The international retirement of an African icon, the second-half prolificacy of a Norwegian forward and the indefatigability of a French teenager all feature in this statistical review, as does an American legend’s latest landmark. FIFA.com examines the numbers behind the stories.
appearances for Cameroon was the total with which Rigobert Song retired from international football on Sunday, leaving him third on the list of most-capped Africans behind Egyptian pair Ahmed Hossan and Hossam Hassan. The defender made his debut for the Indomitable Lions in 1993, and in only his seventh game – one in which an unprecedented 24 year, 42 day age gap existed between him and team-mate Roger Milla – he became the youngest player to be sent off in the FIFA World Cup™ in a 3-0 defeat by Brazil. By coming on as a substitute in Cameroon’s 2-1 loss to the Netherlands at South Africa 2010, Song, who has been without a club since his recent release from Trabzonspor, became the only African to appear in four editions of the competition and ensured he hangs up his international boots as the joint-20th most-capped player in history.
goals in the regular season of Major League Soccer is the total Los Angeles Galaxy’s Landon Donovan reached on Sunday. In doing so he became just the sixth player to achieve such a milestone. With his side trailing 3-0 against Chicago Fire, the 28-year-old converted a 37th-minute penalty to join Jaime Moreno, Jeff Cunningham, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis, and Taylor Twellman in the century club, and although the Ontario native scored another spot-kick late on, it was not enough to prevent Bruce Arena’s team suffering their first home defeat of the campaign. Donovan scored his maiden MLS goal in 2001 and registered another 31 for San Jose Earthquakes before joining the Galaxy in 2005. The USA international, his country’s 45-goal all-time leading marksman, took 220 games to hit treble figures in the regular season, making him the second-fastest player to achieve the feat after Twellman, who required just 174 outings.
rounds of this year’s Brasileirao is what Paulo Cesar Gusmao has survived without a loss, making him the only unbeaten coach in the division despite the fact that his Vasco da Gama team lie only two points above the relegation zone (save for Rene Simoes, who will debut at the Atletico Goianiense reins on Sunday). The 48-year-old actually began the competition in charge of newly-promoted Ceara, surprisingly helping them win five and draw two of their opening seven games before moving to the Sao Januario. Thereafter, Vasco have won two and drawn three to climb out of the bottom four. Moreover, PC Gusmao’s sides have conceded only three goals in his 12 games in the dugout – an average of one every four outings.
second-half goals in his last five outings have sent Moa Abdellaoue flying clear atop of the Tippeligaen scoring chart, and Valerenga up to second. The 24-year-old hit an 18-minute hat-trick on Monday to aid an 8-1 victory over IK Start, who went into the game in sixth position and looking for a fourth successive victory. Abdellaoue’s octet since the resumption of the Norwegian top flight following its mid-season break – all registered between minutes 57 and 86 – have taken him on to 15 goals; four more than Steffen Iversen, who also struck a treble in Round 19 to keep unbeaten Rosenborg six points clear of his former club. The nine-goal Ullevaal Stadion encounter proved the highest-scoring match this season, surpassing the eight the two sides managed in April, when Valerenga lost 5-3. Ironically, Start were also defeated 8-1 in the highest-scoring match of the Tippeligaen 2009, with Molde their conquerors on that occasion.
games in three days is, incredibly, what Alexandre Lacazette appeared in this past week. The France forward scored an 85th-minute header – at just before 9pm in Caen on Friday - to seal a 2-1 win over favourites Spain in the UEFA U-19 European Championship final. Nine hours later, and following “very little sleep”, the Lyon teenager was on a train to London for the Emirates Cup, and at 2pm that day he started against Celtic, setting up his team's second goal in a 2-2 draw. Lacazette then came on as a 63rd-minute substitute on Sunday to help Les Gones, who were trailing, draw 1-1 with AC Milan.