Saturday, September 12, 2009

12 September 1990 - The Role of "David" Will Be Played Today By The Faroe Islands

On 12 September 1990, the Faroe Islands shocked the international football community by defeating Austria 1-0 in a qualifying match for the 1992 UEFA European Championship.

Located between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic, the Faroes are an autonomous province of Denmark, with whom they have been affiliated politically since the year 1380. Their current population is estimated to be just under 50,000.

The Faroe Islands national team started in 1930, but only joined FIFA and UEFA in 1988. Thus the match against Austria was their first match in a competitive tournament.

Although it was a home match for the Faroes, it was played in Sweden because the Faroe Islands had no grass pitch. The teams were deadlocked until the 61st minute, when Faroese midfielder Torkil Nielsen eluded an attempted tackle and shot the ball past the Austrian keeper into the bottom of the net from 17 yards out. The Islanders defense held strong to preserve the 1-0 win.

Despite the auspicious start to the campaign, the Faroes failed to qualify, managing only one other point (a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland). They finished at the bottom of the group, behind Yugoslavia, Denmark, Northern Ireland and Austria.

The Faroe Islands continue to compete in FIFA and UEFA, but have yet to qualify for a major tournament.

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