Éléphants and spot-kicks, Turin titans thriving, a Reggiolesi suffering and continental kings ending a depressing drought feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, along with the latest South American goal machine.
shoot-out penalties have been taken in all four of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals Côte d'Ivoire have contested – all following 0-0 draws. The Ivorians edged Ghana 11-10 on spot-kicks in the 1992 decider, but lost 4-2 to Egypt in 2006 and 8-7 to Zambia three years ago – shoot-outs which involved 24, nine and 18 attempts respectively. Côte d'Ivoire appeared set to lose their third successive final on Sunday, when they missed their first two penalties and Ghana scored theirs. However, an unlikely hero inspired Les Éléphants to gold. Boubacar Barry, only playing because first-choice keeper Sylvain Gbohouo sustained an injury in the semi-finals, made a superb save to deny his opposite goalie Razak Braimah before converting the title-winning penalty himself. Barry and team-mate Kolo Toure were playing in their seventh Cup of Nations, one shy of the record jointly held by Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan and Cameroonian Rigobert Song. Meanwhile Herve Renard, who guided Zambia to victory over Côte d'Ivoire in the 2012 climax, became the first coach to win the competition with different countries. Ghana finished the tournament having allowed against them only seven shots on target in six matches, but without a Cup of Nations crown in 33 years.
years into his coaching career, Carlo Ancelotti lost a domestic match by a four-goal margin for the first time on Saturday. Atletico Madrid’s stunning 4-0 win over Real Madrid eclipsed the 5-2 loss the former Italy midfielder's Parma side suffered at a Giuseppe Signori-inspired Sampdoria in the 1997/98 Serie A, and the 3-0 reverse Chelsea were handed by Sunderland in the 2010/11 Premier League. The fourth 4-0 defeat Ancelotti endured in the hot-seat in all competitions also equalled his worst, alongside Celta Vigo’s thrashing of Juventus in the UEFA Cup, and AC Milan’s reverse by Borussia Dortmund in the same competition and by Deportivo in the UEFA Champions League. Real, who went 25 games unbeaten against Atletico until May 2013, have now failed to beat their local rivals in their six meetings this season.
games is what it took Western Sydney Wanderers – the Asian champions – to get their first win of their A-League season on Sunday. The Wanderers had lost nine and drawn four of their outings going into their hosting of high-flying Wellington Phoenix, but a Nikita Rukavytsya thunderbolt – his first goal in all competitions for the club he joined in October – and a late Brendon Santalab tap-in secured a 2-0 victory. It was Western Sydney’s first in the Australian league since April 2014, when a reverse of Central Coast Mariners sent them into the Grand Final, and it denied the Phoenix a sixth match without defeat against the Wanderers.
goals in as many games left Giovanni Simeone trailing only one player on the list of the highest scorers in a single edition of the South American U-20 Championship. The son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego inspired Argentina to their first trophy since 2003 – that year’s instalment was also hosted by Uruguay – and tied Luciano Galletti (1999) and Brazilian Neymar (2011), two shy of 11-goal Colombian Hugo Rodallega (2005). Meanwhile a 3-0 loss to Colombia in their concluding appearance ensured Brazil, who achieved 16 consecutive top-three finishes until 2013, have now missed out on the podium in back-to-back editions.
straight Serie A victories over AC Milan is what Juventus managed for only the second time in their 114-year rivalry on Saturday. Carlos Tevez opened the scoring to ensure he finished the weekend one clear of Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi in the Capocannoniere race, before Luca Antonelli ended Juve’s run without conceding in all competitions at exactly seven hours. However, Leonardo Bonucci and Alvaro Morata secured Massimiliano Allegri’s current side a 3-1 win over his former one. Juve first took maximum points from five successive league meetings with Milan between 1980 and 1984, when Messrs Zoff, Gentile, Scirea, Cabrini, Bettega, Platini and Rossi helped Giovanni Trapattoni’s team to a series of single-goal victories. Juventus are now unbeaten in 39 home games in Serie A, winning 35 of those. It also proved a noteworthy weekend for their city rivals Torino, who won away to Verona for the fifth time in succession. That ensured Il Toro won four Serie A contests on the bounce for the first time since a 1978 sequence indebted to Patrizio Sala, Paolo Pulici and Francesco Graziani.