Monday, June 22, 2009

Confederations Cup Round 3: The Statistics Review

If we thought Round 1 and 2 were great then Round 3 sure threw up a whole lot of surprises and amazing results!

Honestly, if the Confederations Cup were a preview of the World Cup, I can honestly say that I will start counting down the months, days, hours, minutes and seconds to the World Cup 2010! Coupled with the vuvuzela, the atmosphere and fan have been top-class.

In Round 3, a total of eight goals have been scored. To date, 31 goals have been scored, Spain have yet to concede, Brazil players have had 60 shots of which 26 are on target, Tim Howard has made 17 saves and Mohamed Kassid is on course to winning the tournament's Golden Glove award.

It was the first time in 52 years that Italy had conceded three goals in a half and also the second time that a World Cup champion have been dumped out of the Confederations Cup in the group stage.

Spain's triumph over South Africa took them to their 15th consecutive win, breaking the previous world record of 14 set by Brazil, France and Australia. This Spanish team sure is something special. Perhaps as special as Barcelona...

Xavi underlines his credentials as the best midfielder in the world by putting on a masterclass display against South Africa. His 107 passes and 11.3km of tireless running kept Spain ticking over all through that match. However, Michael Bradley continued to lead the workhorse category (12.1km per game). He was in inspirational form for USA, scoring a vital goal and covering a phenomenal 12.7 km in the 3-0 win over Egypt.

After out-passing both Brazil and Italy with success rates of 88% and 82.7% respectively, the accuracy of Egypt's distribution dropped dramatically to 73% as they crashed out unbelievably to the USA. Spain's passing is still awesome, 82.6% - miles better than any other team.

Three players are now tied for the tournament's Golden Shoe award - Torres, Villa and Fabiano. My bet is on the pocket poacher, David Villa. He looks super sharp in this tournament. It's as though he believes that this is THE shopping window for him to secure a move away from financially troubled Valencia.

The competition heats up for the title of Confederations Cup Most Valuable Player. Three players have built up a clear lead over the rest of the pack. David Villa is currently in the lead, followed by Nando Torres, Kaka, Mohammad Kassid and Siboniso Gaxa. However the most outstanding performer of Round 3 has to be the much-maligned Clint Dempsey by virtue of scoring the all-important goal no. 3 to push USA into the semifinals. Surely an interesting matchup between Spain and the hardworking USA.

Lastly, the green shirt sported by Julio Cesar against Italy is the third different-coloured kit he has worn in as many matches at the Confederations Cup 2009. The Brazil goalkeeper turned out in all grey against Egypt and switched to all black for the 3-0 win over USA.

Bring on the vuvuzela!

This review is done based on

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