Triviela – Beyond Trivia

The Trivela is a Portuguese term to denote the art of kicking the football with the outside of one’s foot. It is used to hide one’s weaker foot and also to suddenly fool the opposition with a wickedly swerving ball from a difficult angle. In Triviela, we will attempt to find some football feats/facts which would make you sit up and take note, like it happens when you see Ricardo Quaresma try these.

The Hat-trick That Almost Wasn’t

In keeping with the Gabriel Batistuta theme, we start our triviela with a World Cup hat-trick. We all probably know that ‘Batigol’ is the only player to score two hat-tricks in two different World Cups, but controversy reigned regarding who was the first to score a hat-trick in World Cup football.

Bertram Albert “Bert” Patenaude was part of the USA team which achieved its best-ever World Cup finish in 1930, where it took third place ahead of fellow semi-finalist Yugoslavia by virtue of conceding one goal less. No third-place match was held in the inaugural tournament.

On July 17, USA faced Paraguay and won the match 3-0. The first and third goals were awarded to Patenaude. The 2nd goal was awarded to Tom Florie. However, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s account had Patenaude scoring the 2nd, giving him three for the game. And to further complicate, the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation has the second goal as an own goal by Paraguay.

Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile did hit a hat-trick two days later (July 19, 1930) in a 6-3 win over Mexico and for more than 70 odd years, was the answer to the quiz question of who scored the first hat-trick in World Cup.

Patenaude was inducted into the US Soccer Hall of fame in 1971 and died in 1974 aged 65. However the research into the details of who scored the first hat-trick continued.

Finally in 2006, FIFA posted this message on its website.

Credit where credit is due: thanks to evidence from various historians and football fans, as well as lengthy research and confirmation from the US Soccer Federation, American Bert Patenaude has been retrospectively entered in FIFA’s records as the first player to score a hat trick in FIFA World Cup history by virtue of his three goals in the USA’s 3-0 win over Paraguay in Montevideo (Uruguay) on 17 July 1930.

Parting Shot: In the 19 edition old football World Cup, the only World Cup that didn’t have a hat-trick was, (yes you guessed it!!) 2006. So when the announcement came in November, 2006, from FIFA to award the ‘missing’ hat-trick to Bert Patenaude, it was as if scripted to happen that way.

Break the tie

Paraguay reached the final of the Copa America, 2011, without scoring a single goal in the knockout stages and winning 2 matches in tie breakers to reach the final. Back in 1990, Argentina had also reached the World Cup finals by winning 2 matches on tie breakers though they didn’t need penalties to beat Brazil in the second round. However, a far more improbable story was being played out in the Russian League.

FC Alania Vladikavkaz is a Russian football club based in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania. This story starts in 2009 when Alania achieved third place in the Russian First Division, just below the nominal promotion places. However, FC Moscow withdrew from the Premier League when their owner and main sponsor withdrew funding. Alania was thus promoted to the Premier League. The team performed miserably, notching 20 points to be second last and was thus relegated for the 2011-12 season. However two further Premier League teams Amkar Prem and Saturn withdrew from the Premier League. There was another case for Alania getting a reprieve but it wasn’t granted and was relegated back.

The domestic cup competition, however, was a different affair. Alania entered the 2010-11 Russian Cup competition in the round of 32. In the round of 32 and round of 16 Alania drew goalless and won through the tiebreaker. In quarter finals, they were to meet Saturn, who had gone bankrupt and thus withdrew. The semi finals were again a goalless draw and Alania won it on penalties again. That pitted them against powerhouse CSKA Moscow in the final. Finally Alania scored a goal in regulation time, only to lose the match 2-1. Since CSKA had qualified for the Champions League proper through their league position, the Europa League spot for cup winners went to Alania. That was the second occasion in Russian soccer history when a second-level division team qualified for European competition (the first one was FC Terek Grozny in 2004-05).

In the span of a single season, Alania thus got promoted despite not being in the promotional spots ; got relegated despite 2 teams getting bankrupt and managed to reach Europe without winning a single match in regulation time and scoring their only goal in the final, that too in a losing cause.

Parting Shot: Alania met FC Aktobe of Kazakhstan in the round 3 of Europa League qualifying and after two 1-1 draws in the two legs, won through penalties again. A single tie away from Europa League proper, however, they were thrashed by Besiktas for a combined 5-0 over 2 legs.

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