It may but too little too late, but the Faroe Islands were celebrating a huge success last Friday night as the North Atlantic minnows took a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Kazakhstan in Torshavn.
In what was possibly the most bizarre World Cup qualification game there has ever been in the European section, given the geographical locations and the relative insignificance of the two nations in terms of actually qualifying for the main event, this was a point to remember for the hosts – their first of the qualifying campaign.
In truth, neither nation harboured even the faintest hope of qualifying for the World Cup at the start o the campaign but it is the Faroes who, by sheer land mass and FIFA ranking, are the undoubted minnows. They still prop up Group C with a record of one point from ten games.
Having lost all nine of their group games prior to Friday, Lars Olsen’s team went in front in the 41st minute when Hallur Hansson scored the Faroes’ fourth goal of the campaign when he fired home from 25 yards out.
However, 10 minutes into the second half the visitors equalised when Andrey Finochenko, who scored during the reverse fixture in Astana when the Kazakhs ran out 2-1 winners, got on the end of a Nurbol Zhumaskaliyev corner to head home from close range.
The Faroes then pushed for a winner but it was not forthcoming; however, the long-suffering home fans reportedly headed for the exit gates happy with their team’s efforts and ready to enjoy a night out in Torshavn.
Although the Faroes lost their last game in the qualifying rounds against Austria, the team can rejoice at not being last in the competition, as it is one point ahead of Andorra and San Marino, who conceded 30 and 54 goals respectively throughout the competition.