A super-sub, a stalwart and African celebrations
© AFP

In FIFA.com’s latest stats review, we look closer at two landmark events in women’s football, impressive achievements by an African duo, an immediate impact by a USA substitute and a goal glut from an on-song Fijian striker.

198

 caps, a national record, was the mark on which Sandrine Soubeyrand retired from international football on Monday. The France captain had hoped to bow out on 200 appearances after leading her team to the UEFA Women’s EURO final, but was left agonisingly short of that mark after the favourites were surprisingly ousted in the quarter-finals by Denmark. Nonetheless, Soubeyrand can be hugely proud of a career in the national team that began over 16 years ago and has included appearances in the semi-finals of both the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. The veteran midfielder, who surpassed Lilian Thuram as France’s most-capped player of all time in 2009, also holds the record for the oldest player ever to appear at the Women’s EURO, having made her final appearance at the age of 39 years and 340 days.

20

 years and two weeks without a defeat at the UEFA European Women’s Championship was the run that came to an unexpected end for Germany last Wednesday. A 1-0 loss to Norway represented the first reverse for the Germans since a 3-1 triumph for Denmark over two decades ago. The reigning champions had gone into the match having avoided defeat in their previous 59 successive EURO qualifiers and finals matches, with the Danes also responsible for their last defeat in the preliminaries, on 2 May 1996. The Germans have nonetheless since qualified for the current edition’s semi-finals, while a double from Celia Okoyino da Mbabi in their second group game against Iceland has taken her tally for the current campaign – including qualifiers – to a new national record of 19. The 25-year-old and her team-mates will nonetheless be up against the finals’ most potent strike force in the last four on Wednesday evening, with Sweden’s Lotta Schelin out in front on five goals and partner Kosovare Asllani leading the way on four assists.

9

 goals was the remarkable contribution made by Samuela Drudru to a thumping 15-0 victory for Fiji’s Suva on Saturday. The thrashing of a struggling Tavua side, who have conceded 72 times in 15 matches this year, is the biggest of the Fijian season thus far and boosts the victors’ chances of qualifying for the OFC Champions League. Naturally, it has not done Drudru any harm either in the race to finish as his country’s top scorer. As for Tavua, remarkable as it might seem, the result does not leave them with either the worst points or goal difference record in the Fijian National Football League. That dubious honour belongs to fellow basement-dwellers Savusavu, who have failed to win any of their 18 matches so far, scoring 11 times in response to 77 goals against.

4

 COSAFA Cups have now been won by Zambia, equalling the tournament record of Zimbabwe, the team they beat 2-0 in Saturday’s final. The championship, which is contested by nations from the south of Africa, was secured by free-kicks in the fourth and 92nd minutes as the Zambians lifted the trophy on home soil. For Herve Renard, it was his second major triumph in as many years, having led the Chipolopolo to a memorable triumph in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2012, and will have been all the sweeter against a Zimbabwe team to whom his charges lost in both the 2005 and 2009 finals. Celebrations have also been taking place elsewhere in the Mother Continent over the past week, with Mauritania beating Senegal 2-1 on aggregate to secure a place at the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) – their first-ever African finals.

1

 touch and 14 seconds on the field was all that Eddie Johnson needed to make a scoring impact in USA’s 5-1 quarter-final win over El Salvador at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Seattle Sounders striker played his part in continuing the prolific form of Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, who are averaging four goals a game at the continental showpiece, having scored 16 times in their four outings thus far. And while Johnson’s contribution as a super-sub caught the eye, the star of the US show – with a goal and three assists – was once again Landon Donovan. The Stars and Stripes veteran has now scored five and set up another seven since returning to the national team, and his overall record in his country’s colours now stands at 54 goals and 55 assists.