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World Cup group phase, round 3: in numbers

Group A

1 – Out of a total of 20 host nations, South Africa are the first to fail to qualify from the opening phase of the tournament.

3 – France have played a World Cup host nation three times – and lost all three (previously England 1966 and Argentina 1978).

6Yoan Gourcuff became the sixth France player to be sent off at the World Cup since 1998 (three in 1998, one at each tournament since then).

363Florent Malouda‘s goal brought to an end a barren spell of 363 minutes since France’s previous World Cup goal (Zinedine Zidane‘s seventh-minute penalty in the 2006 final.)

3Uruguay‘s 1-0 win over Mexico came after the previous three games played at Rustenburg had been drawn 1-1.

53 – Uruguay striker Luis Suárez has now scored 53 goals in 60 appearances for club and country this season.

11Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Rafael Marquez have now both played in 11 World Cup games for Mexico, the joint-highest number for their country alongside former goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal.

Group B

153 – Number of passes attempted by Juan Sebastián Verón in Argentina’s 2-0 victory over against Greece. He completed 131. No player has ever attempted or completed more in a World Cup game since detailed records started in 1966.

0 – Greece were the first team not to attempt a single shot in the first half of a game during this tournament.

8 – Nigeria have now failed to win any of their last eight World Cup matches after their 2-2 draw with South Korea.

Group C

4 – Referee Wolfgang Stark has now taken charge of four England games, all wins.

1Jermain Defoe‘s goal was the first time either he or Wayne Rooney have scored while both of them have been on the pitch for England.

42 – He lasted 86 minutes on Wednesday, but Defoe has still not completed a full 90 minutes for England after 42 caps.

4 – Defoe made just 4 passes in 86 minutes.

729 – Minutes played by Wayne Rooney since his last England goal.

18USA‘s 1-0 win over Algeria ended a run of 18 World Cup games in which the Americans had failed to keep a clean sheet.

14Landon Donovan‘s goal came late, but we should have known it was coming. The USA have now not drawn any of their last 14 matches in which the half-time score has been 0-0 (8 wins, 6 defeats).

481 – It is now 481 minutes since Algeria’s last World Cup goal, dating back to their opening match of the 1986 tournament.

Group D

7Australia‘s Tim Cahill scored with a header against Serbia. Seven of Cahill’s eight Premier League goals last season were scored with his head.

14Germany‘s 1-0 win over Ghana was their 14th in total at the World Cup, more than any other country.

6 – This is the sixth World Cup tournament in succession (dating back to 1990) that Germany have won their group.

5 – And it is the fifth successive tournament in which they have won their final group game.

Group E

750Paraguay v New Zealand was the 750th match in World Cup history.

0 – New Zealand were eliminated from the tournament despite being unbeaten in their three group games (all draws).

3 – New Zealand managed only three shots on target in their three group games – but scored from two of them.

3 – In losing 3-2 to Slovakia, Italy conceded more goals than they did in the entire 2006 tournament (two).

6 – Total number of shots on target conceded by Italy in their three group games.

5 – Total number of goals conceded by Italy in their three group games.

4 – Robert Vittek has scored four goals in his last four games for Slovakia.

Group F

3 – By beating Denmark 3-1, Japan became the first Asian team to score three times in a World Cup game since North Korea lost 5-3 to Portugal in 1966.

1 – This was the first time in four trips to the World Cup that Denmark have failed to qualify from the group stage (previously 1986, 1998 and 2002).

4Cameroon‘s Rigobert Song is the only African player to have featured in four World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010).

4Holland have now faced African opponents four times at the World Cup, and on each occasion they have conceded exactly one goal.

Group G

32 – Total number of shots in the goalless draw between Portugal and Brazil.

7 – There were seven yellow cards shown in the first half of Portugal v Brazil – but none in the second.

9 – Prior to their draw with Portugal, Brazil had won all nine games they had ever played in South Africa.

0-0 – Brazil’s last goalless draw at the World Cup was the 1994 final, which they won on penalties.

28Ivory Coast had a total of 28 shots in their 3-0 win over North Korea, including 15 on target.

12 – North Korea have conceded 12 goals in their three games, more than any other team.

Group H

5David Villa has now been directly involved in Spain‘s last five goals at the World Cup (four goals, one assist).

9Chile have now scored in their last nine games at the World Cup finals.

0 – Spain are the only team at the World Cup 2010 who did not pick up any cards in the group phase. They are the first team to achieve this since Hungary in 1986.

4Honduras had two shots on target against Switzerland, bringing their total for the tournament to four. Only New Zealand (three) had fewer.

1 – Switzerland have only conceded one goal in their seven games in the 2006 and 2010 tournaments – and none when they have had all 11 men on the pitch.

General statistics

1 – This is the first time in World Cup history that both the previous winner (Italy) and runner-up (France) have been eliminated in the first round.

5 – All five South American teams qualified for the knockout phase.

6 – Only six European teams have qualified for the last 16, the fewest ever.

2 – Number of teams who finished the group phase with 100% records (Argentina, Holland).

2– Number of teams who failed to score a point (Cameroon, North Korea).

2 -Number of teams who conceded no goals (Uruguay, Portugal).

64 – Argentina attempted more shots than any other team in the group phase, and also had the most shots on target (30).

15 – New Zealand had both the fewest goal attempts (15) and the fewest shots on target (three).

60% – Japan were the most accurate shooters, with 18 of their 30 shots being on target. (Algeria and Honduras were joint-bottom with an accuracy rate of just 17% – it was no coincidence these were the only teams who failed to score at all.)

2 – Algeria and Australia were the only countries to have two players sent off. In the case of Australia (Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell), they were both straight reds.

62 – Australia committed 62 fouls in their three games, more than any other team.

84% – Brazil had the highest rate of successful pass completions, with 84% of passes finding a teammate.

337.69 – Australian players covered a total distance of 337.69 km in their three games, making them the hardest-working team. Nigeria were the laziest team, with their players covering over 59 km less.

113 – Total goals in the 48 matches comprising the group phase (an average of 2.35 per game). The tournament has picked up pace distinctly since the cagey opening round of games: a meagre 25 goals were scored in the first round, 42 in the second, and 46 in the final round.

3Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), Robert Vittek (Slovakia) and David Villa (Spain) were the top goalscorers in the group phase, having scored three each.

11Lionel Messi had 11 shots on target, more than any other player.

10Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres had the joint-highest total of shots off target, with ten apiece.

15 – New Zealand’s Rory Fallon committed more fouls (15) than any other player.

211 – Brazil’s Gilberto Silva completed more passes than any other player. Indeed, three of the top four successful passers were Brazilian (Gilberto Silva, Maicon, Felipe Melo) – the other being Spain’s Xavi.

27.4% – Percentage of shots on target (448 out of 1,637). Jabulani, anyone?

14 – Red cards shown (202 yellow).

4,038 – Total number of times a whistle has been blown by the referee.

400 – Total number of saves.

(Some stats courtesy of FIFA statistics, Castrol Live Tracker, @optajoe, @optajean, @StatManJohn and @castrolfootball.)

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About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

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