Americas in focus as records crumble
© AFP

The conclusion of domestic championships in South America and the continuing drama at the CONCACAF Gold Cup features alongside outstanding Finnish finishing and German solidity in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review.

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minutes of football have now passed since Germany’s women last conceded a goal, with the hosts and holders looking ominously powerful as the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ draws ever closer. Their last four matches – against Nigeria, Korea DPR, Italy and the Netherlands – have been won by an aggregate score of 20-0, and it’s now almost eight months since Australia’s Samantha Kerr became the last player to breach the German goal, and even that was a mere consolation strike in a 2-1 defeat. Indeed, over a year has now passed since Silvia Neid’s side last tasted defeat, although no-one in the German camp will need reminding that it was USA – widely seen as their main rivals for the world crown – who not only beat them, but triumphed by a record 4-0 scoreline.

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 Uruguayan league championships have now been won by Nacional of Uruguay, making the Montevideo giants the most successful club not to enjoy the distinction of being of their country’s record champions. That was an honour they previously shared with Celtic, with this Uruguayan and Scottish duo’s title-winning achievements overshadowed by those of Penarol (48 league championships) and Rangers (54) respectively. Nacional are nonetheless edging ever closer to Penarol’s record tally, having taken home seven of the last 12 titles compared to the two won by their bitter rivals during the same period. And, unusually, both Montevideo titans have reason to cheer at the moment, with Penarol eagerly looking forward to their first Copa Libertadores final in 24 years.

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 games without defeat in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage was the impressive USA record that came to an unexpected end on Sunday. Panama were the team to rewrite the record books, triumphing 2-1 to book their place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare and inflicting their rivals’ first-ever defeat in the opening stage of this continental showpiece. It was Los Canaleros’ first win against the Americans in nine attempts, with the previous eight encounters having produced an aggregate score of 18-4 in favour of their heavyweight rivals. History has also been made elsewhere at the tournament, with Mexico equalling Costa Rica’s 65-year-old record of scoring at least five goals in three consecutive Gold Cup fixtures, and Javier Hernandez - with five goals in his first two games - outscoring the competition’s top marksmen in seven of the last eight editions.

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 goals in five appearances have established Finn Timo Furuholm as one of the form strikers in world football and fired his club Inter Turku to the top of Finland’s Veikkausliiga. The Sinimustat, who are chasing only their second top flight title, have embarked on a five-game winning streak on the back of this recent goal glut from a player who has undergone a remarkable transformation. After all, Furuholm hasn’t always been so prolific; indeed, the 23-year-old's goal tally for the past month already exceeds his haul from the previous year-and-a-half.

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 league titles is the tally now boasted by Velez Sarsfield, edging the Liniers outfit ahead of Racing Club as the fifth-most successful team in the history of Argentina’s top flight. Only River Plate (33), Boca Juniors (23), Independiente (14) and San Lorenzo (10) have won more championships than El Fortín, who secured top spot with a game to spare on Monday thanks to a 2-0 win over Huracan. It was a victory over the same opponents that had secured Velez’s last title in 2009, and they have continued a tradition of being stronger in the Clausura – which they have won in 2009, 2005, 1998 and 1996 – than in the Apertura, where their last win came back in 1995. An intriguing feature of this season’s success has been the spread of the team’s goals, with Velez finishing as the league’s top-scoring side despite none of their players reaching double figures, and with their eight-goal leading marksman, David Ramirez, a playmaker who rarely features in the starting XI.