Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confederations Cup Round 1: The Statistics Review

The Confederations Cup 2009 got underway this week and what a week it has been! Round 1 has concluded with all teams having played their first matches.

In total, 16 goals have been scored in the opening round, an average of four per game, have ensured a spectacular start to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. This free-scoring opening to the tournament mirrors exactly the start to the 2005 edition, which bodes well given that Germany witnessed the highest-scoring 'Festival of Champions' in history, with an overall average of 3.5 goals per game.

Fortunately, the quality has more than matched the quantity, with the likes of Fernando Torres, Mohamed Shawky and Giuseppe Rossi providing early contenders for goal of the tournament.

Spain's super striker, Fernando Torres created tournament history by scoring the quickest hattrick against New Zealand. It took Torres 11 minutes to complete his hattrick owing to world-class finishing and excellent work from arguably the best Spanish team in history.

American players are known for their athleticism and fitness. So it is no surprise that US defensive midfielder, Michael Bradley has worked the hardest for his team. Bradley covered the most ground (12.1km) out of all players. In fact, three US players, Bradley, Donovan and Dempsey are in the top four of the "Distance Covered" category. In the opening round, Italy was the hardest working team, covering 109.21 km which helped them overturn a one goal deficit and outrun a very determined American team.

Brazil's Dani Alves made it to the top of the pass masters chart, with 90% pass completion rate and 71 attempted passes. Spaniard Cesc Fabregas carried over his late season EPL form into this tournament. He attempted 79 passes, finding a team mate a staggering 89.9% of the time. As if to emphasize just what super ball players they are, Spain has three players, Fabregas, Alonso and Capdevila in the top four of the "Passes" category. As a team, Spain topped this category with 522 passes completed and 83.4% completion rate further giving proof that they are the best passing team in the planet. Egypt came second in this category (79.8%) underlining what a superb team effort it was against Brazil.

Italy were expected to take advantage of their set piece prowess at this tournament. After all, they won the World Cup scoring 58% of their goals from set pieces. Instead against the Americans, they scored two long distance goals and have attempted seven shots on goal from outside the penalty area.

Tim Howard leads the saves category with nine saves, followed by Spain's Casillas and Iraq's Kassid. The most tackles (5) made in the opening round belonged to Bafana Bafana's Siboniso Gaxa, gaining possession in three of these tackles. Gaxa also recovered the ball four times and made four clearances, making him the top defender of the opening round so far.

Finally, with his goal against the Kiwis, David Villa has moved level with Fernando Hierro as Spain's joint-second highest all time scorer. Goalscorer supreme, Raul Gonzalez tops that list with 44 goals.

These statistics are compiled from FIFA.com. Get Ready for Round 2!!

1 comment:

ash said...

Great post!

The first round of matches went better than expected. There were lots of goals and great entertainment on hand for the fans. And no major disasters!

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