A double century for Christine Sinclair, championships for Leon and O’Higgins and a sensational Serie A streak feature alongside a record Liverpool win in FIFA.com’s latest weekly stats review.
international appearances was the magnificent milestone reached by Christine Sinclair last Thursday. The striker duly became the first Canadian to achieve this landmark, and she marked the occasion in typical style – by scoring – as her side ran out 2-0 winners over Scotland in the Torneo Internacional in Brazil. The goal was Sinclair’s 147th in a highly distinguished international career that began in 2000, when she made her debut against China PR in the Algarve Cup at the age of just 16. Now, 13 years on, this outstanding striker holds the national record not only for appearances, but for goals and assists. Indeed, in the list of the women’s game’s all-time leading scorers, the 30-year-old only has USA icons Mia Hamm (158) and Abby Wambach (163) still to aim for.
years of waiting for a top-flight title came to a poignant end for O’Higgins last week when they clinched the first Chilean championship of their history. Apertura glory was secured in tense, hard-fought fashion, with Universidad Catolica beaten 1-0 in a championship play-off after both clubs had finished the season level on points. The victory was laden with emotion for the Rancagua outfit, who lost a bus-load of supporters in a dreadful road accident earlier this year. “We had 16 angels up there who sent us a star,” the club’s captain, Braulio Leal, wrote on Twitter, referring to the victims of that tragic crash. For Universidad Catolica, meanwhile, the sensation of finishing second was painfully familiar. The Santiago side have now finished runners-up on 19 occasions, more than any other club in Chile.
straight Serie A wins with zero goals conceded is the remarkable run currently being enjoyed by Juventus. The Turin giants are the first team in the history of the Italian top flight to string together eight successive victories without their goal being breached, and Gianluigi Buffon’s streak of invincibility in domestic football now stretches back 730 minutes. Juve’s latest victims, Sassuolo, find themselves in a very different predicament: having lost three in a row without having managed a single goal. The Serie A new boys’ chief tormentor was Carlos Tevez, who scored a hat-trick as Juve ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. It was the Argentinian’s first treble since April 2012, in a 6-1 Manchester City win over Norwich City, and the first time he has scored more than once in a single Serie A match.
different champions in as many tournaments is the statistic that was created by Leon’s Apertura triumph on Sunday. Each of the last eight Mexican league campaigns, starting with the 2009/10 Clausura, has culminated in the crowning of a new champion, with Leon following in the footsteps of Toluca, Monterrey, Pumas, Tigres, Santos, Tijuana and America. This was Los Panzas Verdes’ first national title since 1991/92 and just their second in 57 years, so the celebrations were justifiably enthusiastic. Leon clinched the crown in style too, beating America – Mexico’s record champions – 3-1 in the play-off second leg to clinch a 5-1 aggregate triumph.
unanswered goals at White Hart Lane on Sunday gave Liverpool their biggest-ever away win at Tottenham Hotspur. The scoreline eclipsed the Reds’ previous best – a 4-0 victory in December 1975 – and resulted in Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas becoming the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job since the season kicked off. A crucial moment in AVB’s side’s downfall came when Paulinho was sent off for a high challenge on Luis Suarez, becoming the fifth Premier League player to be red-carded for a foul on the Uruguayan. No-one else has prompted as many dismissals as Suarez since his arrival in England in January 2011. And whatever the means – fair or foul – it seems no-one can stop the Liverpool No7. With two goals against Spurs on Sunday, Suarez has now scored 17 times in just 11 Premier League appearances this season, giving him a healthier tally than half of the division’s 20 clubs.