Week in Stats

Icons eclipsed as Germans misfire

(FIFA.com)
Brazil's forward Neymar (front) celebrates his first goal with team mates
© AFP

Neymar bursting into slim Brazilian scoring brackets, Landon Donovan stepping off the international stage with unrivalled figures and Germany’s shooting struggles all feature in FIFA.com’slatest stats review, alongside an Irishman dethroning Messrs Van Basten and Sukur, and the unlikeliest of final-day triumphs in the English women’s top flight.

57

 goals, 58 assists and 90 victories – all USA records – were the figures with which Landon Donovan ended his 157-game international career on Friday evening. The 32-year-old, surprisingly left out of Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for Brazil 2014, was handed a farewell appearance for the Stars and Stripes against Ecuador. Donovan played the first 41 minutes of a 1-1 draw, amid roars of ‘Thank you, Landon’, before going off to an emotional standing ovation. Only the post denied the LA Galaxy attacker a goodbye goal, but it did ensure he scored for the first and last time for USA in 2-0 wins over fierce rivals Mexico. Only ten men – and one American, 164-times-capped Cobi Jones – have played more internationals than Donovan. The Californian is 18 goals and 36 assists clear of his nearest challengers – Clint Dempsey and Jones – on the US charts.

40

 Brazil goals is the impressive total Neymar moved to in just his 58th international, taking him past Bebeto and into fifth place on his country’s list of all-time leading marksmen behind Pele (77), Ronaldo (62), Romario (55) and Zico (48). The 22-year-old was the solitary scorer in a 4-0 thrashing of Japan on Tuesday, becoming the sixth Brazilian – and youngest – to score four goals in an international after Ademir de Menezes, Evaristo de Macedo, Careca, Zico and Romario. It also left the Barcelona mega-star having netted 13 times in his last 12 Seleção outings. Pele reached the 40-goal mark 64 days quicker than Neymar, who comfortably beat Ronaldo (25 years old), Zico (29) and Romario (31) to the milestone. Brazil, who exited the FIFA World Cup™ having conceded ten goals in their last two games, have kept clean sheets in all four of their matches thereafter – victories over Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Japan. The Samurai Blue have never beaten A Seleção, losing eight of their 11 encounters and conceding 15 goals in their last four.

17

 minutes is all Robbie Keane required to break Marco van Basten’s record for the fastest hat-trick from kick-off in the UEFA EURO qualifying or finals history, and to surpass Hakan Sukur and become the 21-goal all-time leading marksman in the tournament’s preliminaries. The Dutch legend had taken a previously unprecedented 23 minutes to ripple the net three times against Malta in a Sweden 1992 qualifier, but the Republic of Ireland forward’s early haul in a 7-0 win over Gibraltar on Saturday moved him on to 65 international goals. Ferenc Puskas (83), Sandor Kocsis (75), Miroslav Klose (71) and Gerd Muller (West Germany) are the only Europeans to outrank Keane.

5.6

 per cent is Germany’s lamentable shot conversion rate in their three EURO 2016 qualifiers. Joachim Low’s men scored 18.4 per cent of their attempts en route to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ glory, but despite producing an unparalleled 77 shots in the European preliminaries, they have netted just thrice in games against Scotland, Poland and Republic of Ireland. Those three teams combined, by contrast, have scored four of their seven shots against the Germans (57 per cent). Poland’s 2-0 success in Warsaw on Saturday was their first-ever win over Germany in 19th encounters, and ended the four-time world champions’ run of 33 games unbeaten in qualifiers. Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen left Germany three points behind the top two in Group D, and winless in consecutive competitive fixtures for the first time since 2007.

3

 points – and two places – is what Liverpool made up on a dramatic final day to snatch the Women’s Super League title on goal difference. Chelsea began the last round two points clear of Birmingham City, with Liverpool a further point back in third. However, a Toni Duggan gem helped Manchester City upset Chelsea 2-1, and lowly Notts County pulled off an unforeseen 2-2 draw in Birmingham. Liverpool were goalless at home to Bristol City at half-time and, as it transpired, a one-goal victory would have been insufficient for the defending champions. Fortunately for Matt Beard’s Reds, however, goals from Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams secured a 3-0 win that denied their manager’s former team Chelsea becoming the WSL’s third winners in its fourth edition.

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