In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores
the most goals, wins. Yet in every week, in every league and in
every single match, there are intriguing statistical sub-plots that
help make the beautiful game the fascinating spectacle that it is.
That's why, every week, we at FIFA.com take a look at the numbers behind the results, highlighting football's biggest winners and losers from the week just past. This, the latest of our regular round-ups, would make pleasant bedtime reading for fans of Ajax Cape Town, Barcelona, Sheriff Tiraspol and V. Club, but nightmares are all but a certainty for supporters of the likes of Canterbury United, Molunge and Estudiantes.
goals in 16 top flight matches made South Africa's Premier Soccer League the highest scoring of all the 175 domestic championships analysed. This tally was helped by the likes of Bloemfontein Celtic's entertaining 3-2 win over AmaZulu, yet it was one of the lowest-scoring matches - Ajax Cape Town's 1-0 win away to Jomo Cosmos - that was arguably the most significant. It certainly kept Ajax Amsterdam's South African feeder club four points clear of their nearest challengers, Supersport United, and on course for a first-ever league title. Free State Stars and Bidvest Wits University currently make up an unfamiliar top four, with Orlando Pirates in fifth, Kaizer Chiefs in tenth with just four wins from 19 games, and Mamelodi Sundowns languishing back in 12th.
days after celebrating his 38th birthday, Levski Sofia's Daniel Borimirov became the week's oldest goalscorer when he fired home the winner in a crucial 2-1 defeat of Chernomorets Burgas. The victory kept Levski - champions for the past two years - in touch with their bitter Sofia rivals at the top of the Bulgarian A PFG, although only just, with CSKA ten points clear and favourites to land their 31st league title. At the other end of the age spectrum, Jefferson Pinto - at the age of 17 years and 337 days - was on target for Ecuadorian outfit Emelec in a comprehensive 3-0 away win over Universidad Catolica Quito.
minutes was all it took for Marco Borriello and Samuel Eto'o to rack up the week's joint-fastest hat-tricks for Genoa and Barcelona respectively. The former's goals came between minutes 54 and 85 of Genoa's thrilling 5-3 win over Udinese, and as well as lifting his side to seventh in the table, took Borriello himself level with David Trezeguet at the top of Italian scoring charts. Eto'o, meanwhile, scored the first of his treble two minutes later than his Italian counterpart and rounded it off three minutes from time as Barcelona crushed Levante 5-1 to move within two points of Real Madrid. Other hat-trick heroes over the past week included Samuel Yeboah of Hapoel Kfar Saba and two Liverpool strikers: Paulo Pezzolano of the Uruguayan variety, and Fernando Torres for Rafael Benitez's Reds.
straight defeats mean that New Zealand's Canterbury United and Aruba's Estudiantes share the worst current run of form in club football. The Kiwi basement boys are now without a win in their first 15 NZFC fixtures and missed the chance to cut the seven-point gap on second-bottom Otago United when they went down 4-1 away to Auckland City. Estudiantes, meanwhile, prop up the Division di Honor with a record of played 12, won zero and a goal difference of minus-55. Yet it is not only in the world's lesser-known leagues that teams are experiencing such misery. English Premier League side Reading, surprise challengers for a UEFA Cup slot last season, have now lost their last eight successive matches and dropped into the relegation zone.
successive victories, meanwhile, means that Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol now hold the longest winning streak in club football. That is because, after 16 straight wins, Luxembourg's F91 Dudelange have finally been brought crashing back to earth by a shock 1-0 defeat away to Avenir Beggen, allowing Racing Luxembourg to close the gap at the top to a mere 16 points! Sheriff Tiraspol's own winning run has taken them ten points clear of the chasing pack in Moldova, while it is on the back of identical nine-match unbeaten runs that Al Ittihad, Al Ahly and Rangers lead the Libyan, Egyptian and Scottish top flights respectively.
unanswered goals gave Congo DR's V. Club the week's biggest win, with Molunge the unfortunate team on the receiving end. Molunge have now conceded 23 goals without reply in their first four Group 2 matches in the Congolese Linafoot, while V. Club are three points behind AS Veti Matadi in the race for top spot. Yet while Congo DR witnessed the week's biggest win, it was fans in Papua New Guinea who were treated to its highest-scoring match as the National Soccer League's bottom two, Besta Madang Fighters and Madang Flying Fox, slugged it out in an 11-goal thriller that ended 6-5 in the former's favour.