Fifa Women's World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

The Fifa Women’s World Cup is coming to a close and the race for the golden boot is tight, with the top 3 all still involved in the tournament (Table 1).

Player NameTeam NameGoalsShotsxG
Alex MorganUnited States6202.19
Ellen WhiteEngland6183.59
Megan RapinoeUnited States6133.95
Samantha KerrAustralia5204.49
Cristiane Rozeira de Souza SilvaBrazil490.72
Wendie RenardFrance461.15
Aurora GalliItaly341.00
Carli LloydUnited States3172.41
Cristiana GirelliItaly371.22
Jennifer Hermoso FuentesSpain3172.02
a Table 1: Goal Scoring Summary

The top 3 are above the curve in terms of goals to shots, with both Rapinoe and White also top 3 in xG, behind Sam Kerr of Australia. While, Carli Lloyd has pushed hard, putting up 16 shots and scoring 3 times in limited minutes than she would have hoped this tournament. I’m sure she would love to prove her doubters wrong and recapture some of the form she showed in 2015.

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Alex Morgan, Ellen White and Megan Rapinoe all still have matches to play, and the opportunity to take home the golden boot. So let’s dive in a little to see how the players have scored their goals throughout the tournament. First of all, let’s plot their goals and see where they are scoring from.

We can see that many of the goals these players have scored are in the box, in front of the goal, with the exception of the goal by Rapinoe on the right hand side of the box. Whilst, Rapinoe has also taken less shots than the other two, with the goals she has scored coming from high xG scenarios. On the other hand, for her 6 goals, Morgan only has an xG of 1.75, with most of her goals coming from difficult shots. It should also be noted that she scored 5 of her goals against Thailand in the opening match, with her only other goal coming against England in the Semi Final. White has probably been the most consitant scorer of the top 3, with 6 goals and an xG of 3.27 so far this tournament.

Alex Morgan

Overall, Alex Morgan has played senior football since 2010, and scored 107 goals for her country. Before this tournament, she had only scored 3 goals in WWC competition, with 2015 hampered by an injury close to the tournament meaning she didn’t feature until the final group stage match. This tournament, she has doubled that already but will need to find a way to be on the end of better scoring opportunities. Let’s look at her shots from the tournament so far.

Aside from the first match against Thailand, she has only managed two shots at most. For a goal scorer, this is just not enough and for her to take home the Golden Boot she will need to improve this aspect of her game. At the moment, 6 goals is nothing to be ashamed of, but she would have hoped for more.

Megan Rapinoe

Rapinoe has been a mainstay for the US Women’s National team since 2006, having played 157 matches and scoring 49 times. As with Morgan, this has been her best scoring return at a WWC, have scored 1 and 2 goals in the previous two tournaments.

As with Morgan, hasn’t had many shots across the tournament outside of one match. Two of her goals have come from the penalty spot, with a high xG, whilst her remaining shots have been from difficult positions, close to or outside of the box. She has probably outperformed expectations at this tournament so far and is an outside shot at the Golden Boot.

Ellen White

White has played 87 times for her country scoring 35 times since 2010. In her last appearance at a WWC in 2015, she didn’t manage to score a goal, but has so far been instrumental in her countries performance in France.

White has managed to score in each of her 5 matches this tournament. Some would argue she should have taken the penalty in the semi-final loss given her record in the tournament so far. So far, White has been one of the most potent strikers in the WWC and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her score again in the 3rd place playoff against Sweden.

Conclusion

I think it will be hard for anyone to beat Ellen White in the race for the Golden boot. She has shown her scoring ability this tournament having hit the back of the net in each of her matches so far. Morgan and Rapinoe will have to find a way to be in better scoring positions against a tough Netherlands defence in the final, but they are both big game players and it wouldn’t be a surprise for one of them to score.

Thanks again to StatsBomb for the free data!

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