Ageless Argentinians, undesired draws
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Two veteran Argentinian strikers scored their way into FIFA.com’s statistical review of this past week, while unwanted draws account for the inclusion of Al Ittihad, Bangor City and Fulham.

300

career goals is the total Martin Palermo reached by scoring Boca Juniors’ opener in a 1-1 draw with Gimnasia on Friday. A trademark header brought up the landmark for the 37-year-old striker – he now has 230 goals for Los Xeneizes, while he managed 36 for Estudiantes, 25 during his three years in Spain with Villarreal, Real Betis and Alaves, and nine for Argentina – and prompted him to display a t-shirt displaying the number 300 and a picture of his children. But while Palermo embraced a goalscoring landmark, his club didn’t: Boca’s 20 goals during the 19-game Apertura – eight of which came courtesy of ‘El Loco’ - was their worst return since they posted the same amount 38 campaigns ago.

125

extra-time seconds is all Parma substitute Hernan Crespo needed to hit a brace that dramatically eliminated Fiorentina from the last 16 of the Coppa Italia last night. The Argentinian striker scored in both legs of the 1998/99 final to help I Gialloblu pip La Viola, then spearheaded by his national team strike partner Gabriel Batistuta, to the trophy on away goals, and he returned to haunt the same side and another of his countrymen at the Stadio Tardini. After a goalless 90 minutes, former Albiceleste international Mario Alberto Santana fired Fiorentina into a 114th-minute lead, but within three minutes Crespo, who is renowned for his prolificacy in cup competitions, had posted two opportunistic goals that improbably snatched Parma a quarter-final place. The 35-year-old has now scored seven times in his last five games.

21

years and 314 days separated this past week’s youngest and oldest scorers – and, ironically, they hit the target within 11 minutes of one another in the same game! Christian Mayrleb, 38, took just three minutes to fire tailenders Lask Linz into an early lead away to third-bottom Kapfenberger, before 16-year-old Michi Gregoritsch equalised in a match that ended 2-2. The latter, whose father coaches KSV, made history in April by becoming, at the age of 15 years and 361 days, the youngest marksman in Austrian Bundesliga history. Another Kapfenberger player on target in their final outing before the winter break was Deni Alar. The 20-year-old has now scored in six consecutive games, which is a statistic currently matched by only two players across the globe: Victor Simoes of Saudi side Al Ahli and Conor Sammon of Kilmarnock in Scotland.

15

consecutive wins was the flawless Bangor City start to the 2010/11 Welsh Premier League that Airbus UK brought to a halt with a 1-1 draw last night. And the runaway leaders even required a 92nd-minute David Morley strike – their third injury-time goal in two games after a last-gasp Jamie Reed brace earned them a 3-1 victory at Aberystwyth Town on Saturday – to maintain their unbeaten record. Still, the points was enough to lift Bangor 13 points clear of second-placed The New Saints.

10

draws is what Fulham now have to their name following a goalless meeting with Sunderland in Round 17 on Saturday, equalling the number they registered in the entire 38-game 2009/10 campaign and giving them a joint-record for the most stalemates at this stage of a Premier League season. Clint Dempsey was making his 100th appearance for the Cottagers in the English top flight, but the USA international was unable to prevent Mark Hughes’s side extending their winless streak to seven. Only goal difference now separates Fulham, who lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Europa League final in May, from the relegation zone, while their last five league encounters with Sunderland have produced just two goals.

6

successive draws – the last three ending 2-2 – have seen Al Ittihad lose pole position in the Saudi Professional League. The Jeddah giants won their first seven games of the campaign, which left them six points clear of their nearest rivals, before being held 1-1 by Al Wehda exactly two months ago. Following another five draws, Al Ittihad now find themselves trailing Al Nasr on goal difference, with just two points separating the top four midway through the season.