First & last touches count, ancient records crash
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Two 88-year-old Olympic records falling highlight FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, along with an Englishman netting a winner with his first touch and a Croatian scoring a tie-changing goal with his last, a Brazilian goalkeeper’s invincibility and an Estonian side’s prolificacy.

467

minutes without conceding is the run Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Fernando Prass is on following a fifth straight shutout at Internacional on Saturday. It is a career personal best for the 34-year-old, and the longest the Rio de Janeiro outfit have gone without conceding in the Brasileirao since Acacio’s reflexes helped them go nine games and 915 minutes without leaking a goal in 1988. Since the competition adopted its straight league format in 2003, only four teams have kept more than five successive clean sheets, with a Rogerio Ceni-indebted Sao Paulo having set the record of nine matches and 988 minutes in 2007. Vasco’s point at Inter was one of four 0-0 draws from the ten contests at the weekend – the most goalless stalemates in a Brasileirao round since July 2005 – and kept them second, two points behind Atletico Mineiro.

88

years was how long Uruguay had remained unbeaten in Men’s Olympic Football Tournaments until Senegal handed them a shock 2-0 defeat on Thursday. La Celeste debuted in the competition at Paris 1924, winning all five of their matches – scoring 20 goals and conceding just two in the process – to seize gold. The Uruguayans then defended their crown four years later in Amsterdam, having emerged triumphant in four of their five games and drawn the other. On their long-awaited Olympic return, Oscar Tabarez’s side beat United Arab Emirates 2-1 to take their all-time record to ten wins, one draw and no losses, before their invincibility was ended by a Moussa Konate-inspired Senegalese side that played an hour of the encounter at a numerical disadvantage.

38

years and 243 days was the age at which Great Britain’s Ryan Giggs became the oldest goalscorer in Men’s Olympic Football Tournament history on Sunday. The Manchester United midfielder headed home Craig Bellamy’s 16th-minute cross to break the deadlock against United Arab Emirates and break the record set by Egypt’s then 37-year-old Hussein Hegazi at Paris 1924. By the time Giggs left the Wembley turf to great applause in the 72nd minute, Rashed Eisa had drawn Mahdi Redha’s men level. However, the veteran Welshman’s replacement, Scott Sinclair, turned home a loose ball with his very first touch to restore Team GB’s lead, before another substitute, Daniel Sturridge, sealed a 3-1 victory.

13

goals without reply is what Levadia have scored in their last two Estonian Meistriliiga outings - an average of 6.5 per game made all the more impressive by the fact they had scored just ten times in their previous eight matches. Albert Taar, who had not found the target all season, hit a first-half hat-trick in their 7-0 thrashing of Kuressaare on Monday, while a brace from Artur Rattel took his tally to five goals in two matches. The victory kept Levadia five points behind leaders Kalju Nomme, though the latter remain the only unbeaten team. Coached by Marko Kristal, the former Estonia midfielder who become the youngest European to earn 100 international caps in 2001, Levadia have now kept clean sheets in 14 of their 20 outings this campaign.

0

seconds were played after Domagoj Vida's 11th-hour downward header dramatically snatched Dinamo Zagreb a place in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League and eliminated Ludogorets, who had hitherto been going through on away goals. An Ante Rukavina goal three minutes into injury time had earned the Croatians a 1-1 draw in Bulgaria in the first leg, but efforts from Emil Gargorov and Marcelinho had the visitors 2-1 up in Zagreb heading into the last half-hour. Rukavina’s second of the game made it 2-2, but despite Marcelinho’s sending off, Ludogorets were just moments away from advancing deep into stoppage time. However, with giant Dinamo goalkeeper Ivan Kelava commanding attention inside the opposition box, defender Vida converted Ivan Peko’s right-wing cross with 97 minutes and six seconds on the clock. It proved the last touch of the game as, with the Ludogorets collapsing to the floor in anguish, the referee blew his final whistle to signal the end of a 4-3 aggregate victory for Ante Cacic’s side.