Tuesday, December 9, 2008

World Soccer News December 9 2008

World Soccer News.
World Soccer News for the week of 12/9

Stamford Bridge curse for Chelsea

Chelsea may have a magnificent away record with eight wins out of eight games, but their pathetic home form has allowed Liverpool to overtake them on top.
Last weekend saw another away game and another easy 2-0 win at Bolton, which stretched Chelsea's victourous away run to eight this season. The goals difference is breathtaking: 21-1 for Luis Felipe Scolari's team.
Adding the three last season's away matches, Chelsea's winning series is 11 games long with 26 goals in favour and one against. The last host to have avoided defeat against the Blues were Tottenham last March. The London derby ended in a dramatic 4-4 draw.
But, at the one-time unconquerable Stamford Bridge Chelsea has been having hard time to collect points: only a meager 11 points have been won on the home turf, compared to the maximum 24 from their eight trips.
What's worse, bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool snatched wins at the Bridge.
Unless Chelsea spread the winning habit to the home ground, the title may remain out of their reach for the third season in the row.
Still, some teams struggle at home even harder then Chelsea: Everton, a UEFA Cup candidate, has collected but six points out of 24 at Goodison. Luckily, no less than five away wins keep them on the European course.


A fan attempts suicide as Vasco go down

The famous Vasco da Gama have finally been relegated as they lost 0-2 to Vitoria on the last day of the Brazilian league, but the night in Rio may have been darker, as a desperate fan considered jumping from the terrace.

No doubt all the ten million Vasco's fans are sad but none like a man named by the press simply as Fernando, who at the end of the match stepped to the edge of a terrace, shouting he would jump to the depth of 20 meteres.

The dramatic scene was followed by the multitude until the firemen managed to prevent Fernando in his intentions. In the last moment, as the man was preparing the drop, a fireman grabbed one of his arms and tugged him to safety.
- "He said his life had no sense now that Vasco went down," informed a Rio de Janeiro Fire brigade spokesman as Fernando was flown to a nearby hospital, presumably to the psychiatric ward.

Vasco have become yet another big Brazilian club to be relegated, continuing the tradition maintained over the last decade by Fluminense, Botafogo, Gremio and finally Corinthians. In fact, Vasco will be the one to replace Corinthians in the second flight, as their Sao Paulo rivals were promoted back two weeks ago.

Elsewhere in Brazil, Sao Paulo captured their third consecutive title, the sixth overall, after beating Goiás 2-0 away and keeping the three-point advantage over Grémio.


Vedad Ibisevic seeking to outbomb Müller

Vedad Ibisevic, the Bosnian international at the tiny Hoffenheim, has been enthralling the Bundesliga audiences week in week out with his goalscoring exploits.
In the first 16 matches of the current season the 24-year old scored an amazing 18 goals and is topping the scorers charts as his team lead the Bundesliga level on points with the giants of Bayern.
Although he is bound to attract interest from an array of the continent's big guns, Ibisevic has promised to remain faithful to Hoffenheim for another 18 months.
"I am plesed the big clubs are after me, but I plan to stay at Hoffenheim even after the end of this season," said Ibisevic to the German electronic media after nearly helping his team hold Bayern at Allianz Arena last Friday.
In the end Bayern won 2-1 thanks to Luca Toni's goal in injury time, but Ibisevic's prowess has been praised by the greatest gunner of them all, Gerd Műller.
"I believe Ibisevic can break my 1972 record. He has an uncanny nose for goal in the penalty area and such gift cannot be learnt," said the Bundesliga's all-time top scorer, who netted 40 goals in 1971/72.
Should he beat my mark, I'll be the first to congratulate him."


Who on Earth is Marc Janko?

Could anybody be more prolific than Ibisevic? Much more prolific? Well, you just have to look south of the German-Austrian border. Salzburg's Marc Janko has notched an astonishing 29 goals in no more than 19 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga!

Already in the first half of the season Janko (25) significantly improved his team's individual scoring record, held until now by Oliver Bierhoff, who scored 23 goals in the whole of the 1990/91 season.

Janko has been particularly impressive since October 19th, when he netted 19 goals in eight games, about 2.2 per appearance. Curiously, he was never so efficient in front of goal, having scored just 18 goals in three full seasons with Salzburg before the current campaign. As late as last spring his form was so mediocre that he was not even picked for Austria's mediocre Euro squad. Nowadays, Janko's guns are blazing and there is no way of telling where his limits may be.


Ronaldo Europe's best, Quaresma Italy's worst

While Cristiano Ronaldo is celebrating an overwhelming win in the France Football's Golden Ball contest with 446 points ahead of Lionel Messi with 281 and Fernando Torres with 179, his fellow countryman Ricardo Quaresma received a different, slightly less influential award: the Golden Thrash Bin for the worst player in the Italian Serie A.

The winger, whose transfer from Porto to Inter was one of the most eagerly awaited last summer, was given only nine caps by José Mourinho, incidentally his most fervent advocate until a few months ago. And he did not do much in those few matches either.

The listeners to the Catersport program knew how to reward Quaresma for his displays, showering him with votes: 17,11% out of the 17,544 cast. The Silver Bin and the Bronze Bin went to the previous winners of the contest, Christian Vieri and Adriano, respectively. The rest of the top-ten include other illustrious names like Shevchenko, Dida and Tiago – all expensive and ultimately not all that useful for their current teams.


Internacional suffer to win the Copa Sudamericana

The Brazilians of Internacional conquered the Copa Sudamericana by beating Estudiantes La Plata by a 2-1 aggregate in a dramatic two-legged finals.

Although the team from Porto Alegre carried a solid 1-0 advantage from the away match, the return game in Brazil turned out to be more emotional than expected.
The Argentinians dominated and took a 1-0 lead through Alayes in the 65th minute, after which there was no more goals until the 90th minute.
Since Internacional had Agenor sent off just before the end of the normal time, Estudiantes entered the extra-time as favourites, but the old adage saying that the outnumbered team fight harder turned out to be true one more time.

The all-out offensive payed off to the Brazilians when Nilmar smashed the ball home from close range after it rebounded from the post. This was the first Brazilian win in the Copa Sudamericana, the Latin-american version of the UEFA Cup, after the competition was dominated by the Argentinians including last year's winner Arsenal of Sarandí.

Copyright Ozren Podnar & Soccerphile

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