Setbacks, streaks and scoring feats
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The goalscoring excellence of Sergio Aguero, Hernan Barcos and Lionel Messi illuminates FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, which also features the breaking of records at Colombia 2011 and another glimpse of the world champions’ fallibility.

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matches without loss is the record sequence with which Argentina exited the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, this after Portugal edged a thrilling penalty shoot-out in Saturday’s quarter-final. The shoot-out defeat, their third in succession in FIFA competitions, came after a 0-0 draw that enabled the Argentinians to match an identical unbeaten streak strung together by Brazil between 1989 and 1995. La Albiceleste’s last reverse at a FIFA U-20 World Cup came when USA beat them 1-0 in 2005, since which they have racked up 15 wins and three draws, as well as lifting the trophy twice. The secret to Portugal’s success, meanwhile, has been a miserly defence, one which achieved its fifth successive clean sheet en route to the last four. Goalkeeper Mika goes into tomorrow’s semi-final against France protecting a run of 482 minutes without conceding, leaving him just 12 short of the record set by Chile’s Christopher Toselli in 2007.

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goals in his last five visits to the Bernabeu is the impressive tally with which Lionel Messi ended Sunday’s Spanish Supercopa first leg. The Argentinian’s latest effort, his sixth Supercopa strike, took him level with Hristo Stoichkov as Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer in the competition, and left him just one short of Raul’s overall record of seven. It also extended to five matches the Catalans’ unbeaten run at the home of their old rivals, the first time either side has managed such a lengthy away sequence in El Clásico’s 109-year history. Earlier, Mesut Ozil had claimed the fixture’s 700th goal, becoming the first German to score in the Supercopa, while Xabi Alonso later became the first Basque to find the net for Real in a Clásico since Pedro Maria Arsuaga 59 years ago.

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goals in the space of 26 minutes was the feat that led to Liga de Quito striker Hernan Barcos making headlines across South America on Saturday. The 27-year-old Argentinian, whose nomadic career has also taken him to Paraguay, Serbia and China PR, opened his account in the 26th minute of a 6-0 win over Manta and had completed his one-man demolition job before 52 minutes had elapsed. Amazingly, however, Barcos’ five-goal salvo was not enough to establish him as the weekend’s leading marksman. In fact, a single match produced one player who outscored him and another who matched him, with Aleksandrs Cekulajevs and Maksim Gruznov contributing six and five goals respectively to Estonia’s Trans Narva’s 14-0 thrashing of the Meistriliiga's whipping boys, Ajax Lasnamae.

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defeats have been inflicted on Spain since they lifted the FIFA World Cup™ trophy last July, equalling the number of losses they had suffered in the previous four years combined. Italy last Wednesday became the latest team to triumph over the world and European champions, claiming a 2-1 win in Bari that ended Spain’s five-match unbeaten run in the fixture. This, in fact, was Gli Azzurri’s first win over La Roja since 1994, when goals from Dino and Roberto Baggio sealed victory in the quarter-finals of that year’s FIFA World Cup. Last week’s success also maintained Italy’s impressive unbeaten record in Bari, the southern city in which they have won seven and drawn one of their eight fixtures.

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goals in a 31-minute outing on Monday saw Sergio Aguero become the first player in over six years to score a double on his English Premier League debut. Not since Mido found the net twice in his first Tottenham Hotspur appearance in February 2005 has a new arrival made such an instant impact in England’s top flight. City had drawn all five of their previous home fixtures on the Premier League’s opening weekend and looked set to continue that run against Swansea City, who became the first team in 2011 to make it to half-time at the Etihad Stadium without conceding a goal. That, however, was until Aguero provided the cutting edge for a City side who ended the match having registered 15 shots on target, more than any team in the Premier League since Tottenham in their famous 9-1 win over Wigan Athletic in November 2009. As for the red half of Manchester, they were able to celebrate an eighth successive league win at West Bromwich Albion, equalling an English top flight record, and also maintained the unbeaten record of each reigning Premier League champion in the following season’s opening match.