An American example breaking a duck and an African antique breaking a 20-year-old record feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, alongside a bad week for Barcelona and another good one for Clint Dempsey, Marco Reus and Crystal Palace.
years and 354 days was the age at which Mauritius’s Kersley Appou ended Roger Milla’s reign as Africa’s oldest international footballer on Saturday. Milla played his last game for Cameroon in a 6-1 defeat by Russia at USA 1994, coming on as a half-time substitute and scoring one minute later at the age of 42 years and 39 days. The man renowned for his funky goal celebrations remains the oldest player and oldest scorer at a FIFA World Cup™. Milla’s continental record was ended by Appou when he came on as a late substitute against Mauritania, by which time 20-year-old Bastia playmaker Adama Ba had already put Mauritius en route to a 1-0 defeat in CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. The result, in the maiden meeting between the two teams, left Mauritius winless in 27 away matches, since Appou scored from the spot in a 2-0 victory in Madagascar in 2003. "I plan to continue playing," said Appou, who still has some way to go to break the world record. Indeed MacDonald Taylor Sr played his last game for US Virgin Islands aged 46 years and 217 days.
years after Granada last beat Barcelona in La Liga, they repeated the feat on Saturday. Despite Gerardo Martino’s men having over 80 per cent of the possession – a record in this season’s Spanish top flight – and 29 shots, Yacine Brahimi’s 16th-minute strike proved enough for a 1-0 home success. The upset followed a loss by the same scoreline to Atletico Madrid three days earlier, which cost Barça a seventh successive UEFA Champions League semi-final place. It left the Catalan giants having failed to score in back-to-back games for the first time since August 2008, when they suffered successive 1-0 defeats by Wisła Krakow and Numancia.
of the last 13 Borussia Dortmund goals have been scored or assisted by Marco Reus after his scintillating form continued. The 24-year-old attacker cleverly laid on the opener for Henrikh Mkhitaryan away to Bayern Munich on Saturday. It left Pep Guardiola’s side having gone 1-0 behind in five successive games. Reus then poked home the second en route to a stunning 3-0 win at the Allianz Arena, moving Jurgen Klopp’s team on to four straight away wins in the Bundesliga and leaving Bayern with just one point from a possible 12 at home to Dortmund in the competition. Reus then created both goals as BVB defeated Wolfsburg 2-0 to reach the DFB-Pokal final on Tuesday evening, meaning he has netted eight and assisted four of Dortmund’s last 13 goals. The second of those was Robert Lewandowski’s 100th for the club.
successive Premier League victories was what Crystal Palace achieved on Saturday for the first time since November 1994, when the likes of Nigel Martyn, Gareth Southgate, John Salako and Chris Armstrong inspired them to four consecutive wins. Palace began their return to the top tier with just three points from a possible 30, and Tony Pulis was overwhelming expected to lose his proud record of having never been relegated as a manager when he assumed the reins in November. The 56-year-old has, nevertheless, guided Palace to 30 points from a possible 63 and on to the cusp of survival. Central to Palace’s revival has been their impregnability, having kept clean sheets in 11 of the 14 matches in which they have avoided defeat.
Major League Soccer goals was the duck Kevin Alston finally broke in the sixth season of his career – just one year after it appeared to be over due to cancer. The New England Revolution fullback, who helped USA reach the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005 quarter-finals, took indefinite leave of absence from the sport in April 2013 to battle leukaemia. However, Alston admirably returned a few months later and, in his 123rd MLS appearance against Houston Dynamo on Saturday, he scrambled the ball home to set the Revs en route to a 2-0 victory. “It’s amazing to finally break the seal,” said Alston. “It’s six years later and I’m just glad it’s finally here. I can say I scored at least one in my career.” A former Revs player also seized the headlines in Round 6. Clint Dempsey scored a fabulous free-kick and a late winner as Seattle Sounders beat FC Dallas 3-2 in his native Texas. It left the 31-year-old former Fulham man with five goals in his last two games and top of the MLS scoring chart, with six in four outings this term.