Wednesday 20 July 2016, 06:24

Age, sound and the unlikely

A German gem, two Italian relics and an on-song Colombian feature in’slatest stats review, along with an American outfit defying numbers and a Copa Libertadores final nobody expected.


was the age at which Giampiero Ventura became the second-oldest coach to assume the Italy controls on Monday. Fulvio Bernardini was 69 when he took charge in 1974, but he only lasted six games, meaning that Ventura will become La Nazionale’s oldest hot-seat occupant if he survives little over 11 months of his two-year contract. Should Ventura coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – and nobody else his senior does – he will outrank compatriot Cesare Maldini, who was 70 years and 131 days when he oversaw Paraguay’s last-gasp loss to Germany in the Round of 16 at Korea/Japan 2002, and become the second-oldest coach in World Cup history. Otto Rehhagel tops the list, the German having been 71 years and 317 days when he last led Greece at South Africa 2010.


years since Boca Juniors last lost both legs of a Copa Libertadores knockout tie – against the mighty, Pele-inspired Santos in the 1963 final – they suffered the same fate against the unlikeliest of opponents. Independiente del Valle have never won a major title and were only promoted to the Ecuadorian top tier for the first time in 2010. However, following a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side in Sangolqui, they became the first Ecuadorian side to win away to Boca in the competition. The result ensured that, for the first time since Chile’s Colo Colo and Olimpia of Paraguay clashed 25 years ago, the Libertadores final will not feature a team from Argentina or Brazil.


goals in 24 games is what Miguel Borja has scored in 2016. The FIFA U-20 World Cup graduate’s 19 for Cortulua in the Colombian Apertura saw him break Jackson Martinez’s record for goals in a single campaign under its current format, which began in 2002. Atletico Nacional then signed Borja, who has netted four times in his first two appearances to secure them a 4-1 aggregate win over Sao Paulo and a return to the Libertadores final for the first time since 1995. Following a 2-2 draw at home to Deportes Tolima at the weekend, Atletico Nacional are undefeated in 11 matches in all competitions.


editions of the UEFA European U-19 Championship is what it took for a player to score a hat-trick and finish on the losing side in the match. Philipp Ochs’ treble for Germany on Thursday was unable to prevent a 4-3 loss to Portugal, who became the third European nation – after Spain and England – to guarantee ten FIFA U-20 World Cup participations (the Germans will become the fourth if they win their play-off for a place at Korea Republic 2017 against the Netherlands on Thursday). Since it became an U-19 tournament in 2002, the only players to net three times in a game their team didn’t win are Turkey’s Ilhan Parlak, in a 4-4 draw with Portugal in 2006, and Spain’s Jese, in a 3-3 draw with Portugal six years later.


men is, astonishingly, all San Jose Earthquakes required to score their first win in nine games on Sunday. Dominic Kinnear’s side were leading 1-0 when they lost Anibal Godoy to a red card after 42 minutes. Almost immediately, two former Quakes – provider Steven Beitashour and scorer Justin Morrow – combined to equalise for Toronto FC. San Jose fell to a two-man numerical disadvantage shortly after the restart when Alberto Quintero received his marching orders, but Jamaica international Simon Dawkins somehow weaved his way past multiple challenges to bag a 70th-minute settler. The ensuing celebrations set a new sound record at Avaya Stadium. It was only the second time in MLS history nine men had scored a winning goal against 11. The first came from Eddie Johnson’s 11th-hour penalty for Dallas Burn against Colorado Rapids in 2004.


players have been rewarded for Iceland’s admirable UEFA EURO exploits by earning transfers within two weeks of their return from France. Hannes Halldorsson, Hjortur Hermannsson, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Runar Sigurjonsson, Hordur Magnusson, Arnor Traustason and Ari Skulason have joined Randers, Brondby, Burnley, Grasshoppers, Bristol City, Rapid Vienna and Lokeren respectively.

Quick hits 26 million pounds is the profit Leicester City have reportedly made on N’Golo Kante in less than 12 months. The Foxes signed the unheralded defensive midfielder from Caen for £5.6m and have just sold him to Chelsea for around £32m.

0 players have had more of their MLS replica shirts sold than New York City’s Andrea Pirlo after he surpassed Seattle Sounders’ Clint Dempsey. They are followed, in order, by David Villa, Jordan Morris and Steven Gerrard.