Games in the AFC Champions League always seem to kick-off precisely at their scheduled time. A-League games, not so much. Over the course of my data collection, I have varied between recording the scheduled time and a nice ’round’ time 5 or 10 minutes later (e.g. 5:45pm instead of the scheduled 5:35pm) that is probably closer to the true kick-off time.
So you can’t take the kick-off times reported here as consistently meaning the same thing. But they are all in the right ball park.
I have applied a definition for minutes played which does not necessarily represent the exact number of minutes a player was on the field, but prioritises consistency:
- If a player started the match and was not substituted, they are considered to have played 90 minutes (or 120 if it went to extra time).
- A starting player who was substituted (or sent) off in the xth minute is listed as having played (x – 1) full minutes (because, for example, the 61st minute consists of times from 60:01 to 61:00). If the player who replaced them stayed on until the end, they are listed as having played (90 – (x – 1)) minutes.
- A player subbed on in the xth minute and (subbed or sent) off in the yth minute is listed as having played (y – x) minutes.
- This means that for any game without extra time and with no red cards, the total number of minutes played by the entire team will always be 90 x 11 = 990.
I do not have information about the amount of injury time played at the end of either half, so it essentially doesn’t count towards minutes played. Players who are subbed on in injury time at the end of a match are listed as having played 0 minutes, even though they may well have scored a goal during that time. And of course this means it’s possible for a player to have made an appearance for Sydney FC but to be listed as having played 0 minutes.
I also don’t have comprehensive information about times when a player left the field without being replaced (e.g. temporarily for injury, or permanently if all subs had been used), so minutes accumulate for any players who were eligible to be playing, whether they were actually on the field or not.
Most of the time this is pretty straightforward, following the classification used by the competition. Notes:
- Matches in international tournaments played at a single location (e.g. the 2005 Club World Championship, played in Japan) are listed as neutral, even if one team is nominally listed as ‘home’ for the purposes of resolving jersey clashes etc. An exception is if the match venue also happens to be the home ground of one of the teams (e.g. the 2005 Oceania Club Championship was played at the home of AS Pirae).
- One-off matches played as a curtain-raiser for another team’s home game are listed as neutral.
- In describing the introduction of the ‘regional round’ in 2011-12, the A-League specifically noted that it meant that each team had 13 home matches in a 27-round season (as opposed to the usual 13-or-14 imbalance). So, even though it was played in Sydney, Sydney FC’s regional match against Perth Glory is listed as neutral.
- The 2018-19 round 20 match in Campbelltown was designated as a home game for Wellington Phoenix, moved there because the Phoenix couldn’t find a suitable NZ venue.