In this week’s stats review, FIFA.com looks at the siblings causing a sensation in the OFC Nations Cup, the record-breaking fee paid out for Eden Hazard, the run of successes enjoyed by Mexico against Brazil and less welcome sequences for both Italy and South Africa.
million euros is the fee that Chelsea this week paid Lille for Eden Hazard, breaking the record for a Ligue 1 club’s biggest-ever sale. Ironically, the existing benchmark had also been set by the Blues, when they paid €36m to land Didier Drogba from Marseille in 2004. In Hazard, Chelsea are signing a player who provided 16 assists for Les Dogues last season, more than anyone across Europe’s top five leagues with the exception of Mesut Ozil (17). The winger had a chance to face some of his new team-mates when he lined up for Belgium against England on Saturday and, true to form, created six scoring opportunities – twice as many as anyone on Roy Hodgson’s side. Indeed, the Three Lions, who have had more shots than their opponents in just one of their last ten matches, scored the game's decisive goal with their only effort on target.
goals in just three matches is the amazing haul to which four members of the same family currently lay claim at the OFC Nations Cup. The Tehau brothers – Alvin, Jonathan and Lorenzo – have, along with cousin Teaonui, been in devastating form in helping their side qualify for the semi-finals of the Oceanian showpiece. All four were on target in the Tahitians’ opening win, a 10-1 thrashing of Samoa, with Lorenzo grabbing four – including a three-minute hat-trick. Alvin and Jonathan scored two apiece, while Teaonui came off the bench to complete the collection. Each has subsequently added to their tally, and Lorenzo currently leads the tournament scoring chart with five.
matches without a win is the run that earlier this week cost Pitso Mosimane his job as South Africa coach. Bafana Bafana have failed to register a victory in almost eight months, and this nine-game winless streak equals the worst of their history, set between 1997 and 1998 and again in 2005. Their current form could hardly contrast more starkly to the results achieved when Mosimane first took the job, when his first nine games yielded six wins, two draws and just a single defeat. Goalscoring has been the South Africans’ main downfall, with Katlego Mphela’s equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Ethiopia one of just six registered during this nine-match winless run. Ghana, meanwhile, have no such problems. Indeed, the Black Stars’ 7-0 win over Lesotho was their second-biggest victory in an ‘A’ international since they inflicted a 9-1 defeat on Niger in 1969. This goal glut helped take Ghana through the century-mark in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying, with Dominic Adiyah’s first of the match giving him the distinction of claiming their 100th preliminary goal.
victories over Brazil have now been registered by Mexico since the turn of the century, more than any other team during the same period. Their latest success, a 2-0 win on Sunday, extended Eli Tri’s lead in this respect over Paraguay, who have four victories over Brazil, and Argentina and France, who have three apiece. Just as impressively, they have also succeeded in keeping a clean sheet in each of these six triumphs. Sunday’s result ended an eight-game winning streak for the Brazilians, although Mano Menezes’ side will have considered the scoreline a little harsh, given that they enjoyed 67 per cent of possession and had 16 shots to their rivals’ five. Not that Mexico will care. For the second match in succession, their star forwards Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez were both on target, giving the team a perfect morale-booster before Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Guyana.
straight defeats, Italy’s worst run in over 26 years, is the form in which Gli Azzurri go into UEFA EURO 2012. Not since February 1986 have the four-time world champions suffered three successive losses, and their latest reserve – 3-0 to Russia – was their heaviest since Brazil beat them by an identical margin in 2009. Worryingly, the goals have dried up too, with Cesare Prandelli’s side having now gone 310 minutes without finding the net. Two of their EURO rivals go into the tournament in considerably better fettle though. The Netherlands certainly encountered no problems locating the goal in a 6-0 defeat of Northern Ireland, their biggest friendly win since a 7-1 trouncing of Hungary in 1994. And co-hosts Poland are looking solid at the other end, having kept a clean sheet in each of their last five matches for a new national team record.