Goal sprees from Atletico Mineiro, Kashiwa Reysol and Los Angeles Galaxy make FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, along with a 16-year-old Swede, a club-changing Uruguayan and a Shakhtar Donetsk rout.
years and 269 days was the age at which Melker Hallberg rose from the bench to snatch Kalmar a 2-1 comeback victory over Swedish Allsvenskan leaders Elfsborg in Round 15 on Sunday. A header from Daniel Mendes, 31, had cancelled out a sumptuous curler from the 36-year-old Anders Svensson, before the former made way for Hallberg in the 73rd minute. The midfielder was probably only summoned from the bench because captain Henrik Rydstrom, who made his Kalmar debut two years before Hallberg was born, was suspended. The teenager, who has been likened to Freddie Ljungberg, nevertheless took his chance in style, collecting the ball from the right flank in the last minute, cutting inside and cracking home a superb strike from outside the box for his maiden Allsvenskan goal. The result allowed Malmo, who were six points behind Elfsborg having played a game more heading into Round 11, cut the leaders’ gap to just three points with the teams having played 15 times apiece.
clubs have now been defended by Sebastian Abreu – including two in different spells – after the striker debuted for Figueirense on Saturday. A recent loan move from Botafogo made the Florianopolis outfit the 35-year-old’s third Brazilian employers, while he has also played in his native Uruguay, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Israel and Greece. And Abreu’s Figueira bow appeared set to end successfully when he left the field in the 63rd minute of the visit of Atletico Mineiro, given that he had led the line impressively and his side had recovered from an early Ronaldinho penalty to establish a 3-1 lead. However, three goals in the space of 11 minutes thereafter – from Leonardo Silva, Bernard and Guilherme - thrust Atletico to a thrilling 4-3 victory that kept them two points clear of Vasco da Gama at the Brasileirao summit.
unanswered goals was what Shakhtar Donetsk put past Arsenal to equal their biggest Ukrainian Premier League win since May 2001 and get their 2012/13 campaign off to a flying start. Armenia forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan continued his fine form of last season by scoring a brace and setting up another two to earn the man-of-the-match award, while Brazilians Fernandinho and Alex Teixeira, who cheekily scored with his chest, also caught the eye at the Donbass Arena. Shakhtar, who took maximum points from their last nine games of 2011/12 to outsprint Dynamo Kyiv to the line and seize their sixth championship in eight attempts, have now won their last ten league matches. Furthermore, Mircea Lucescu’s men have emerged triumphant – and kept clean sheets – in each of their last four season curtain-raisers.
goals in nine first-half minutes is what propelled Los Angeles Galaxy to a 5-3 win away to Portland Timbers on Saturday, and tied their own record for the fastest four-goal spree in Major League Soccer history. Bruce Arena’s defending champions were trailing to a Kris Boyd opener when David Beckham’s spectacular 35-yard curler restored parity in the 19th minute, and the former England captain swiftly put them ahead with another superb strike, this time from a trademark free-kick. On 27 minutes, Landon Donovan converted a penalty to make it 3-1, and a minute later the same player set up Robbie Keane to increase the lead and equal the record the Galaxy themselves set in 2004, when they raced into a 4-0 advantage en route to a 4-2 defeat of DC United. Donovan’s role in the California outfit’s fourth goal made him just the sixth player of all time to reach 100 regular-season assists in the MLS, after Steve Ralston (135), Carlos Valderrama (114), Preki (112), Jaime Moreno (102) and Marco Etcheverry (101). The Galaxy, who were bottom of the Western Conference little over a month ago after collecting just one point from a possible 21, are now fifth in the section having won five of their last seven outings.
goals in eight last-gasp minutes is what Kashiwa Reysol struck to turn a deficit away to Shimizu S-Pulse into a 5-3 win as the second half of the J.League got underway. Former Asian Footballer of the Year Shinji Ono missed the chance to score the 1,000th goal of S-Pulse’s history from the spot, but after a Leandro Domingues penalty had put the visitors ahead, Genki Omae made no mistake from 12 yards to equalise with that landmark goal. Despite having had defender Keisuke Iwashita sent off at the end of the first half, Shimizu raced into a 3-1 lead thanks to efforts from Naohiro Takahara and Alex Brosque. Kashiwa’s Jorge Wagner and Shimizu’s Yutaka Yoshida then received red cards to reduce the teams to ten and nine men respectively, before Masato Kudo’s 75th-mniute volley gave Reysol a glimmer of hope. With two minutes of normal time remaining, however, the game looked like ending 3-2 in the hosts’ favour, until Wataru Hashimoto levelled the scores, Koki Mizuno edged the defending champions ahead, and Masato Kudo, with virtually the last kick of the match deep into stoppage time, completed a dramatic 5-3 success. Although S-Pulse scored three times as many goals in 90 minutes at the weekend than they did in their previous six games, they are now winless in eight. Reysol, meanwhile, have won six successive away contests - scoring 11 goals in the last two of those – and sit fifth, six points behind Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who knocked Vegalta Sendai off top spot for the first time since Round 2.