The recent fall of Monaco has been one of the great implosions in European football.
Known for it’s wealth andÂ grandeur, theÂ Principality’s fortunes on the pitch during 2011 have been anything but glamourous.
TheÂ seven-time French champions, who reached the 2004 Champions League final, dropped out of Ligue 1 at the end of last season. And rather than rising to the top of the Ligue 2 class, Monaco have since sunk to the bottom of the second division too, winning just one pitiful match in 14 attempts this term.
But – long overdue – Monaco finally had some reason to cheer on Saturday.
Le Mans looked set to condemn Monaco to their sixth defeat of the year when, with just five minutes left on the clock,Â Marama Vahirua intervened for the hosts with one of the Gallic goals of the season.
Vahirua was far from the only footballer to net a golazo on Saturday.
A thrilling 4-3 for Bahia over Sao Paulo was sprinkled with a healthy splattering of quality strikes. Wellington put Sao Paulo ahead with a brilliant sombrero and volley early on, while Lucas Silva thrashed home a ripper for the eventual losers from 30-yards too. Staying in Brazil, Julio Cesar scored a wonderful winner to hand Figueirense victory at Botafogo.
Dropping down into central America Enrique Esqueda did the business with an unstoppable strike for Pachuca at Mexican leaders Chivas. Similarly, the action in Costa Rica on Saturday was lit up by a solo special from Limon’s Kenrick Pinnock.
European football also served up a collection of golazos.
The early kick-off in England was marked by an Alan Shearer-esque volley from Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor, whilst further afield Sander Duits (RKC), Nicklas Helenius (Aalborg), Paulinho (Livorno) and Ionel Daniel Stana (Ceahlaul) all bagged beauties too.