Titans, trebles and halted runs
© AFP

In FIFA.com’s latest stats review, the end of two lengthy sequences for Porto and Sudan comes under the microscope along with milestones for the prolific trio of Mario Gomez, Christine Sinclair and Abby Wambach, and a spate of hat-tricks in La Liga.

700

 days and 55 games after their last Liga loss, Porto finally succumbed to a top-flight defeat on Sunday, going down 3-1 at Gil Vicente. It was Os Dragões’ first reverse since 28 February 2010 and, frustratingly, left them just one match short of equalling Benfica’s long-standing record of 56 games undefeated, set between 1976 and ’78. Just as importantly, the result left Benfica five points clear as the Lisbon giants chase what would be only their third league title in the last 18 seasons. For Gil Vicente, the victory was a masterclass in making the most of scarce resources. After all, the Barcelos outfit scored with all three of their shots on target against a Porto side who enjoyed 72 per cent possession – the reigning champions’ highest share in any league game this season.

200

 Bundesliga appearances was the landmark reached by Mario Gomez in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg on Saturday. It was to no-one’s surprise that the Germany international celebrated the occasion in typical style – by scoring – as Bayern extended to ten matches their winning run in this fixture. Gomez has found the net 118 times across those 200 appearances, and this season is shaping up to be his best yet, with 17 strikes in 18 outings leaving him with a career high average of 0.94 goals per match. Wolfsburg, for their part, failed to register a single effort on target, and have now been beaten in 14 of their last 15 visits to Bayern. There was, however, better news for Schalke, who won a fifth consecutive match - 4-1 away to Cologne - the first time they have managed such a run since stringing together a club record sequence of six straight victories between December 2006 and February 2007.

131

 international goals is the career tally with which USA’s Abby Wambach ended the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, taking her beyond compatriot Kristine Lilly into second place in the all-time women’s scoring list. With Lilly’s final haul of 130 having been eclipsed, the 31-year-old now has in her sights another illustrious US predecessor, Mia Hamm, who holds the record with a massive 158. Earlier in the tournament, both Wambach and Canada’s Christine Sinclair had surpassed yet another of the female game’s icons in Birgit Prinz (128), and both went into Sunday’s final tied on 129 apiece. However, despite the backing of a sell-out crowd of 25,427 at Vancouver’s BC Place — the second-largest attendance Canada have drawn for a home match – it was the visitors, and Wambach in particular, who thrived. While Sinclair, with nine goals in her first four appearances in the competition, was subdued, her striking rival found the net twice as USA won 4-0, rounding off a tournament in which the Americans outscored their opponents by a cumulative tally of 38-0.

42

 years without a win at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations was the run that finally came to an end for Sudan on Monday. A 2-1 triumph over Burkina Faso, themselves without a victory in their last 17 CAN matches, gave the Falcons of Jediane their first success at the tournament since beating Ghana in the 1970 final and, more importantly, took them through to the quarter-finals. In their previous match, Sudan had erased two equally unwanted records in drawing 2-2 with Angola, having previously gone 36 years without claiming a point or scoring a goal at Africa’s showpiece event. Elsewhere at the Cup of Nations, Guinea beat Botswana 6-1 to record their biggest-ever win at the tournament and become only the third team – after Egypt in 1963 and Côte d’Ivoire in 1970 – to score six goals in a single CAN fixture.

15

 hat-tricks in La Liga, one more than the whole of last season, have already been scored during the 2011/12 campaign, this after Fernando Llorente added to the tally on Saturday. With six goals in his last five appearances, and having found the net in his last three Liga outings, the Athletic Bilbao talisman is in his best form of the season, although he is still some way off the scoring pace set by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese was on target once again on Saturday, taking his tally for the campaign to 31 goals in as many appearances, as Real Madrid moved seven points clear with a 3-1 win over Real Zaragoza. Mesut Ozil was also among the goals, although it is as a creator that the German has truly excelled, with five assists already in 2012. No other player in La Liga has managed more than two during the same period.