- "No more years of hurt, no more years of dreaming" for some lion cubs
- The husband of a karateka kicking to the top of the Poles
- CR7 legend-chasing and a tank’s 11-second charge
years: that is how long Guinea had gone without beating Côte d'Ivoire until a stunning upset in Bouake. The Elephants have qualified for the last three World Cups and were crowned African champions in 2015, while the Syli Nationale have never come close to reaching the global finals. Moreover, while the underdogs fielded players based in Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia and the French fourth flight, the favourites fielded Eric Bailly, Serge Aurier, Franck Kessie and Maxwel Cornet of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Milan and Olympique Lyonnais, respectively. Despite a Seydou Doumbia brace ensuring the Ivorians led twice in their CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, however, the Guineans emerged 3-2 victors for their first win in 11 attempts in the fixture. Marc Wilmots duly became the first of Côte d'Ivoire’s 14 coaches this century to fail to win one of his first three games in charge.
years had passed since England had even won a game at the FIFA U-20 World Cup until they won the entire tournament this week. Since Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy, Kieron Dyer and marksman Michael Owen helped them beat Mexico 1-0 in their final Group F outing at Malaysia 1997, the Young Lions had gone a tournament-record 17 matches without victory (Panama are next on 15) until they kicked off their 2017 campaign with a 3-0 reverse of Argentina. England ultimately won as many games in Korea Republic (six), as they had in their previous nine U-20 World Cup campaigns, and won the country’s first title in a FIFA competition since Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Co conquered the big one 51 years ago.
seconds is all it took Diego Souza to score the fastest goal in the Brazilian national team’s 103-year history. The right-footer against Australia was the 31-year-old’s first goal for his country – he made his debut eight years ago – and made him the first player from Recife club Sport to net for Brazil since Traçaia against Ecuador in 1959 – Roberto Coração de Leão bagged, following some Zico magic, in a non-official friendly against a Republic of Ireland XI in 1981. 'El Tanque' Souza then sealed a 4-0 win 92 minutes and 16 seconds after his opener – the longest-ever period between a player’s first and last goals in a game for Brazil. A Seleção have scored ten and conceded zero in their last two meetings with the Socceroos, who, after going undefeated in Melbourne between 2007 and 2016, have now failed to win in their last three outings in the city.
goals per game for Portugal since the UEFA EURO is the remarkable run Cristiano Ronaldo will carry into the FIFA Confederations Cup. The 32-year-old left France 2016 in 25th place on the list of international football’s leading marksmen, but 12 goals in six games since has left him on 73 overall and shy of only eight players and two Europeans, Ferenc Puskas (84) and Sandor Kocsis (75). Ronaldo’s double in Portugal’s 3-0 win in Latvia made him the 11-goal top scorer in European qualifying for Russia 2018, but Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick – his fourth in his last 25 run-outs for Poland – against Romania one day later to tie him. The 28-year-old has now netted 23 goals in 20 appearances for Poland (45 in 86 overall) to go joint-second on their ranking of top scorers alongside Grzegorz Lato (45 goals in 100 apperances).
caps is all two 23-year-olds who recently became the second- and third-most expensive goalkeepers in history surprisingly have between them. Ederson, whom Benfica re-signed for €500,000 in 2015, joined Manchester City for €40 million, despite not being one of the three goalies to have played for Brazil this year. Benfica have now sold two of the top eight costliest goalkeepers of all time (Atletico Madrid paid €16 million for Jan Oblak), while City have signed two of the top six (Claudio Bravo was bought from Barcelona for €20 million). On Thursday, Jordan Pickford, despite not being among the three goalkeepers to have represented England in 2017, left Sunderland – whose academy he joined as an eight-year-old – for Everton for €34 million. The only shot-stopper who cost more than Ederson and Pickford was Gigi Buffon, who swapped Parma for Juventus for €52 million in 2001.
33 years after the Netherlands won back-to-back games by five-goal margins – Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit helped them beat Malta 5-0 and Allan Simonsen, Michael Laudrup, Preben Elkjaer Larsen and their Danish Dynamite team-mates 6-0 – the new coaching duo of Dick Advocaat and Gullit helped them repeat the feat.
16 years and 223 days was the age at which Alphonso Davies became Canada’s youngest-ever player on Tuesday. The Vancouver Whitecaps player broke the record of the late Domenic Mobilio, who was 17 when he debuted in 1986.
16 hours and 58 minutes: that is, incredibly, what Iran have gone without conceding in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying – a run that has helped them become the third team to qualify for Russia 2018 after the hosts and Brazil.
3 successive Senegalese Ligue 1 campaigns have, amazingly, ended with newly-promoted clubs seizing the trophy after Generation Foot emulated the achievements of Douanes and Goree on Sunday.