Looking into passing stats for the 16 teams that advanced beyond group play, we essentially see four groups of teams:
1) Teams that dominated passing and ball possession: Argentina, Spain and Brazil
2) Teams that were good, but not dominant: Mexico, Holland, England and Germany
3) Teams that essentially had 50% of possession: Chile, Paraguay, Slovakia, USA, Portugal, Ghana and South Korea
4) Teams that really didn't have that much possession: Uruguay, Japan
Is it any surprise that the #1, #2 and #3 teams in the world controlled the play in their games? Some of it is the relative weakness of their groups, but most of it is that they really are that good. And that the next four are ranked 4, 5, 8 and 10? The only team whose reputation and good record so far doesn't match up with their passing stats is Uruguay, a team that would benefit from a closer look.
Overall passing stats are below:
|Passes||For||Weighted||Vs||Weighted||% of Pass||% Wt Pass|