The group stage's statistical stars
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Throughout the group phase at South Africa 2009, FIFA.com has been taking you closer to the action than ever before through our statistical analysis of the players and teams involved. Now, as the semi-finals approach, we pay tribute to the finishers, creators, battlers and workhorses outdoing the rest, while also revealing which players hold the tournament's less desirable titles.

Top scorers
Fernando Torres was quickest out of the blocks in the race for the adidas Golden Shoe, with an 11-minute hat-trick in Spain's opening match. However, the Liverpool striker has failed to score in his two subsequent appearances, allowing Luis Fabiano, scorer of a brace against Italy, and David Villa, who has netted in each of La Roja's three fixtures, to claim a share in the lead.
The leaders: Torres, Villa, Luis Fabiano (all 3); Kaka, Zidan, Parker, Rossi (all 2)

Shots on target
Bernard Parker might be just behind Torres, Villa and Luis Fabiano in the scoring charts, but the South Africa forward has proved the tournament's most accurate finisher, working the opposition goalkeeper on no fewer than ten occasions.
The leaders: Parker (10), Villa (7), Giuseppe Rossi (6)

Assists
Left-back Joan Capdevila earned a well-deserved rest for Spain's final group match after setting up three of La Roja's six goals against New Zealand and Iraq. With joint-leader Mohamed Aboutrika's tournament now over, Capdevila enters the semi-finals in pole position to be crowned South Africa 2009's top creator.
The leaders: Capdevila, Aboutrika (both 3), Fabregas, Kaka, Elano, Maicon, Masilela (all 2)

Completed passes
With Xavi finally gaining the kind of recognition his midfield mastery has long merited, no-one will be surprised to see that the Spain lynchpin has made more successful passes than any other player. What is truly impressive is that he has made 70 more than his nearest rival!
The leaders: Xavi (229), Pirlo (159), De Rossi (158)

Solo runs
Long renowned as one of the game's most exciting dribblers, Robinho has embarked on more solo runs than anyone else at South Africa 2009. Rivals include the predictable - Kaka - and the more surprising: full-backs Maicon and Capdevila and a midfielder, Xavi, more famous for his passing than dribbling.
The leaders: Robinho (12), Xavi, Maicon, Joan Capdevila (all 10), Jasim, Kaka (both 9)

Completed crosses
Idolised in his Egyptian homeland, Mohamed Aboutrika showed with three assists and nine successful crosses why his creative talents are considered to be without equal in Africa. Landon Donovan, on seven, is the best-placed of the candidates still involved in the tournament.
The leaders: Aboutrika (9), Donovan (7), Elliott, Pirlo (both 5)

Tackles
Mohamed Shawky, Egypt's combative central midfielder, was a colossal figure throughout their South Africa 2009 campaign, but with the Pharaohs heading home, the hosts' Sibonsio Gaxa must be favourite to claim the title of top tackler.
The leaders: Shawky, Gaxa (both 9), Ali Kareem (7), Gilberto Silva, Hussein Rehema, Parker, DeMerit, Gomaa, Juan (all 6)

Saves
Tim Howard was so busy in USA's opening two matches that, even after sitting out their final Group B fixture against Egypt, he still comfortably tops the save count. His three nearest rivals have all been eliminated, but with deputy Brad Guzan having kept a clean sheet against the Pharaohs, the greatest threat to Howard could come from within.
The leaders: Howard (17), El Hadary, Kassid (both 15), Moss (14)

Distance covered
USA monopolise the podium when it comes to South Africa 2009's hardest-working players, and Bob Bradley has particular reason to be proud of his son and star midfielder, who has covered an average of over 12 kilometres per match. Incidentally, the best-placed Spaniard in these standings, Xavi, lies a lowly 37th, underlining the European champions' ability to let the ball do the work.
The leaders: Bradley (36,426 metres), Dempsey (34,855), Donovan (34,263)

Top speed
Steven Pienaar, the hosts' star midfielder earned the tag of South Africa 2009's quickest player with a top speed of 31.66 km/h, leaving him just ahead of Brazilian wingback Andre Santos.
The leaders: Pienaar (31.66 km/h), Andre Santos (31.60), Emad Mohammed (31.59)

Fouls suffered
Nashat Akram endured a frustrating tournament with Iraq and, with 13 fouls committed against him, he was also the most picked-upon player of the group phase.
The leaders: Akram (13), Killen (10), Busquets, Shawky (both 9)

Fouls committed
The tournament's joint-leading scorer, Luis Fabiano is also top of this less illustrious table, which is dominated, perhaps surprisingly, by midfielders and forwards.
The leaders: Luis Fabiano (9), Killen, Dikgachoi, Smeltz, Sibaya (all 8), Shawky, Zambrotta, Abbas (all 7)

Crime count
In what has been a generally well-disciplined tournament, only one player - South Africa's Macbeth Sibaya - collected two cautions during the group stage. USA, meanwhile, will hope to keep all 11 men on the field when they face Spain, something they failed to do in their opening two fixtures.
The leaders: Clark, Kljestan, Al Muhamadi (1 red card), Sibaya (2 yellow cards)

Offside
Staying onside is clearly a skill Katlego Mashego has yet to master. Despite playing just 47 minutes so far, the South Africa forward has been flagged offside six times - an average of once ever 7.8 minutes!
The leaders: Mashego (6), Luis Fabiano (4), Villa, Abdelghani, Zidan, Zahra (all 3)