Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (Sports Science)


School of Medical and Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Fadi Ma’ayah

Second Advisor

Dr Jodie Cochrane-Wilkie

Third Advisor

Dr Craig Harms


Football is the most popular sport in the world, played in over two hundred countries and it is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), who host a World Cup every four year for both men and women. Women’s football is growing in terms of popularity, with this growth in popularity, research into the women’s game has begun to emerge. However, to date there is very little published research in women’s football that describes effective attacking strategies and the creation of goal scoring opportunities (GSO). Video of each match (52) from the Women’s World Cup (Canada 2015) was analysed to assess the factors related to the creation of GSO that lead to success at the World Cup. The results revealed that the middle third of the pitch was the most effective area for gaining possession and creating GSO at Canada 2015 and that the time taken to create a GSO at Canada 2015 was just under twelve seconds. Furthermore, analysis was undertaken of the (24) matches of the Top 4 performing teams at the Men’s World Cup (Brazil 2014) so that the GSO of the Top 4 Men’s teams could be compared to the Top 4 Women’s teams. The results reveal a number of similarities and differences between men and women when it comes to the creation of GSO at international football tournaments. The findings of the study can be used to influence players and coaches to design training sessions and interventions to successfully create GSO in women’s football. The data from the research may influence the tactical and technical set up of women’s international football teams and help to evolve the game in the same way that research into the men’s game has.