Friday 28 July 2017, 08:39

A dribble, a shutout and a three-club club

  • A Frenchman twisting quicker by San Francisco Bay than Sylvie Guillem did in Swan Lake****

  • A former lacrosse player scoring a touchdown at the home of the 49ers

  • Reggae relief and dream debuts****

** **43 matches: that is what Igor Akinfeev had gone without a clean sheet in a UEFA Champions League qualifier or match until he helped CSKA Moscow win 2-0 at AEK Athens. The Russia captain’s previous shutout had been in a goalless draw away to Arsenal, who fielded Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, in November 2006, which was his sixth in succession in the competition.

40 matches unbeaten: that was the incredible run that crashed to an end for Partizan. Comorian forward El Fardou Ben Nabouhane hit a double on his debut to inspire Olympiacos to a 3-1 win in Belgrade in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier.

18 matches is what is took the Reggae Boyz to finally beat El Tri outside of their homeland. Jamaica headed to the CONCACAF Gold Cup having lost 15 and drawn one away from home in the fixture, scoring just four and conceding 56 in the process. However, after a 0-0 draw at Mile High, Denver in the group stage, Jamaica stunned Mexico 1-0 in the semi-finals at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena.

15 goals in his last 10 games is what Johnathan has hit in the K-League Classic – more than team-mate Santos netted when he became the last Suwon Bluewing to top its scoring chart in 2015 (14 goals in 35 outings). The 27-year-old Brazilian requires 14 goals from the Bluewings’ remaining 15 games to break Dejan Damjanovic's record for a season.

11 players have now represented AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus after Leonardo Bonucci unexpectedly chose a red-and-black uniform. Only four players had done so within the first 89 years of all three clubs’ existence, including Giuseppe Meazza and Aldo Serena, but seven have in the last 19 years, namely Roberto Baggio, Edgar Davids, Christian Vieri, Patrick Vieira, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo and Bonucci.

6 changes of direction in four seconds is what Anthony Martial made to bamboozle Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric and set up a Jesse Lingard tap-in in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid. The Red Devils then edged a shootout in which only three of ten penalties were scored in the International Champions Cup in Santa Clara, California.

4 goals in 16 minutes was what Sky Blue rattled home to transform a four-goal deficit into parity against Seattle Reign - but it was insufficient to save them from defeat. Megan Rapinoe completed her hat-trick late on to overtake Blue’s Sam Kerr at the top of the scoring chart and snatch the Reign a 5-4 victory which tied the record for the highest-scoring match in NWSL history.

3 CONCACAF Gold Cups is what Bruce Arena became the first coach to win by guiding USA to victory over Jamaica in the final. Bora Milutinovic had won two, leading a USA side including Tony Meola, Marcelo Balboa and Eric Wynalda to glory in 1991, and a Mexico team comprising Jorge Campos, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Luis Garcia to the trophy five years later.

3 goals is what Enner Valencia bagged on his Tigres debut to help the club record their best-ever start to a campaign. Starting with seven foreigners and spearheaded by the vaunted VVG – Valencia, Eduardo Vargas and Andre-Pierre Gignac – the Gold and Blues battered Puebla 5-0 to surpass the 4-0 victories with which they had began the Clausura 2000 and Apertura 2012.

0 goals is what Norway exited a major international competition having scored for the first time. They had found the net in their first 20 campaigns – ten UEFA Women’s EUROs, seven FIFA Women’s World Cups™ and three Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments – until losses to the hosts, Belgium and Denmark at the Netherlands 2017.