Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup 2006 by Confederation

With the Cup over and Italy waking up to the hangover of their huge soccer scandal, talk now turns to how the various confederations did in Germany. All six confederations were represented, but this was a cup in Europe for Europe. Ten of the 16 teams that advanced to the knockout round were European and the numbers got better for UEFA has the phase continued. Six of the final 8 and all four of the semifinalists were European. Home continent advantage is a very nice thing, isn't it.

The biggest disappointments have got to be Asia (AFC) and CONCACAF (North/Central America and the Caribbean). Asia saw no teams advance while CONCACAF could only get one through. In addition, both confederations saw three of their four teams finish at the bottom of their groups (Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Iran, USA, Japan, Saudi Arabia).

Africa (CAF) also did not do so great, but with so many of their teams appearing in their first World Cup, they were not expected to do much. Still, only one of the 5 finished at the bottom of their group (Togo).

For South America (CONMEBOL), they showed well in the group phase, but just were not there for the knockout round. This was the first time since 1982 that not a single semifinalist was South American.

Oceania (OFC) did great. Their one team played strong through out, made it to the knockout round and gave Italy one of their best matches of the whole cup. Too bad that their representative, Australia, is now part of the Asian confederation. Unless they fold the whole OFC into Asia, this might just be the best result they are going to see for some time to come.

So good show to Europe, but they better not get too cocky. If history really teaches us the future, then they will not be claiming the Cup for at least 12 years. The reason, no European team has ever won the Cup when it was not held in Europe. With 2010 going to South Africa and 2014 being held in South America (Brazil will more then likely get it), Europeans will need to learn how to win it on foreign soil or wait till 2018.

Anyway, here are some stats for each confederation from the group phase:

ConfedTeamsPtsPts/GWLTGF/GGA/GAd #Ad %

Key - Confed=Confederation, Teams= number of teams from confederation in WC, Pts=Total number of points earned from all teams in that confederation, Pts/G=Average points earned per team per game, W=Total wins, L=Total defeats, T=Total ties, GF/G= Average goals scored per team per game, GA/G=Average goals allowed per team per game, Ad#=Total number of teams that advanced, Ad%=Percentage of teams from that conferedation that advanced to the knockout phase

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