Another installment of Footballtoptens where we won’t talk Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick, Glenn Hoddle’s faux pa, Arsenal beating Barça (well try not to) instead we go to Thailand, Cambodia, Kuwait, Colombia and looking at the Guaraní Messi, the next Giovanni Dos Santos, what Zesh Rehman is up to and finish with the Top Ten English Goalscorers in the Champions League.
Update from last week
The CHAN (see last week) continued at the weekend with Ghana losing their third and final game. Their opponents in the last game Niger progress to the Quarter Finals with South Africa. Do you remember Raja Casablanca and their 10-1 victory over Tourbillon – well the 2nd leg didn’t take place after their opponents withdrew (probably to avoid another spanking). Anderlecht kept another clean sheet, after a 1-0 win over Cercle Bruge but their defence was finally breached after 872 minutes when Ajax’s Belgian import Toby Alderweireld headed in. A streak that is still going however is Brisbane Roar’s, the Aussie club continued their unbeaten run with a 4-0 thumping of Gold Coast Utd, now 25 games long. IturbeWatch: has replaced NeymarWatch – the 17-year-old wonderkid took just 90 seconds to make an impact for Cerro Porteño, coming on as a half-time sub to score against a poor Colo-Colo side. He added one more 5 minutes from time in a 5-2 victory. Iturbe’s strikes at 0.40 and 1.10.
This week’s stories
Thong has no place in AFC Champions League
The AFC Champions League 1st Qualifying round came to a close at the weekend with a corker in Palembang. Sriwijaya of Indonesia hosted Muangthong United of Thailand (that is a real name!). The game finished 1-1 with goals from St.Kitts and Nevis striker the 38-year-old Gumbs and Thai local Thonglao (again real names). In extra time Thong United went ahead before being pegged back by another foreigner Gathuessi of Cameroon. Premier League experienced Toni Kallio and former Bradford man Zesh Rehman couldn’t inspire Thong to victory, as they eventually lost 7-6 on penalties.
Riquelme is back…
…but it had little impact. Boca crashed to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Godoy Cruz, to make things worse they were at home. No excuses. Riquelme himself picked up a knock to his ankle and on Wednesday said “I don’t think I’ll make it” in reference to this weekend’s game against Racing. On Thursday it was confirmed he would miss the match – not what I hoped to write about one of the best players I’ve ever seen in the flesh. Although man of the weekend was Bichi Fuertes at Colón, two free kicks from the veteran striker completed his first brace since November 2009 (against Argentinos Juniors).
Argentina vs Brazil battle continues in Copa Libertadores!
After Argentinos draw last week in Brazil against Fluminense, Estudiantes visited Porto Alegre to face Cruzeiro. They traveled with optimism as the only Argentinian team other than Boca and River to win in Brazil this century. The game finished 5-0 to Cruzeiro. But Estudiantes shouldn’t despair, just looking at the statistics tells us they were unlikely to get anything from the game. Clubs from the rival nations met 63 times in the Copa Libertadores between 2000 and 2010 with just 12 away wins recorded, Brazilian clubs managed just 4 and of the Argentinian 8 it was Boca Juniors who picked up 5 of them!
Crouch notches up number 279
Raúl notched up 71 European goals in 139 appearances both records we are aware of, but how about these stats from the Champions League. Peter Crouch’s late goal in the San Siro was the 279th goal scored by an Englishman in the Champions League proper (post-1992) he also became only the 6th Englishman to score against Milan in the competition. The others are Dennis Wise, Lee Bowyer, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. Those wondering who got the 100th ‘English’ goal in the Champions League…it’s only Ray Parlour! Linked to that stat, Arsenal have now set a new Champions League record by scoring 2 goals at home in their last 9 matches (they beat Barcelona don’t you know?!). Thanks to Infostrada Sports for that last stat.
Cambodia and Chinese Taipei march on
The two nations ranked 166th and 154th respectively failed to win away but progressed on aggregate in the 2nd leg of the qualifiers for the 2012 Asian Challenge Cup. The tournament is arranged by the AFC for emerging nations but is well worth competing for. The winner gets a place at the next Asian Cup in 2015. Cambodia overcame Macau in extra time with Chinese Taipei drawing 1-1 to record a 6-3 aggregate win over Laos.
South America dominates Goal of the Week
I heard Rooney scored a decent goal at the weekend – but we aren’t about choosing the obvious here. My favourite was Heber Arriola’s second goal (0:45) in Universidad San Martin’s surprise away win in Colombia against Once Caldas. It just edged another goal from an Argentinian, Olimpo’s David Vega in the 1st week of the Argentinian Clausura.
Canada eighth wonder of the world?
You might be tricked into thinking so after their 8-0 smashing of Barbados in the CONCACAF U-17 Championships which started on Monday. It acts as a qualifier for the U-17 World Cup and has showcased some top players from the region – a certain Giovanni Dos Santos starred for Mexico in the 2005 edition.
Kuwait not enjoying new year
The tiny oil-rich nation drew 0-0 with Bahrain on Monday, it ended a run of 3 straight losses but still, no win in four games this year and just one goal. It is a major change from 2010 when they won 2 international tournaments (West Asian Federation Cup and Gulf Cup) and had a 57% win rate. Overall record was played 23 games, won 13 (inc. penalty shoot outs), drew 8 and lost just 2 games (both friendlies).
Chupete in the goals again
One of my favourite players who didn’t make it in Europe (with Real Zaragoza) is Humberto Suazo, the Chilean international scored bags of goals in his homeland before becoming a hit in northern Mexico with Monterrey. At the weekend he netted a hat-trick for the defending league champions against Jaguares to take him to 5 goals for the campaign and sharing the lead for the Golden Boot. Since joining Monterrey he has scored 64 goals in 103 games.
Last weekend FIFA said they would investigate Bulgaria and Estonia’s 2-2 draw after 4 penalties were given and confusion over the identity of the referee. The Bolivia-Lativa match-up was also cited for investigation with the three goals in that game also penalties. I wish I was told about these games so I could try to claw back my gambling losses over the years on football – having said that it could be worse, I could be the guy that laid Arsenal at 400/1 during the Barcelona game! Oh dear!
Top Ten English Champions League Goalscorers
In Champions League week, it was fitting to have a related Top Ten. You can find the Top Ten Champion League goalscorers on the web easy enough – but what about when we only look at English players? We already saw that Ray Parlour scored the 100th English goal but does he make the list! Check below!
=10. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – 7 goals
=10. John Terry (Chelsea) – 7
=10. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle Utd) – 7
9. Teddy Sheringham (Manchester Utd) – 8
8. Michael Owen (Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester Utd) – 11
7. Peter Crouch (Liverpool, Tottenham) – 13
6. David Beckham (Manchester Utd, Real Madrid) – 14
5. Andy Cole (Manchester Utd) – 18
=3. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) – 19
=3. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 19
2. Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd) – 21
1. Paul Scholes (Manchester Utd) – 25
So congratulations to Paul Scholes who can still add to his 25, although there is a chance that Wayne Rooney will pick up some form towards the end of the season and fly past him. Nice battle between Lampard and Gerrard with Lampard hoping to become the 3rd Englishman to reach 20 goals.
By Ralph Hannah