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Tracking Tottenham Player Performance in World Cup Group Stage

Richard MorganContributor IJune 13, 2014

Tracking Tottenham Player Performance in World Cup Group Stage

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    Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

    Tottenham Hotspur have seven first-team players featuring for five different countries at this summer’s FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, and we will be tracking each and every one of the north Londoners’ stars’ performances during the group stage of the tournament.

    Spurs midfielder Paulinho started all of Brazil’s Group A contests against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon and left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto featured in the Indomitable Lions’ first two losses in that same group, before being dropped for their final match with the hosts.

    Meanwhile, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris captained France in all three of their games as Les Bleus topped Group E, with the shot stopper conceding just the two goals in the process.

    And the Belgium trio of defender Jan Vertonghen and midfielders Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli have all been involved at some point or other as their country qualified for the last 16 with a game still to spare, while midfielder Nabil Bentaleb played in Algeria’s three Group H fixtures as they finished runners-up to the Red Devils.


    *All stats are provided www.whoscored.com

     

    —Last updated: Friday June 27—

Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria)

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Russia

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 67

    Shots: 1

    Tackles: 2

    Successful pass completion: 84 percent


    Tottenham Hotspur holding midfielder Nabil Bentaleb played the whole match as Algeria drew 1-1 with Russia in Curitiba on Thursday night to progress through to the knockout stage of a World Cup for the very first time in their history after finishing runners-up to Belgium in Group H.

    The 19-year-old was once again asked by head coach Vahid Halilhodzic to sit in front of his country’s back four alongside Carl Medjani putting out opposition fires, which despite going into the contest on a yellow card and in danger of missing potential last-16 clash with Germany, Bentaleb managed with aplomb all evening long.

    However, the defensive midfielder will be in for a far busier night on Monday in Porto Alegre trying to quell the attacking threats of Thomas Mueller, Mario Goetze et al when a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament is up for grabs.

    Nabil Bentaleb didn't feature in a single Europa League/Capital One Cup match prior to Sherwood's appointment. What a year for the Algerian.

    — Michael Bridge (@MichaelBridge_) June 26, 2014

Mousa Dembele (Belgium)

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    Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

    Game: vs. South Korea

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 62

    Shots: 0

    Tackles: 4

    Successful pass completion: 88 percent

     

    Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele was recalled to Belgium’s starting lineup for their final Group H contest against South Korea in Sao Paulo on Thursday night after having been left out by head coach Marc Wilmots for his country’s previous match with Russia.

    Dembele began the game at the Arena de Sao Paulo on the left-hand side of a midfield three, with Steven Defour in the middle and Marouane Fellaini on the right as the Red Devils lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.

    And the 26-year-old’s only real action during a quiet first half was when he was involved in a goalmouth scramble that eventually ended with South Korea striker Son Heung-Min’s header being cleared off the line by Defour.

    However, following Defour’s red card just before the break, Dembele was forced to curb his normal attacking instincts in the second period, with the player’s most noteworthy incident coming when he was booked just five minutes after half-time as Belgium went on to record a 1-0 victory.

    Mousa Dembélé insists that Belgium are content with their World Cup so far after their 10 men saw off South Korea. http://t.co/Gkf58YqL38

    — Talking THFC™ (@TalkingTHFC) June 27, 2014

Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)

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    Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

    Game: vs. South Korea

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 55

    Shots: 4

    Tackles: 2

    Successful pass completion: 76 percent


    Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen was recalled to Belgium’s starting lineup as the Red Devils finished their Group H campaign with a 1-0 win over South Korea to top their section and set up a last-16 encounter against the U.S.

    Vertonghen, who captained his country in the absence of rested skipper Vincent Kompany, was once again utilised as a makeshift left-back by Belgium boss Marc Wilmots in Sao Paulo.

    However, the 27-year-old enjoyed another quiet evening at the back at the Arena de Sao Paulo as Belgium recorded their second consecutive clean sheet of the tournament, and this despite having midfielder Steven Defour sent off for a high challenge on Kim Shin-wook just before half-time.

    And it was man-of-the-match Vertonghen who scored his side’s winner after the full-back followed up substitute Divock Origi’s shot from distance to side-foot past Kim Seung-gyu in the South Korean goal for what was the fifth international strike of his career.

    MOTM: Standout performers from Group H's final games: #BEL's @Jan_Vertonghen & #ALG's @slimaniislam pic.twitter.com/4Kq79X89QK

    — FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 26, 2014

Nacer Chadli (Belgium)

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    Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

    Game: vs. South Korea

    Minutes Played: 30

    Touches: 17

    Shots: 1

    Tackles: 2

    Successful pass completion: 89 percent

     

    Spurs wide man Nacer Chadli was forced to once again start Belgium’s final Group H encounter with South Korea on the substitutes’ bench at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday night after having also been left out of his country’s previous match against Russia.

    However, following midfielder Steven Defour’s red card just before half-time, head coach Marc Wilmots opted to bring the 24-year-old on to replace Adnan Januzaj with half an hour remaining and the scoreline still goalless in Sao Paulo.

    And with the Red Devils going on to claim a 1-0 win over South Korea to top their group and set up a fascinating last-16 tie with the U.S., could Chadli have done enough in the final 30 minutes to potentially earn himself a starting place in Salvador on Tuesday evening?

Hugo Lloris (France)

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    Christophe Ena/Associated Press

    Game: vs. Ecuador

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 25

    Passes: 10

    Long balls: 6

    Successful pass completion: 70 per cent

    Not for the first time so far in this summer’s World Cup, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was a virtual spectator as France played out a goalless draw with 10-man Ecuador in their final Group E contest in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night.

    However, Lloris was called upon once in each half in order to preserve both his second clean sheet of the tournament and his country’s place at the top of the group, meaning a last-16 clash with Nigeria rather than Argentina now for Les Bleus.

    The first of those saves came just before half-time when the 27-year-old reacted smartly to keep out Enner Valencia’s far-post header in what the only time we got to see Lloris in action the first period at the Estadio Maracana.

    And despite the dismissal of Ecuador skipper Antonio Valencia shortly after the interval, the Spurs No. 1 still needed to keep his concentration to beat away substitute Alex Ibarra’s fiercely struck drive with just eight minutes of the contest remaining.

    Hugo Lloris looks like he should be permanently smoking a cigar and sipping a glass of chateauneuf du pape #class #france

    — Samuel Leon Powell (@sammylpowell) June 25, 2014

Paulinho (Brazil)

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Cameroon

    Minutes Played: 45

    Touches: 18

    Shots: 1

    Tackles: 1

    Successful pass completion: 83 percent


    Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari reverted to the same lineup for the host nation’s final Group A contest with Cameroon in Brasilia on Tuesday night that had begun the tournament against Croatia.

    And that meant a reprieve for Tottenham Hotspur holding midfielder Paulinho, whose first-team place had appeared under threat against the Indomitable following a lethargic showing in the Selecao’s opening two games.

    However it was the 25-year-old—once again sitting in front of his country’s back four alongside Luiz Gustavo—who actually very nearly opened the scoring early on after a flowing move involving Dani Alves, Neymar and the returning Hulk, only for Paulinho’s close-range effort to be blocked.

    And the defensive midfielder was also involved in another of Brazil’s best moments in the first half after being sent clear down their left flank by Oscar, but Fred was unable to turn the Spurs star’s centre past Charles Itandje in the Cameroon goal.

    That, though, was Paulinho's final involvement of the match as after just the 18 touches in the first 45 minutes, Scolari opted to instead take a look at Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho in his place after the break in a move that many have been calling for in recent weeks.

    Fernandinho completed two-and-half times as many passes as Paulinho; received the ball almost twice as many times, too #BRA

    — Rupert Fryer (@Rupert_Fryer) June 23, 2014

Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria)

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Game: vs. South Korea

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 62

    Shots: 0

    Tackles: 4

    Successful pass completion: 83 percent


    Young Spurs midfielder Nabil Bentaleb started in midfield as Algeria beat South Korea 4-2 in Porto Alegre on Sunday evening to move up to second place in the Group H standings.

    Bentaleb had also begun his country’s opening World Cup fixture against Belgium last Tuesday, although the 19-year-old was generally ineffective as the Red Devils came from behind to record a 2-1 win.

    However, sitting in front of Algeria’s back four alongside the brilliant Carl Medjani, the holding midfielder was more prominent on this occasion against Korea, with Bentaleb enjoying almost double the amount of touches than against Belgium.

    And while most of the post-match plaudits rightly went to Algeria’s more attack-minded players, such as the inspirational Sofiane Feghouli, Bentaleb still had a key role to play putting out opposition fires as his country became the first African nation to score four goals in the finals of the World Cup.

    Nabil Bentaleb, who has been quiet this half considering Algeria's three goals, sends in a good ball but it's too far away from Slimani.

    — Sports Radio BrilaFM (@889BrilaFM) June 22, 2014

Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Russia

    Minutes Played: 59

    Touches: 50

    Shots: 0

    Tackles: 2

    Successful pass completion: 77 percent


    Versatile Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen did not actually start his country’s second Group H fixture against Russia at the Estadio do Maracana on Sunday afternoon after picking up a booking in their opening win over Algeria last week, with coach Marc Wilmots looking to protect the Spurs star from missing the final match with South Korea through suspension.

    However, an injury sustained by Vertonghen’s replacement—Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen—after just 31 minutes in Rio de Janeiro meant an unscheduled early run-out for the 27-year-old.

    Once again, though, Vertonghen was asked to play as a makeshift left-back against Fabio Capello’s men, although luckily for Vertonghen Russia barely mounted an attack worthy of the name during the entire game.

    As a result, Vertonghen was therefore able to offer playmaker Eden Hazard plenty of support down Belgium’s left flank, particularly after half-time as the Red Devils gradually took control of proceedings.

    Meanwhile, crucially the Tottenham defender also managed not to get booked during his hour-long stint, meaning that Vertonghen could now be rested once again for Belgium’s final group encounter with South Korea on Thursday night in order to ensure he features in their last-16 clash.

    .@Jan_Vertonghen : No player has blocked more crosses at the 2014 World Cup than Vertonghen (5) #bel

    — WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 23, 2014

Hugo Lloris (France)

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    Adam Pretty/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Switzerland

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 37

    Passes: 17

    Long balls: 10

    Successful pass completion: 65 per cent


    The Tottenham goalkeeper enjoyed yet another relatively quiet afternoon as France beat Switzerland 5-2 in Salvador on Friday to take control of Group E and all but seal their spot in the knockout phase of the competition.

    Lloris, who had been a virtual spectator as Les Bleus kicked off their World Cup campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Honduras last Sunday, was required to produce a smart double save to deny first Admir Mehmed and then Xherdan Shaqiri in the first half at the Arena Fonte Nova.

    However, with Didier Deschamps’ men leading 3-0 at the interval, the match was by that point all but over as a contest, and even more so when France added two more in the second period, although their total superiority may have led to some late complacency in defence as the Swiss scored two late goals.

    Their first consolation strike with nine minutes to go came after Blerim Dzemaili riffled a 30-yard free kick through the wall and past Lloris’ outstretched right hand, while the 27-year-old was also equally helpless to stop Granit Xhaka netting a second goal on 87 minutes after the French offside trap had failed to function properly.

    But all in all it was a good day for the France skipper, and now his fellow countrymen can start to contemplate a last-16 clash at Brazil2014…

    Must be nice for Hugo Lloris to be on the right side of a 5-2 result...

    — Arsenal_RTs (@Arsenal_RTs) June 20, 2014

Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

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    Fernando Llano/Associated Press

    Game: vs. Croatia

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 56

    Shots: 0

    Tackles: 0

    Successful pass completion: 78 per cent

    The Spurs left-back made all the headlines in Manaus on Wednesday night as 10-man Cameroon limply exited the World Cup following a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Croatia in Group A.

    However, it was Assou-Ekotto who was the main talking point after the match following the 30-year-old's headbutt on team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo in injury time at the Arena Amazonia.

    And it had not gone much better for the full-back during the preceding 90 minutes either, with Assou-Ekotto being given a torrid evening down his left flank by Croatia's Darijo Srna, especially in the first half.

    Croatia's first goal after just 11 minutes came when Assou-Ekotto failed to get tight enough on Srna to stop the right-back from crossing for Ivica Olic to break the deadlock.

    Meanwhile midway through the second half, the defender was also unable to prevent Eduardo from getting a shot away from the edge of the area that Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje could only spill straight into the path of Mario Mandzukic, who tapped home his second goal of the match.

    But before Assou-Ekotto's crazy late altercation with Moukandjo, the player had created his side's best opening of the entire evening when his delicious inch-perfect left-wing centre was met by an unmarked Pierre Webo, only for Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa to keep the forward's header out with a smart save.

    #cmr lose 4-0, Alex Song sent off, and then Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutts Benjamin Moukandjo. Bad day at the office https://t.co/hvAiygUqPo

    — Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 19, 2014

Paulinho (Brazil)

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Mexico

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 40

    Shots: 1

    Tackles: 1

    Successful pass completion: 79 percent


    Another quiet evening on the whole for the Spurs midfielder sitting in front of the Brazil back four alongside Luiz Gustavo, and now Paulinho maybe sweating on his starting place for the hosts’ final Group A showdown with Cameroon on Monday.

    Paulinho was more involved with proceedings before the break in Fortaleza on Tuesday night, firstly cushioning a near-post header off target after a fiercely struck cross from Marcelo on the byline a quarter of an hour in.

    And then the 25-year-old played a part early on in the build-up to the move that ended with Neymar almost opening the scoring with a header that was turned on to the post by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa midway through the first period.

    In fact, Ochoa was also on hand once again just before the interval to block Paulinho's close-range effort after skipper Thiago Silva had chested down a free kick in the box.

    However after half-time Paulinho, much like the Selecao as a whole, seemed to lose his way and the player was fortunate not to be replaced as he had been against Croatia last Thursday.

    Hernanes should start instead of Paulinho. The Paulinho of 2013 was irreplaceable, but he's not the same anymore. We can't afford it.

    — Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) June 17, 2014

Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria)

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Belgium

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 32

    Shots: 0

    Tackles: 0

    Successful pass completion: 83 percent


    The Tottenham midfielder, who only made his international debut for Algeria in March, featured for his country in the centre of the park against Belgium in their opening Group H clash on Tuesday.

    However Bentaleb, who was the youngest player on the pitch in Belo Horizonte aged just 19, was unable to prevent Vahid Halilhodzic’s side from losing 2-1 to the Red Devils, despite Algeria leading the contest with only 20 minutes to go.

    As for Bentaleb himself, perhaps the player’s most noteworthy contribution of the game came after 34 minutes when he was lucky to escape with just a caution following a forearm smash on Spurs team-mate Mousa Dembele.

    Nabil Bentaleb's elbow on Mousa Dembele in 1st half. Only a booking. pic.twitter.com/A22XzF3BT8

    — 101 Great Goals (@102greatgoals) June 17, 2014

Nacer Chadli (Belgium)

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Algeria

    Minutes Played: 45

    Touches: 39

    Shots: 3

    Tackles: 0

    Successful pass completion: 88 percent

     

    The well-built Spurs midfielder lasted just 45 minutes of his country’s opening Group H encounter with Algeria in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday afternoon, before being replaced by Napoli’s Dries Mertens for the second half.

    Chadli actually surprisingly began proceedings playing in support of lone front man Romelu Lukaku, in a role that many had expected Kevin De Bruyne to be asked to play.

    However, it is fair to say that the 24-year-old generally struggled to make much of an impression on the match before half-time, much like the Red Devils as a team, although Chadli did at least have three shots on goal while on the field of play.

    Unfortunately, though, for the player his first was a speculative effort straight at Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi, while his second was wayward and off target.

    And when Chadli was then presented with his team’s best opening of the first period just before the interval after a good interchange of passes around the Algeria box with Eden Hazard, his tame finish once again failed to trouble M'Bolhi.

    Nacer Chadli had a great opportunity to level things for Belgium but it was all too easy for Mbolhi. #ALG #BEL #WorldCup #beINbrasil

    — beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) June 17, 2014

Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)

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    Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

    Game: vs. Algeria

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 82

    Shots: 2

    Tackles: 1

    Successful pass completion: 90 percent


    The versatile Spurs defender was asked to take on the left-back role for Belgium as they kicked off their World Cup campaign with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Algeria in Group H on Tuesday.

    Vertonghen had actually specifically requested to play in that position during the second half of last season at White Hart Lane in order to ready himself for a similar challenge with his country in Brazil this summer.

    However, that preparation did not appear to have done the 27-year-old much use at the Estadio Mineirao after Vertonghen got caught napping the wrong side of Sofiane Feghouli, with the Spurs star then booked for clearly holding his opponent back in the box as Algeria took a surprise lead from the spot midway through the first half.

    And while the full-back did then try and make amends for his error six minutes before half-time, Vertonghen could only lash a well-placed free kick wildly over the bar with his left foot in what was the player’s last meaningful contribution in the match.

    Andros Townsend on Jan Vertonghen: 'He's not used to playing at left-back.'

    — The Football Front (@ReviewFootball) June 17, 2014

Mousa Dembele (Belgium)

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Algeria

    Minutes Played: 65

    Touches: 82

    Shots: 1

    Tackles: 1

    Successful pass completion: 96 percent


    The Tottenham midfielder was asked to sit in front of his country’s back four and put out fires alongside Axel Witsel as Belgium came from a goal down to beat Algeria 2-1 in their opening Group H fixture in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

    However, Dembele was virtually invisible in the first period as the North Africans took a shock lead, with the 26-year-old only marginally better after the break as Marc Wilmots’ men were forced to pick up the tempo.

    But despite a neat one-two with Dries Mertens on the edge of the Algeria area that released the second-half substitute for an effort on goal five minutes after the restart, Dembele was unsurprisingly then replaced by Marouane Fellaini on 65 minutes after failing to impose himself at all on the contest.

    And now there must be big questions as to whether Dembele will start for the Red Devils in their next game against Russia on Sunday after this anonymous display.

    Mousa Dembélé: Completed 95% of the 38 passes he attempted in the first half vs Algeria #bel

    — WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 17, 2014

Hugo Lloris (France)

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Honduras

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 25

    Passes: 11

    Long balls: 5

    Successful pass completion: 82 per cent

    The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper kept a clean sheet on Sunday night in Porto Alegre as France kicked off their 2014 World Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over 10-man Honduras in Group E.

    Lloris, 27, was a virtual spectator throughout as Didier Deschamps' side dominated proceedings from start to finish, especially after Wilson Palacios' sending-off just before half-time in the buildup to France taking the lead through Karim Benzema's penalty.

    And the only occasion that Les Bleus' skipper was called upon in the opening 45 minutes was to pluck a free kick out of the air moments before the break, while Lloris was almost as invisible in the second period too.

    In fact, the only save the shot stopper had to make in the entire match came midway through the second half when the Spurs keeper kept out substitute Oscar Garcia's low shot at the near post in what was the Central Americans' only effort on target in the game.

    However, Lloris knows that he will be more involved in the action when France take on Switzerland on Friday night in a contest featuring the two countries with 100% records in the group.

    I hope Hugo Lloris brought a book to read. He looks awfully bored out there #fra #hon

    — Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) June 15, 2014

Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Mexico

    Minutes Played: 90

    Touches: 67

    Shots: 3

    Tackles: 0

    Successful pass completion: 63 percent


    The Tottenham Hotspur left-back played the entire match as Cameroon kicked off their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 1-0 loss to Mexico in Group A on Friday, with Assou-Ekotto having more shots and touches than any of his team-mates.

    The 30-year-old, who spent last season on loan in the Championship with play-off winners Queens Park Rangers, was actually involved in almost all of his country’s best openings in a rain-soaked Natal.

    In the first half, moments after the Central Americans had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, Assou-Ekotto escaped clear down the left flank before picking out striker Samuel Eto’o in the box, only for the star man to hit the post with a sweetly struck shot.

    And after that impressive solo run, the attack-minded full-back then almost broke the deadlock himself after the break, only for his free kick to be deflected inches off target.

    It was Mexico, though, who made the crucial breakthrough just past the hour-mark, with Assou-Ekotto one of a number of Cameroon defenders back, but still unable to prevent Oribe Peralta from scoring.

    However, yet again it was the Spurs defender who very nearly helped his country draw level when Assou-Ekotto picked out Benjamin Moukandjo with an inch-perfect left-wing cross in the final minute, only for the Nancy forward's header to be saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

    #THFC Benoit's World Cup starts with defeat: Benoit Assou-Ekotto created Cameroon's best chances as his side s... http://t.co/dtYAjigYWz

    — EPL20 News (@EPL20News) June 13, 2014

Paulinho (Brazil)

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Game: vs. Croatia

    Minutes Played: 63

    Touches: 30

    Shots: 2

    Tackles: 0

    Successful pass completion: 86 percent


    The box-to-box midfielder may have begun the five-time world champions’ Group A opener against Croatia on his old ground in Sao Paulo, however, the 25-year-old only lasted just past the hour-mark as the host nation kicked off the tournament with a 3-1 win on Thursday night.

    Paulinho was actually one of Brazil’s more influential and effective players in the first half, with the Spurs star being found in space by Neymar early on in proceedings, only for his long-range effort to be deflected wide of goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa’s right-hand post and away for a corner by Croatia right-back Sime Vrsaljko.

    However, the former Corinthians player was easily bypassed on the halfway line in the buildup to Croatia’s shock 11th-minute opener as Ivan Rakitic found Ivica Olic in space down the left wing.

    Paulinho poor. No contribution in attack, not much help in defence. #BRA

    — Jack Lang (@snap_kaka_pop) June 12, 2014

    That setback, though, only seemed to drive both Paulinho, and the Selecao, forward for the remainder of the first half, with the former himself coming close to pulling his side level moments later.

    Neatly taking Oscar’s inside pass in his stride, the Tottenham man then proceeded to side-step two Croatian defenders before testing Pletikosa with a fiercely struck shot which the keeper could only beat away at his near post.

    But Brazil did finally equalise just before the half-hour mark as Paulinho exchanged passes in midfield with Oscar in the lead-up to Neymar’s strike, although his involvement was then cut short 18 minutes after half-time when head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hooked him in favour of Inter Milan midfielder Hernanes.

    And that means Paulinho may now be worried about his place against Mexico on Tuesday night…

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