David Beckham lines up with Hernan Barcos, we feature Argentinian playmakers at Boca Juniors and Guangzhou Yiyao, we’ve got news on the contrasting fortunes of Raúl and Raja and goal of the week from Recoba. Then we round it all off by telling you which country is most represented in international management. Football Top Tens time!
Last week’s stories
The U20s World Cup has reached the final as Argentina were dumped out by bogey side Portugal who then beat France to face Brazil in Sunday’s showpiece game. The Indian Ocean Games was won by Seychelles, their first ever title, condemning Mauritius to a penalty defeat. ITURBEWATCH: Right now Iturbe is on a plane to Portugal to begin his European football career with Porto…right backs beware!
This week’s stories
High Five Hernan
It was a good weekend for Hernan Barcos, the 27-year-old Argentine striker who has played in Paraguay, Serbia and China before settling in Ecuador 18 months ago hit five goals in LDU Quito’s 6-0 rout of Manta FC – he completed his hat trick in 19 minutes before adding two more just seven minutes after the break. LDU Quito’s week got even better on Wednesday when Paraguayan international midfielder Enrique Vera scored the only goal as they progressed to the 2nd round of the Copa Sudamericana.
Riquelme’s Boca magic
Boca Juniors grabbed their first win of the season and did so in style, coasting to a 4-0 win over newly promoted Unión de Santa Fe. Lucas Viatri may have scored two goals but Riquelme’s effort, the third, was sumptuous, he picked out the bottom corner with a curling shot nonchalantly despatched from his right foot. It was one of those reminders from a great footballer that with age you can lose pace and stamina but that technique and skill remains. It gave me goosebumps when I first saw it. For my full roundup of Week 2 of the Apertura go here.
Raúl off the mark…again
As Schalke cruised to a 5-1 win over Koln at the weekend, Raúl made sure he got in on the act with this chipped goal to open his account for the season. It is now the 18th consecutive season Raúl has scored at least one league goal, in fact his worse return ever in the league has been five goals so the early signs suggest he is set to continue that streak as well. His European goals record doesn’t look likely to be extended however, as Schalke were defeated 2-0 to HJK on Thursday.
Guangzhou Yiyao ruling China
The Chinese Super League is 20 games old and one side, Guangzhou Yiyao, are still unbeaten and sitting pretty at the top of the league nine points clear of Beijing Guoan. Game 19 last weekend was the closest they came to losing but a last gasp Gao Lin goal saved their record and deprived the almost aptly named Liaoning Whowin a victory. Wednesday’s game at home to Shenzhen was a formality, despite going behind to an early strike from Honduras striker Rony Flores they hit back with four goals of their own. Former Celtic forward Zheng Zhi got a double, weekend hero Gao Lin was also on the scoresheet with supremely talented Argentinian playmaker Dario Conca (clip is from a previous game).
Casablanca experiences mixed fortunes in CAF Champions League
Three more CAF Champions League group games took place on Sunday and while Wydad Casablanca were pleased to battle back for a 2-2 draw having been 2-0 down against Tunisia’s ES Tunis their cross town rivals Raja slumped to another defeat, this time against Enyimba of Nigeria. After three games Wydad stay top of their group with five points but Raja find themselves propping up Group A on just one point from five matches. In the other game Sudan’s Al Hilal Omdurman responded well to going behind to Cotonsport and won 2-1 with a late goal from Edet Otobong coincidentally of Cameroon.
Beckham helps LA Galaxy to a win
Continental action was also taking place in the Americas with the start of the group stages of the CONCACAF Chamipons League. David Beckham’s LA Galaxy won comfortably against Honduran side Montagua with the former England international setting up the second goal in a 2-0 win. The other three MLS sides, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and Dallas all won their games with the latter the most impressive victory, beating Mexican champions Pumas 1-0 in Mexico City. It was however another Mexican side who had the most to shout about, Monterrey were the biggest winners taking apart Herediano’s hapless defence in Costa Rica to record a 5-0 victory – 23-year-old striker Abraham Carreño with a hattrick .
Copa Sudamericana The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (2)
If you remember we featured this before, but this week’s action lends itself to a repeat. The Good is undoubtedly teenager Silvio Torales who scored the only goal in Paraguay club Nacional’s win over San José and was impressive throughout the game. The Bad is Juan Aurich’s goalkeeper Diego Penny for being beaten too easily at his near post to concede a second goal against La Equidad. The Ugly goes to Guillermo Marino of Universidad de Chile for this headbutt in the game against Fenix.
Chiefs and Pirates joined by Celtic
The South African Premier League is just two weeks old and after the midweek round of games only three sides remain with a 100% record. Unsurprisingly defending champions Orlando Pirates are there as are Kaizer Chiefs one of just five sides to have featured in all 16 editions of the PSL. Bloemfontein Celtic are the gate crashers at the top of the table, true they finished 5th last season but the team from Free State have never finished in the top 2 before. They started with an impressive 3-0 away win over Golden Arrows followed by Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Black Leopards, next up is Platinum Stars. We’ll keep an eye on them here from FTT HQ.
Stat of the Week
5.3% – The probability of Manchester City winning the league according to the Euro Club Index which takes into account results over the past three seasons giving relevance to the opposition and an array of other factors
Goal of the Week
We already talked about players who have still got it and that also goes for Uruguay’s Alvaro Recboa who scored this curler for Nacional of Uruguay at the weekend but just an honorary mention to Luciano Civelli who scored two on his Libertad debut the 2nd a rocket to win the game against Olimpia in the dying seconds.
Top Ten of the Week
We continue the focus on international football with a look at international managers. When I lived in England I often heard “We’re just not producing good quality coaches” so I wondered which country is. Here we have the Top Ten represented nations in international football management. I’ve referred to FIFA for the list so any queries can be taken up with them – and for sake of argument nationality supersedes country of birth (e.g. Gustavo Quinteros is Bolivian not Argentinian, Ever Almeida Paraguayan not Uruguayan).
=7. South Korea – 4 managers at international level
=7. Serbia – 4
=7. Italy – 4
=7. Croatia – 4
=7. Brazil – 4
=4. Portugal – 5
=4. Belgium – 5
=4. Spain – 5
3. Netherlands – 6
2. France – 8
1. Germany – 12
So there we have it, the Germans are leading the charge with Klinsmann’s recent appointment as coach of the United States just one of many appointments. I was surprised by both Portugal and Belgium but the biggest shock was South Korea who I didn’t expect to see here, they currently have coaches in South Korea, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka. England have two coaches at Nepal (Graham Roberts) and Turks and Caicos Islands (Matthew Green) which puts them equal with Bosnia, Colombia, Canada and Slovenia amongst others.
By Ralph Hannah