Last Week’s Stories
Kaiser Chiefs won again in South Africa and are top of the league, as the Pirates and Bloem Celtic lost. No goals for Raúl, Hernan Barcos or Dario Conca this week. ITURBEWATCH: He is in Portugal, will wear 27 and likes McDonalds. Oh and today he traveled with the Super Cup squad to face Barcelona. That is all.
This Week’s Stories
Ortega back on scoresheet
There wasn’t much to interest me in Defensores de Belgrano vs Deportivo Moron (great name) in Argentina’s third division on a cold Tuesday night, that was until I found out Ariel ‘El Burrito’ Ortega was playing for the home side. Incredibly on his debut for the side from Cordoba he scored the equaliser, albeit a penalty, to cap yet another comeback from the 37-year-old.
Brazilian in Baghdad
Brazil legend Zico has decided to take the reins at the Iraqi national team. On Monday he stated he is just waiting for the i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed on his new contract. The AFC World Cup Qualifiers begin next month and Iraq start with Jordan at home and Singapore away. They are bidding to qualify for their second World Cup (1986 is only appearance to date) in Zico’s native Brazil.
Back in Baghdad
Look at this two stories from Iraq in one week! On Sunday the Iraqi league finished and Al Zawraa won the Iraqi title for the 12th time to bring it back to the country’s capital having been in Arbil in the Kurdish region to the North of the country for the last three years. It was Arbil who Al Zawraa beat in the final, in front of 45.000 supporters, on a penalty shoot-out 5-4 after a 0-0 draw. The consolation for Arbil’s Luay Salah was that the diminuitive striker finished top scorer something for Zico (see above) to note when he names his first national squad.
Maradona’s Middle-East message
Staying in the Middle-East (we’re leaving for Europe after this!) and Diego Maradona makes a political statement at new club Al Wasl. Nothing more to say but, Viva Palestina!
Bayern get going
German giants Bayern Munich have put their opening day loss to Borussia Monchegladbach behind them and have now won four on the trot in all competitions. Last weekend they won 5-0 against Hamburg with Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery impressing before Mario Gomez’s early strike sealed their Champions League qualification against Zurich. The four straight wins has been accompanied by four consecutive cleansheets as Bayern look imposing at both ends of the field.
Sengal Sunday sinks Sport
Casa Sport crashed to a 2-0 defeat away to Touré Kounda in the Senegal Premier League on the same day leaders Ouakam won by the same margin to Diaraf in Dakar. With three games to go Ouakam are now 9 points clear and virtually assured of their first ever title tomorrow against Niarry Tally. Diaraf are the team with the most titles (11) followed closely by Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) with 10.
Mexican Good, Bad and Ugly
Good, Bad and Ugly is going to become a regular feature I think. In Mexico the good was Christian Benitez at new Club America who having gone 1-0 down to a most unwelcome goal from George Welcome (humour me) ended up winning 5-2 thanks to a hattrick from Chucho. The Ecuadorian scored all three goals in the last 20 minutes to seal the win. The bad was Pumas who had been unbeaten domestically going into last weekend and having lost in the Champions League midweek suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Puebla. The ugly, well that was the Santos Laguna vs Morelia clash which only lasted 40 minutes before gun shots caused the game to be called off. Thankfully nobody inside the stadium was hurt and it later transpired that the shots had been fired outside the stadium by a police checkpoint, common in areas where drug traffickers operate. Full round up of last weekend is here in excellent FMF State of Mind.
Ronaldinho has a new dance
Ronaldinho’s renaissance continues, having scored the winner in the 1st leg of their Copa Sudamericana game against Atletico Paranense he scored the winner in the 2nd leg this week, a back post header. But while the goal wasn’t special the celebration that followed was – a well choreographed effort with teammate Negueba. Oh and here he is taking the biscuit in training with some outrageous goals.
Stat of the Week
8 – Number of English players Norwich had on the field on Saturday the most for any Premier League side at the weekend.
Goal of the Week
Haven’t featured a Paraguayan goal for a few weeks so this week I’m giving the award to Olimpia’s Colombian midfielder Vladimir Marin for his freekick (2nd goal) against General Caballero.
Top Ten of the Week
With the Champions League Qualifiers done and dusted for another year we look at just who is the king of the Qualifiers (instigated in 1994/95). This is the Top Ten winners of Champions League Qualifying matches (not ties) including victories in extra time but not penalties.
=8. Galatassary 15 qualifier victories
=8. Dinamo Zagreb 15
=8. BATE Borisov 15
=8. Anderlecht 15
=6. Steaua Bucharest 16
=6. Shakhtar Donetsk 16
5. Sparta Prague 18
=3. Rangers 19
=3. Partizan 19
2. Rosenborg 28
1. Dynamo Kiev 29
So Dyanamo Kiev are the kings of the qualifiers and alongside Rosenborg they blow the competition out of the water! No place for Arsenal who are only into double figures this season and they aren’t even the Premier League’s best representative with Liverpool on 11 victories!
By Ralph Hannah