Gold, glory and goal gluts
© AFP

Goalscorers once again hog the limelight in FIFA.com’s stats review, with the Olympic exploits of Mexico’s Oribe Peralta and USA’s women featuring alongside a productive debut from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a fast start by Mario Mandzukic and a record-breaking scoring streak for Peter Utaka.

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seconds were on the clock when Peralta opened the scoring at Wembley on Saturday with the fastest goal ever seen in the final of a FIFA tournament. Not content with making that historic early impact, the Santos Laguna striker went on to double his tally with 15 minutes of the London 2012 showpiece remaining, and in the process became the eighth player to find the net twice in a gold medal match. Peralta’s goals secured a 2-1 win over Brazil and a place at the top of the podium for Mexico, while also establishing CONCACAF as the first and only confederation to win both the Men and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments in the same year. The Brazilians, meanwhile, left with the uncomfortable knowledge that, while no other nation has won more medals at the men’s event, gold continues to prove elusive.

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goals were scored by USA en route to their Olympic triumph, setting a new record for the women’s event. Canada’s Christine Sinclair also set a new goalscoring benchmark, with her six goals during London 2012 the highest tally to have been accrued by any individual player in a Women’s Olympic Football Tournament campaign. History was made by a defender too, with US captain Christie Rampone claiming her third gold and becoming the first player of either gender to win four Olympic medals. The American women have now won four out of a possible five Olympic crowns and will soon begin turning their attentions towards Canada in 2015, when they will hope to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ for the first time in 16 years.

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years without a trophy was the run that came to a welcome end for Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes on Sunday. The Bavarians’ 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund gave the 67-year-old his first piece of silverware since the most famous triumph of his career, the 1998 UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. The victory brought relief to all at Bayern, whose last success against Dortmund had come almost two and a half years before, on 13 February 2010. Heynckes’ side were indebted to a debutant for settling their nerves, with Mario Mandzukic scoring the opener less than six minutes into his first competitive appearance for the club.

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goals in his last eight appearances have enabled Dalian Aerbin’s Peter Utaka to set a new C-League record. Until the Nigerian extended his streak with the opener in his team’s 2-1 win at Henan Construction on Saturday, no-one in the history of the Chinese top flight had ever scored in eight successive matches. Utaka’s scoring sequence, which began on 24 June and included a hat-trick against Shandong Luneng, is all the more impressive when one considers that Aerbin have won just five of their 21 matches this season and languish in 13th place, three points above the relegation zone.

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goals were scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his Ligue 1 debut on Saturday, making him the first player since Paul Alo’o Efoulou three years ago to grab a brace in his first French top-flight appearance. It resumes a happy habit for the big Swede, who had scored on his league debut for Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona before breaking the habit with AC Milan. With his second goal coming from the penalty spot, Ibrahimovic also ended the match with the distinction of having converted every one of the last 14 spot-kicks he has taken on league business. However, while their star striker’s goals extended to ten matches PSG’s unbeaten run at the Parc des Princes, they were not enough to secure victory against a Lorient side that has never lost on the opening day of the season since returning to Ligue 1 in 2007.