- Men in orange having fun in ‘The Tub’
- A starlet sizzling in the ‘Lone Star State’
- Blancos in blue emulating rossonero in white
minutes without conceding is what Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez went on Korean soil – the third-longest run in FIFA U-20 World Cup’s 40-year history – until Jeremy Ebobisse grabbed USA a 117th-minute consolation in the quarter-finals. Only Portugal’s Mika and Jean of Brazil, who went 575 minutes in 2011 and 572 in 2015 respectively, survived longer without conceding. Eight Farinez saves – and a stoppage-time Samuel Sosa free-kick – saved Venezuela from elimination and sent their semi with Uruguay to penalties. There, the 19-year-old denied Jose Rodriguez and Nicolas De La Cruz – the 5ft 9ins man also repelled an Alexis Sanchez spot-kick in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying – to book Venezuela their first-ever FIFA tournament final.
caps is what Wesley Sneijder reached on Sunday, equalling Edwin van der Sar’s Netherlands record. The 32-year-old Galatasaray playmaker celebrated the occasion by helping his country hand Côte d'Ivoire their heaviest-ever defeat. Joel Veltman, who hasn’t scored for Ajax in over 18 months, became the first defender to net twice in a game for the Oranje since Frank de Boer against San Marino over 20 years ago. The 5-0 victory was the Netherlands’ biggest at De Kuip since Edgar Davids, Bolo Zenden, Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp and three-goal Patrick Kluivert inspired a 6-1 thrashing of Yugoslavia in the UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals. The Dutch are unbeaten in 22 outings at the Rotterdam venue since Manuel Rui Costa and Luis Figo helped Portugal win 2-0 almost 17 years ago, and have won their last 13 games there.
years had passed since the European champions had retained their crown until Real Madrid did it in style on Saturday. The last had been an irrepressible AC Milan side comprising Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten. Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock in Cardiff to ensure Real finished 2016/17 having scored in all 60 matches in all competitions and became the first club to reach 500 goals in the UEFA Champions League – Barcelona (459), Bayern Munich (415) and Manchester United (350) are the only others to have managed 300. Juventus quickly equalised through a Mario Mandzukic pearler, making the man who got the opener for Bayern in the 2013 climax just the third player to bag for different teams in the European Cup/Champions League final after Velibor Vasovic (Partizan in 1966 and Ajax in ’69) and Ronaldo (Manchester United in 2008). Ronaldo’s second of the game took him on to 600 career goals for clubs and country, and saw him finish one above Lionel Messi in the race for the leading marksman award – one the 32-year-old has now won, incredibly, in five successive seasons (he shared it with Messi and Neymar in 2014/15).
goals is what Christian Pulisic has been directly involved in his last four USA appearances – and from midfield. The 18-year-old made it four goals in as many games – he has registered three assists in them – with a brace in the 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Russia 2018 qualifying last night. Clint Dempsey won his 134th cap in Denver to go joint-third on USA’s all-time list alongside Jeff Agoos, but he failed to get the strike he needed to tie Landon Donovan’s 57-goal record. The Soca Warriors have now failed to score away to the Stars and Stripes in almost 13 hours of action, while the US have won their last 11 home matches against T&T since a 1-1 draw in 1989.
goals in the first half is what FC Dallas became the first side in the MLS’s 21-year history to score on Sunday. Oscar Pareja’s charges therefore netted as many goals in 45 minutes against Real Salt Lake as they had in their previous nine hours’ action in Texas. Central to the blitz was Roland Lamah, who took 31 minutes to register the second-fastest hat-trick from kick-off in MLS history, four minutes shy of the one Bradley Wright-Phillips posted for New York Red Bulls against Toronto FC last year. It gave the Belgian attacker, in the 13th year of his career, his first treble, and after taking ten matches to finally score in the MLS, he now has four goals in as many games. Jesus Ferreira came on for his debut in the competition and sealed a 6-2 win in the last minute – it tied Dallas’s personal best for goals in a game. At 16 years and 161 days, the son of former Colombia midfielder David Ferreira consequently became the second-youngest player to score an MLS goal after Freddy Adu (14 years and 320 days for DC United in 2004).
155 feet was the distance from which Neymar, on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! chat show, scored over the iconic Hollywood Boulevard. On his third attempt, the 25-year-old Brazilian struck the ball, from the top of El Capitan Theatre, past a goalkeeper and into a goal erected on the Hollywood and Highland Center.
29 years is what Arnoldo Iguaran had reigned as Colombia’s all-time leading marksman until he was outranked by Radamel Falcao on Wednesday. Two years and one day after he tied El Guajiro’s 25-goal record, El Tigre beat it to ensure Spain conceded more than one goal at home for the first time in 11 years.
4.8 goals per game is what Australia and Saudi Arabia have averaged in five meetings this century after the Socceroos won 3-2 to leave the two sides – and Japan – level on points at the top of Group B in Asian qualifying for Russia 2018.