An exit from and an entrance to the international stage are featured in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, along with two 1.99m-tall strikers and the so-called dança dos técnicos (dance of the coaches) in Brazil.
goals and 112 appearances were the totals with which Jon Dahl Tomasson retired from international football as Denmark’s joint-leading marksman and most-capped outfield player on Monday. The 33 year old was, as it transpired, nine minutes away from signing off having failed to find the target in his last 15 matches and tie the all-time goalscoring record of Poul Nielsen, who incredibly needed just 38 games to reach the figure. However, in the Scandinavian nation’s final Group E outing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, Tomasson netted what proved a mere consolation in a 3-1 defeat by Japan that condemned his team to elimination, subtly dinking the rebound over the outstretched arm of Eiji Kawashima after the Japan goalkeeper had saved his penalty. It ensured that only five Europeans – namely Ferenc Puskas (83 for Hungary), Sandor Kocsis (75 for Hungary), Gerd Muller (68 for West Germany), Jan Koller (55 for Czech Republic) and Joachim Streich (53 for East Germany) – have more post-World War II international goals to their name than the Feyenoord forward, who debuted for his country in 1997 and trails only Peter Schmeichel on Denmark’s list of most-capped players.
minutes is what 18-year-old Neymar needed to put Brazil en route to a 2-0 reverse of USA last night and join an elite group of players to have scored on their senior Seleção bow, including Leonidas, Zagallo, Pele, Jairzinho, Zico, Rivaldo and Luis Fabiano. The five-time FIFA World Cup winners have now won their last eight meetings with the Americans – all on foreign soil - and 15 of their 16 overall.
seconds is all Alejandro Delorte required to head home Olimpo’s first goal on their return to the Argentinian top flight. However, it proved to be in vain as El Aurinegro, chasing a maiden opening-day victory in five attempts among the elite, since the skyscraping striker scored in a 3-0 defeat of San Lorenzo in 2005, lost 2-1 at Banfield.
coaches have now vacated hot-seats in this year’s Brasileirao, after four made departures following Round 13 at the weekend. Ceara sacked Estevam Soares after he failed to mastermind victory on Sunday at the sixth time of asking at home to Atletico Goianiense, who dismissed Roberto Fernandes, also appointed during the FIFA World Cup recess, following only four matches in their hot-seat at the end of last month. Just six of the division’s 20 clubs – Fluminense, Santos, Botafogo, Guarani, Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro - have had just one man at their reins during the campaign.
goals in four games from Sander Post have inspired Flora to ten points from a possible 12 and revivified their Estonian Meistriliiga title challenge. Martin Reim’s outfit had drawn their last two home assignments 1-1 prior to reinstalling the giant striker, returning from a spell in the Netherlands, into their attack. The move has paid dividends, with Post’s hat-trick in a 6-1 win at Tulevik Viljandi on Saturday helping move his side make it 20 goals in their last 360 minutes of football – an average of five per game. Flora sit six points behind leaders Levadia but have three matches in hand on their Tallinn rivals, who are bidding for an unprecedented fifth straight Meistriliiga crown.
years without a victory over San Jose Earthquakes – and seven matches without a Major League Soccer win – were the sequences arrested by Colorado Rapids on Saturday. The statistics had prompted Rapids coach Gary Smith to wear a shirt and tie – rather than his customary football kit and tracksuit – in the dugout for the first time in his career, and it proved a lucky omen as his charges emerged triumphant in the fixture for the first time in 13 attempts thanks to a solitary Jon Busch own goal.