A big win by the English and some goalscoring heroics by Milan Baros and Nilmar spiced up the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying action in the last two international matchdays and, consequently, the McDonald's FIFA World Cup Fantasy Leaderboard.
zeus CM team of Belgium took over the top overall spot in the Fantasy table following Matchdays 12 and 13, moving up ahead of previous table topper djpizza, who drops down to third. Poland-based Pitbull's moved up into second spot. Spartak Moskva picked up the top prize for Round 12 (195 points) while Round 13 was ruled by Licka De Palle, who collected 214.
Round 12's topper last weekend employed a 4-3-3 and picked up double-digit returns from all 11 of his men on the pitch, Russian right back Alexsandr Anyukov putting in with no less than 26. Licka De Palle, in the midweek round, got a hat-full of points from his English midfield pairing of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who were in fine form against Croatia.
After picking up no points in Round 12 on 5 September, Italy's Fabio Grosso sprang to life again in mid-week, picking up no less than 25 points thanks, in part, to his stunning goal against Bulgaria. Portugal's Pepe was no less impressive as his goal against Hungary (1-0) put the Portuguese back in the hunt for a spot at South Africa 2010 and netted 24 points for himself in the Fantasy standings.
Gerrard and Lampard were on fire in Round 13, picking up 22 points apiece after scoring two goals each in a thrashing of Croatia that put England into the finals in South Africa. The USA's workhorse, Ricardo Clark, also had a good Wednesday, scoring the only goal to see USA past T&T in Port of Spain and picking up 17 points.
Milan Baros was in the mood for goals in the Czech Republic's 7-0 win over San Marino on Wednesday, scoring no less than four to pick up 31 points. Brazil's free-scoring Nilmar was also hot in mid-week, grabbing hold of 24 points.
No less than 18 goalkeepers picked up 14 points in Round 13. Among these top performers were some of the best goalkeepers in all the world, the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas and Tim Howard.
Seven coaches took 18 points each in Round 13, including Carlos de los Cobos, El Salvador's Mexican boss who architected a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in San Salvador. Brian Kerr of the Faroe Islands and Jan Poulsen of Armenia were also in the band of table-topping gaffers.
Well done to all the top performers. McDonald's FIFA World Cup Fantasy returns in just a few weeks, with back-to-back fantasy matchdays in early September.