After the drama of the FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers, our focus returns to domestic football, and specifically to some incredible runs of results and spectacular goalscoring exploits. From the prolific form of Luis Suarez and Hector Mancilla to the sequences of wins, draws and defeats that have been strung together in Tallinn, Wellington and Berlin respectively, FIFA.com brings you closer to some of the beautiful game's most eye-catching statistical stories.
matches without defeat have taken Levadia Tallinn to within touching distance of a fourth successive Estonian championship. This spectacular unbeaten sequence, which stretches to 58 if last season is taken into consideration, strengthens the capital club's claim to being the most dominant domestic force in Europe. Their overall record of 26 wins, four draws, 106 goals for, 19 against, and a ten-point lead over their nearest challengers further emphasises the gulf between Levadia and the pretenders to their throne. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect to the Tallinn outfit's success story is the fact that the club tomorrow celebrates its 11th birthday, with the short time since 22 October 1998 having brought six Meistriliiga titles and five Estonian Cups.
goals in ten Eredivisie appearances this season have, unsurprisingly, taken Ajax's Luis Suarez comfortably clear at the top of the Dutch scoring charts. In fact, his closest rivals - Blaise N'Kufo, Mounir El Hamdaoui, Danny Koevermans and Bryan Ruiz - are all seven goals adrift of a player currently in the form of his life. Remarkably, in fact, the Uruguayan striker has scored more goals in his first ten Eredivisie matches than 11 of the 18 Dutch top-flight clubs have managed in theirs. Should he continue to outscore entire teams in this way, Suarez is in line to surpass some of his most illustrious Ajax predecessors. Johan Cruyff's tally of 25 in 1971/72 was better than four Eredivisie sides that season, while Marco van Basten holds the current record, having outscored five clubs by amassing 37 goals during the 1985/86 campaign.
defeats from their opening nine fixtures have seen Hertha Berlin equal a 46-year-old Bundesliga record. Not since FC Saarbrucken suffered eight defeats from nine in the initial stages of the 1963/64 season has any team started a German top-flight campaign so badly. It was Nuremberg who inflicted Die Alte Dame's eighth successive defeat on Saturday and, ironically, Hertha are now threatening to break another undesirable record: the 11 consecutive Bundesliga losses racked up by, yes, Nuremberg between March 1984 and August 1985.
goals in his last seven matches have kept Hector Mancilla firmly in the hunt for another Mexican Golden Boot, and Toluca at the front of the Mexican Apertura title race. The Chilean, who topped the scoring charts in the Apertura 2008 and Clausura 2009, has been on target in every one of his seven appearances since scoring a double in Toluca's 7-2 loss at America on 30 August. Mancilla's goals have been key to ensuring that that thumping defeat has been followed by an unbeaten run of six matches that has taken Los Choriceros nine points clear as they chase a second successive Apertura crown. Yet the former Veracruz star, who has yet to score in six appearances for his national team, must keep hitting the net if he is to narrow the three-goal gap on the league's current top scorer, Cruz Azul's Emanuel Vila.
consecutive draws have earned Wellington Phoenix a new, if not entirely welcome, Australian A-League record. The league's Kiwi representatives were within six minutes of ending this frustrating run of stalemates when Robbie Fowler ensured a draw for North Queensland Fury, and a little bit of history for their visitors. The Phoenix's run of draws now eclipses the five-game sequence strung together by Melbourne Victory in season 2007/08, although their coach still attempted to accentuate the positive. "You could say we're the hardest team to beat in the league," was Ricki Herbert's view. "I think we've lost the least amount of games." Herbert is indeed correct - even leaders Gold Coast United have suffered one more defeat - but a record of one win, seven draws and two defeats from ten matches nonetheless ensures that his side are just a point off the bottom.