The World Cup knockout stages kicked off in dramatic fashion yesterday.
The first tie of the round saw hosts Brazil face off against Chile, resulting in a 1-1 draw that had to be settled in nail biting penalties. Luiz Felipe Scolari's men held their nerve to qualify for the quarter finals in emotional scenes.
Below we list some of the days best performers in a range of key defensive areas.
|Team||Pos||Won Tackle||Tackling |
Real Madrid's Brazilian fullback Marcelo epitomised the fighting spirit of Brazil, winning 5 tackles - the most of the day. Chilean defender Eugenio Mena also impressed by winning just one less challenge, and managing to avoiding losing any.
Possession won in defensive third & distribution
|Team||Pos||Poss Won Def 3rd||Passing |
Juventus' defender/midfielder Mauricio Isla had a strong game on the right hand side for Chile, and he won possession 7 times against the hosts - which sounds even better considering he found himself up against Neymar at times during the game.
Ground duels for possession won
|Team||Pos||Duel Won||Ground Duels |
Marcelo again was outstanding when it came to ground duels for possession, winning 11 battles. Chelsea linked defender Diego Godin was also strong against Colombia, coming in second with 9 duels won and with a better percentage of wins than Marcelo.
You could tell at the final whistle that no one cared more or tried harder for Chile than Cardiff star Gary Medel - and the stats prove that, with the 26-year-old clearing the ball to safety 12 times, one more than Brazilian skipper Thiago Silva.
Aerial battles won
|Team||Pos||Aerial Won||Aerial Duels |
|José María Giménez||Uruguay||DF||3||75.00||1||90|
One area that Silva did come out on top was aerial duels, winning 5 battles, even though he lost his fair share. Godin again came just behind, though managed to win a superb 80% of his challenges.
Which defenders have impressed you so far?