Best World Football Moments of the Weekend
This instalment of Best World Football Moments of the Weekend will take us from Mexico down to Brazil, 6,000 miles East to Turkey and, finally, to a cathedral city in Wiltshire where an unexpected visitor descended on the pitch during a Conference Premier match.
Naturally, one or two moments from the weekend’s football will have caught your eye as well, and you’re welcome to describe them (and link to them) in the forum below.
Once again, what we’re concerned with in this space are moments of magic, fun and curiosity from any match, anywhere in the world, that happen to grab the attention.
Let’s get to it.
Marco Fabian, Chivas Guadalajara
Marco Fabian is the first player to feature twice in Best World Football Moments of the Weekend.
But while last week’s effort saw him find the back of the net as Chivas Guadalajara built up a three-goal lead only to see it dissipate in the second half, this time around his tally was part of a spirited fight-back against Tijuana.
With just eight minutes remaining, and with Chivas trailing 2-1 to their guests, Fabian drove a low, daisy-cutting free-kick from all of 30 yards that left goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo with no chance.
Despite the draw, Chivas remain third from bottom in the Mexican Apertura, but finally they seem to have managed a result to build off of in their next encounter against Leon.
Bahia appeared destined for a win away to Coritiba, Sunday, until Alex popped up with a spectacular equalizer in the final minute of normal time.
Accepting the ball just outside the 18-yard box on the counter-attack, Coritiba forward Bill forced a spectacular save from Bahia goalkeeper Marcelo Lomba from distance, only for Julio Cesar to cross the ball to Alex, whose exceptionally-taken bicycle kick in the goalmouth found the back of the net.
This is the same Alex who played eight seasons for Istanbul giants Fenerbahce, and his goal helped keep Coritiba in the top half of the Campeonato Brasileiro at least another week.
Victor, Atletico Mineiro
The accompanying video includes a Fernando goal that kept Atletico Mineiro above the Brasileiro’s relegation zone, but it’s mostly a compilation of spectacular saves that helped the reigning Copa Libertadores winners stay afloat in their Sunday match against Gremio.
Victor, whose heroics in penalty shootouts against Newell’s Old Boys and Olimpia were one of the primary factors in Atletico’s Libertadores triumph, made no fewer than seven superb stops against the Gremio shooters—his best coming just shy of the hour-mark.
Goalkeepers rarely get the credit they deserve, and in this instance it would be no exaggeration to suggest Victor’s performance was worth three points to an Atletico side that was outplayed in Porto Alegre.
Manuel Da Costa, Sivasspor
Sivasspor picked up their second win of the season and crept into the top half of the Turkish Super Lig, Sunday, when they beat Eskisehirspor 3-2 at 4 Eylul Stadium.
With the match knotted at a goal apiece early in the second half, Manuel da Costa rifled in a shot from at least 35 yards following an extended bit of buildup play that included a brave block from an Eskisehirspor defender.
But the former Portugal U-21 international was not to be denied, and after taking a few steps with the ball at his feet, his powerful right-footer found the top-left corner of the goal.
Salisbury City vs. Chester FC
As reported by the Guardian and, thankfully, recorded by someone at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium on Sunday, one of the weekend’s more bizarre incidents took place during a Conference Premier match when a parachutist landed in the middle of the pitch.
Salisbury City and Chester FC had played nearly half of the second period when the unexpected visitor descended on the field, calmly folded up his chute and walked off the playing surface.
“No idea where he was supposed to land but he hit the ground hard,” remarked Danny Higginbotham on his Twitter account after the final whistle.
Higginbotham, a former Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland defender is now representing Chester in the fifth tier of the English football pyriamid.