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FIFA World Cup 2022: One stat to know for each team after the first round of games

Al Khor, Qatar; United States of America midfielder Tyler Adams (4) dribbles the ball against England during the first half of a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

With the first round of games at the FIFA World Cup done and dusted, we delve into the PFF data to find an interesting stat for each team in the tournament.

Qatar | Ecuador | Senegal | Netherlands | England | Iran | USA | Wales | Argentina | Saudi Arabia | Mexico | Poland | France | Australia | Denmark | Tunisia | Spain | Costa Rica | Germany | Japan | Belgium | Canada | Morocco | Croatia | Brazil | Serbia | Switzerland | Cameroon | Portugal | Ghana | Uruguay | South Korea



It was a tough opening day for Qatar, but of all midfielders to compete in at least six aerial duels, Karim Boudiaf had the best winning percentage at 88.89%.


Though Ecuador led for most of the match, wide midfielder Gonzalo Plata led his positional peers with 96 attempted pressures and 61 successes.


Center-back Kalidou Koulibaly won 10 challenges against the Netherlands, fifth-most among all players in the first round of games. 


No fullback or wingback was involved in more aerial duels than Denzel Dumfries (12). Somewhat more surprising, given his size, is that he won only four of them.



It helps when you have the ball a lot, but England produced the highest percentage of successful pressure attempts. They pressured their opponent on 180 of 263 attempts, with their 68.44% success rate almost two points better than the next-best, the Swiss (66.82%).


No team generated more pressure than Iran. They tried to close the English down 768 times, with Mehdi Taremi leading the way with 158 attempted pressures (the next most was 125).


Tyler Adams won all four of his 50-50 duels against Wales, giving him the second-most wins of the tournament after the first round.


No midfielder had more clearances of the ball than Ethan Ampadu, who has eight.



There have been eight disallowed goals so far, three of which belong to Argentina.

Saudi Arabia

No team made as many challenges as Saudi Arabia, who were involved in a staggering 139 as they resisted Argentina.


Beating out Kylian Mbappé and Christian Pulisic by one, no player attempted more crosses from open play than Hirving Lozano (10). He completed just one of them, however. 


Robert Lewandowski was involved in more aerial duels than any other player — his 18 were two more than Michael Estrada of Ecuador.



It won’t surprise many, but Kylian Mbappé attempted more dribbles than any other player, with 12. In even less of a surprise, France led the way for all teams in dribble attempts, with 27 (Brazil second with 23).


No player stopped dribblers in their path more than Nathaniel Atkins, who successfully defended four dribble attempts in Round 1. 


With four blocked shots, Barcelona man Andreas Christensen had the joint most of any player during the first round of fixtures (Australia's Kye Rowles was the other).


At times, it was backs against the wall for Tunisia, who had more clearances of the ball than any other team (46).



 Any guesses about which team had the most line-breaking passes? It was Spain (with 110), and it wasn’t even close to second-place England (67).

Costa Rica

With Joel Campbell (88) and Keysher Fuller (90), Costa Rica had two players in the top 10 in terms of attempted pressures.


The Spanish dominated the line-breaking passes statistic, but outside of them, İlkay Gündoğan attempted the most. He ended up completing 17-of-20.


Eight goalkeepers faced at least five shots on target, and Shūichi Gonda had the highest save percentage of the group (87.5%).



One man who didn’t let Belgium down was Thibaut Courtois. He was the only keeper to face more than 13 shots and not concede a goal.


They impressed in defeat, but as Canada looks to progress, they’ll need to be more clinical in front of goal. Jonathan David will be a man they look to, and he had the most shots of any player in Round 1 with eight. Unfortunately, four were blocked and just one ended up on target.


Hakim Ziyech found himself in plenty of battles. He was involved in seven 50/50s but won only them.


Marcelo Brozović (91) attempted the fifth-most passes of any central midfielder, beating out international teammate Luka Modrić, who finished eighth. 



Vinícius Júnior was the only player with five or more attempted dribbles to complete more than 80% of them.


It was a disappointing day for Serbia, who possessed the ball in the Brazilian box only four times. Only Qatar managed a lower number (3). 


It was a hard-fought win in Game 1 for the Swiss, but it was interesting that their players attempted the joint fewest dribbles of any team. They tried just three as a team, a number that 28 individual players bettered.


You can’t fault the fight of the Cameroon team. They had the highest win percentage on 50/50 duels at 70.6%.



Of all players to attempt at least 20 pressures, Raphaël Guerreiro had the highest success rate at 90%.


Osman Bukari has the joint lead of Siuu celebrations in the competition, with one.


Mathías Olivera blocked three crosses, the joint-most of Round 1.

South Korea

Cho Gue-sung was only on the field for 24 minutes, but he was involved in 13 challenges during that time. That led to a figure of 48 challenges per 90 minutes, the most of all players to play more than 10 minutes.

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