pohang
1
Suwon FC
1
Jeonam
0
Suwon Bluewings
0

As mentioned prior, Gwangju FC is the team that wins the most fouls, so it is no surprise to see they are the top in penalty kicks converted.  FC Seoul, who are quite low in getting fouls called by referees, have won more penalties than a lot of other teams.  This chart is only for penalty kicks made however, not awarded.  

In conclusion, the conversion rate for set pieces in the K-League is quite low.  Scoring is up, but that must mean a lot of goals are coming from open play, which indicates that teams are attacking better.  Hopefully that trend will continue.

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