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 Fast women set the pace

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Number of posts : 62
Age : 35
Location : Sofeea, Bulgari
Registration date : 2008-05-28

PostSubject: Fast women set the pace   Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:44 am

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 take a look at the numbers behind the results, highlighting football's biggest winners and losers from the week just past. This week, we analyse Lyon's quest for a place in European history, while paying tribute to the speedy scoring exploits of two female stars at Beijing 2008.

seconds had elapsed in USA's final group match against New Zealand when Heather O'Reilly shot her way into the history books with the Women's Olympic Football Tournament's fastest-ever goal. The 23-year-old American's opportunistic chip over a stranded Kiwi keeper also erased a benchmark that had been set against USA just six days earlier, when Norway's Leni Larsen Kaurin broke the deadlock - and German Pia Wunderlich's 12-year-old record - after just 61 seconds. O'Reilly wasn't yesterday's only Olympic record-breaker either, with Brazil's Cristiane also racking up the women's competition's quickest-ever hat-trick in her side's 3-1 win over Nigeria. Sophus Nielsen, who took just three minutes to score goals one, two and three of a ten-goal haul in Denmark's 17-1 win over France in 1908, still holds the overall Olympic record.

years, six months and 61 caps after making a belated Germany debut against Oman at the age of 28, Jens Lehmann has called time on his international career. That news was announced by the DFB on Friday following a two-hour meeting at which Lehmann told Joachim Low and goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke that the time had come for a new man to fill the No1 shirt. With German sights now set on South Africa 2010, the former Arsenal keeper said: "I could no longer give the coach a guarantee that I would still be playing football after my one-year contract with Stuttgart expires. I therefore suggested... that they no longer include me in their plans." Lehmann departs the international scene with Germany's UEFA EURO 2008 final defeat to Spain as his swansong, and with those 2006 FIFA World Cupô quarter-final heroics against Argentina remembered as his finest moment.

successive league titles is a milestone that has only ever been reached by 10 European clubs, and on Sunday Lyon's bid to join this elite group got off to the best possible start. While a new manager was in place and some fresh faces were on show, it was the familiar figure of Karim Benzema who elevated Claude Puel's side to a familiar position, peering down on the pretenders to their throne. Ligue 1's reigning player of the year found the net twice in a comprehensive 3-0 win over Toulouse that represented a clear statement of intent from the history-chasing French champions. Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol are the most recent side to have reached the eight-title landmark, while the likes of Ukraine's Dynamo Kiev (1993-2001) and Scottish giants Celtic (1966-74) and Rangers (1989-97) managed nine-in-a-row. The European record, however, is held by Latvia's Skonto Riga, who in 2004 clinched their 14th straight championship.

clean sheets is the identical record with which Argentina's men and Germany's women emerged from their triumphant campaigns at the 2004 Olympics and last year's FIFA Women's World Cup respectively. With defensive frugality so crucial to these sides' success at the aforementioned tournaments, it is intriguing to see that the Germans - with goalkeeper Nadine Angerer once again faultless - are the only female side to have survived the group stage without conceding. As for the men, while Argentina's proud record disappeared within 53 minutes of their opening match, fellow quarter-finalists Brazil and Italy both enter their final group games aiming to preserve unblemished defensive records. Which of them succeeds in doing so may well prove an early indicator as to who will claim gold a week on Saturday.

games, six goals is the record that currently has everyone in Brazil talking about Keirrison. The outspoken and self-assured 19-year-old hasn't always been a universally popular figure in the Brasileiro, but his recent haul - amassed within the space of one remarkable week - suggests that Coritiba's talented young star is now intent on doing his talking on the pitch. Keirrison's goals have certainly been crucial to a run of five wins in six that has propelled the unfancied Coxa Branca to sixth in the table, one place above fallen former pacesetters Flamengo.
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