This week we begin with a round-up of the standout performances from the latest round of World Cup qualifying and continue into the many leagues played over the weekend.
Wednesday (1.4): Polish striker Ebi Smolarek put on a truly fantastic performance in the mismatch World Cup qualifying game between Poland and San Marino that ended with an amazing scoreline of 10-0. Smolarek who is on loan at Bolton from Racing Santander, hasnâ€™t seen much of the pitch this season, but after scoring four goals including an amazing scissor kick for the fourth, his situation at the Reebok could change.
Thursday (2.4): Jozy Altidore scored a hat-trick for the US against Trinidad & Tobago. The 19-year-old strong target striker is currently on loan at Deportivo Xerez from Villarreal and hasnâ€™t yet impressed much in the Spanish League. Altidore is contracted to Villarreal until 2013/14 and hopefully in the future we’ll see more of this promising striker for the USA and in Spain.
Saturday (4.4): A second time appearance in the “Performances of the Week” for Jaime Ruiz of KVC Westerlo. The 25-year-old Colombian striker is on fire in the past weeks, scoring six of his 13 goals in the last three games. “The Tank” scored two in Westerlo’s important win over Genk, giving Ruiz the number three spot in the Belgium top goal scorer list.
From Israel, Barak Itzhaki had a surprisingly good game after two weak performances in the World Cup qualifiers against Greece. Itzhaki scored a brace for Beitar Jerusalem and provided two great assists in their four-nil win against Hacoah Ramat Gan.
Serie B’s right-sided midfielder, Roberto De Zerbi also scored a brace and provided an assist for struggling US Avellino in their win over Ancona. Avellino are currently in last place in Serie B and every win is crucial at this point of the season.
Sunday (5.4): Sergio Pellissier put on a great show in the terrific game between Chievo and Juventus that ended 3-3. Pellissier scored a hat-trick including one in the 90th minute of the game proving himself as a strong Serie A striker that can handle any opponent.
Another great performance in Serie A came from Angelo Palombo. The Sampdoria defensive midfielder is at a great point of his career, recently being invited to play for the Italian national team. Palombo scored two amazing free-kicks in the draw with Napoli, Palombo is frequently mentioned in Italy as the natural future replacement for Gennaro Gattuso.
From the Croatian League we bring you two young promising players, the first is Ivan Tomecak, a 19-year-old right back who scored two and provided an assist for Dinamo Zagreb’s win in the close 4-3 game against Cibalia Vinkovci. Tomecak is a fast player, with great technique and a fantastic shot.
The second player is Marin Ljubicic, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder from NK Zadar. Ljubicic scored two in Zadar’s win over Rijeka. Ljubicic is considered to be one of the most promising young players in the Under-21 Croatian team.
Another surprise performance from a young player was in Greece where Georgios Georgiadis, a 21-year-old attacking midfielder from Panserraikos scored a brace against Ergotelis Heraklion including a fantastic second goal that involved great technique and maturity.
Brazilian supporting striker Tita put in a great shift for Turkish side Antalyspor providing two wonderful assists and scoring a penalty. It seems that, ever since Tita’s recent loan to Antalyspor from Ankaraspor, he is really shining through for the new team. Tita is a fairly fast player, who can dribble with both feet and can frequently create opportunities for the other strikers.
Monday (6.4): Saving the best for last, Jose Sand is a name to remember. The veteran striker scored four goals in Lanusâ€™ win over Independiente. Scouts in Argentina report that this may finally be Sand’s breakthrough season into the European market, having already scored eight goals in the Argentinian Clausura. Did we mention that his contract expires at the end of this season?
All the goals and assists mentioned above can be seen here.