World Cup: Group A Passing and Shooting Stats

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: Diego Forlan of Uruguay is tackled by Guillermo Franco of Mexico during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between Mexico and Uruguay at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Abbey Sebetha/Getty Images)

Group A featured the same kind of play as the tournament overall:

Passes/G Weighted Avg Shots/G Goals/G Shot%
Group A 349 76.05 21.8 10.58 0.92 8.66
Overall 351 75.18 21.4 10.56 1.07 10.13

The biggest difference was slightly better goaltending - these four teams allowed 11 goals but would have allowed 13 if they'd had the same shooting percentage as the rest of the tournament overall.

The pass summary doesn't tell us much - Uruguay had very little ball possession but gave up zero goals:

Passes For Weighted Vs Weighted % of Pass
France 1000 219 954 200.3 51.2
Uruguay 765 165.5 1288 286.6 37.3
South Africa 1124 245 1152 248.7 49.4
Mexico 1294 283.1 789 177 62.1

Some of this is score effects, but some of it is Uruguay scoring even though they didn't dominate the game. When teams score one goal per game on average, you sometimes get effects like that.

There are also so few shots taken in a handful of games that we don't learn much there either:

Shots F Goals Sh% Shots A Goals Sh%
France 29 1 3.45 34 4 11.76
Uruguay 35 4 11.43 27 0 0.00
South Africa 35 3 8.57 34 5 14.71
Mexico 28 3 10.71 32 2 6.25

Here are the game-by-game passing and shooting totals:

Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals
France 371 87.8 23.7 12 0 Uruguay 259 52.1 20.1 6 0
France 324 73.4 22.7 9 0 Mexico 294 58.7 20.0 10 2
France 305 57.8 19.0 8 1 South Africa 401 89.5 22.3 18 2
Total 1000 219 21.9 29 1 Total 954 200.3 21.0 34 4
Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals
Uruguay 259 52.1 20.1 6 0 France 371 87.8 23.7 12 0
Uruguay 312 69.1 22.1 15 3 South Africa 452 96.2 21.3 8 0
Uruguay 194 44.3 22.8 14 1 Mexico 465 102.6 22.1 7 0
Total 765 165.5 21.6 35 4 Total 1288 286.6 22.3 27 0
Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals
South Africa 271 59.3 21.9 9 1 Mexico 535 121.8 22.8 11 1
South Africa 452 96.2 21.3 8 0 Uruguay 312 69.1 22.1 15 3
South Africa 401 89.5 22.3 18 2 France 305 57.8 19.0 8 1
Total 1124 245 21.8 35 3 Total 1152 248.7 21.6 34 5
Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals Team Passes Weighted Avg Shots Goals
Mexico 535 121.8 22.8 11 1 South Africa 271 59.3 21.9 9 1
Mexico 294 58.7 20.0 10 2 France 324 73.4 22.7 9 0
Mexico 465 102.6 22.1 7 0 Uruguay 194 44.3 22.8 14 1
Total 1294 283.1 21.9 28 3 Total 789 177 22.4 32 2

We'll have to see if Uruguay can continue to dominate on the scoreboard despite not apparently dominating on the field.

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