Analysis: Fortuna and the penalties

This the attempt of an objective analysis of Fortuna’s historic penalty record in the 2011/12 season of Bundesliga 2. Referees pointed towards the spot in favour of Düsseldorf in 52% of their matches so far. We’ll try to put aside the emotional aspect and the ongoing debate regarding the behaviour and attitude of Fortuna’s players and officials, or whether last night’s decision made by the refereeing team was right or wrong. Let’s look at when the penalties were given, the score lines, the home or away factor, the opponents, points gained and side effects.

Penalties v Score Line

11 penalties were awarded to Fortuna, 9 of them resulted in their first goal of the match, 2 in the second. 6 times it was a 1-0 and 3 times a 1-1 equaliser (plus each a 2-0 and a 2-2). None of them were given when they had a 2 goal lead already (or more). As a conclusion all of these penalty goals were quite important ones, setting a trend towards the final outcome of the match.

Home & Away Penalties

4 spot kicks helped Düsseldorf winning games on home turf, only 1 home penalty contributed to a draw (v Eintracht last night). Away from home Fortuna managed 3 wins and 3 draws each when benefitting from a penalty. Especially at home a 1-0 lead is a major advantage for Düsseldorf with the crowds backing them up and the opponent’s respect for their long running home strength.

Wins / Draws / Points

Fortuna won 7 and drew 4 of the 11 games in which they were awarded pen’s. If you consider the spot kicks being decisive in Fortuna drawing matches instead of losing (4 times) and winning games instead of drawing them (7 times) that totals in 18 impressive points they gained from the penalties. If you would deduct these from their current tally of 44 points they would be ranked 9th in the standings behind VfL Bochum.

Good Opponents – Bad Opponents

Interesting enough 11 different teams conceded penalties against Fortuna and all of them were caused by fouls, none of them by handballs. So did all of these 11 teams put on a rustic style in their own box v Düsseldorf, or did they simply defend stupidly, making major defensive mistakes? Or is it to the contrary rather likely that Fortuna do not change their style of attacking and put on similar tactics up front? For example Eintracht had not yet conceded a penalty this season – until last night’s match against Düsseldorf.

Side Effects

Kicker magazine – institutionary in Germany’s football media coverage - does a ranking of goals and assist being added up, winning a penalty is treated as an assist. Maximilian Beister is ranked top of the ranking with 19 points including 11 assists of which 5 came from winning penalties. Without these he would be ranked 10th.

Defender Jens Langeneke scored 9 goals this season, all coming from penalties. Top ranked Nick Proschwitz of Paderborn is currently on 14 goals – only 5 more than Langeneke who would not appear in that ranking at all without penalty goals.

Only VfL Bochum (0) scored less headed goals than Fortuna (2), only 3 Bundesliga 2 teams recorded less crosses than Düsseldorf. Coincidence?


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