Last Week’s Stories
Last week Ronaldinho had a new dance, now he is scoring from corners, it is all going right for the ex-Barça man! Ouakam have had to keep the champagne on ice in Senegal, losing at the weekend while Casa Sport won. Bayern Munich won again, 3-0, Mario Gomez with his 7th hat trick in under a year at the club. ITURBEWATCH: *bale of hay blows past in the wind*
This Week’s Stories
Argentina Veteran reaches century
Diego Rivarola of Universidad de Chile struck his 100th goal for the club last weekend, unsurprisingly he is the all-time leading foreign scorer for the Chilean outfit. He now has 82 league goals for the side and only the legendary Marcelo Salas (87) has scored more league goals at the club.
In Ravenna, Italy the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup has kicked off with two penalty shoot outs and one thrashing already. Hosts Italy edged past Iran 5-4 on penalties following a 6-all draw and African champions Senegal pipped Switzerland 1-0 in a shoot out after an 8-all draw. Portugal won 11-2 against Honduras with all-time top goalscorer Nadjer scoring twice in the first 100 seconds of the game, he finished with a hat trick to take him to 70 goals in Beach World Cups.
In Oceania some of the world’s less competitive sides are trying to win an international tournament as the Pacific Games began on Monday. At the time of writing hosts New Caledonia had set Group A alight with a 9-0 thumping of Guam in their opened followed by an 8-0 crushing of Tuvalu. Fiji also won 9-0 in Group B, Kiribati on the receiving end in a result that may have rocked the 98,000 population.
Ligue 1: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
In France this week’s ‘Good’ was definitely Burkina Faso’s Alain Traoré who grabbed two for Auxerre in a 4-1 win and put him at the top of the scorers charts. The bad, Toulouse, maybe harsh because Pastore is a great talent but they were 1-0 up at PSG and 1-1 with a minute to go, they slumped to a 3-1 defeat! The Ugly, Sochaux vs St.Etienne, which produced three goals but also a penalty, a red card and five bookings! Sochaux won 2-1 against 10-man St.Etienne.
Wairarapa United historic first
88 years after it’s inception the 84th edition of New Zealand’s Chatham Cup has concluded (it wasn’t contested during WWII and in 1937 due to a lack of entries) with Wairarapa champions for the first time. The club had never been past the Last 16 previously and in the globalised modern game it maybe isn’t a surprise that the goals in their 2-1 victory came from a Vanuatuan and Fijian. The club with the most Chatham Cup titles is University Mount Wellington who have won it 7 times, the last back-to-back winner was Central United (1997/98).
Gabala in the groove
Former Arsenal & England defender, Tony Adams, is now managing in Azerbaijan and his side, Gabala, have started the new season well, undefeated after four games and the best defence in the league. They picked up two draws at home but have won both away games and currently sit second just two points behind Khazar Lankaran having only conceded two goals.
The entire island nation’s football team has been dismissed regarding a row over payments. It is a dark time for Malagasy football with the side disappointing at the Indian Ocean Island Games and sitting at the bottom of their qualifying group. Days away from their fifth group game at home to Nigeria, the U23 side will line up against the Super Eagles. If that wasn’t enough, the coach was sacked as well.
In Zimbabwe the title race is opening up as the joint leaders Motor Action and Platinum FC drew for the second consecutive week. With just eight games to go they remain neck and neck on 42 points but Dynamos are now just three points behind having beaten Gunners 3-1 at the weekend. The Dynamos from capital Harare last won in 2007 and have been runners up in the three league championships since. For those of you looking for 1991 vice-champions Wankie, they changed their name in 2005.
Stat of the Week
1 – the number of Premier League sides who have played under half of their passes in the opposition half. According to Four Four Two’s new Stats Zone it is Swansea with 1354 completed passes but no goals to their name.
Goal of the Week
This is a top class volley from Anthony Mounier who controls it on his chest before rifling home to secure a win for Nice away to Toulouse.
Top Ten of the Week
As international week is full of games to watch I thought I would find out which side is the most exciting. Simple formula, I took the Top 50 FIFA-ranked sides and looked at their goals per game record in 2011 (*as of 1st Sep – so doesn’t inc. this morning’s matches). Here are the top scorers to date!
10. Mexico (34 goals in 15 games) – 2.27 goals per game
9. Germany (16/7) – 2.29
8. Spain (14/6) 2.33
7. Egypt (17/7) – 2.43
6. Sweden (15/6) – 2.5
=4. Netherlands (13/5) – 2.6
=4. Ghana (13/5) – 2.6
3. Nigeria (15/5) – 3
2. Ivory Coast (13/4) – 3.25
1. Israel (19/5) – 3.8
So Israel are the team to watch it seems, or have had five very easy games. Just eight sides in Top 50 average under 1 goal a game with bottom being Algeria (0.5) although they have only played two games this year so a bit unfair. England (1.75) are 19th and Brazil (1.22) are down in 32nd.
By Ralph Hannah