Having gone 12 years without a competitive victory, Luxembourg coach Guy Hellers had a feeling, ten days or so ago, that the wait was soon to end. When this finally became a reality, in Belarus on Saturday, he admitted to being surprised that it should "happen so quickly".
Fons Leweck was the minnows' hero, heading in the only goal from a Daniel Da Mota cross in the fifth minute of stoppage time to halt a run of 55 competitive matches without a point – nine of them in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group G. "My congratulations go to my players," Hellers said. "With one exception [FC Aarau's Mario Mutsch], we have a team of entirely amateur footballers. We have always been outsiders and rarely have an opportunity to win, but I think this success has been deserved. Around ten days ago I mentioned that a win would not be long in coming, but I had no idea it would happen so quickly."
Luxembourg captain Sébastien Remy said of the game in Gomel: "Our hard work is finally paying off and this is a huge delight for us. For a whole week we'd worked towards this. In the last five minutes I wanted to shout at the referee to blow his whistle. Then the ball came to me, I passed it to Daniel [Da Mota] and expected him to kill some precious seconds. I wanted to swear at him when he put in the early cross – good job I didn't."
From that quick centre, Fons Leweck scored what was only Luxembourg's second goal in Group G. "When I saw that Daniel wanted to play the ball square, I made my move to the far post," said the 25-year-old FC Etzella Ettelbrück midfielder. "I managed to reach the ball and slip it through the fingers of the goalkeeper and into the net. Magic." The chance of another magical moment against section leaders Romania in the Grand Duchy on Wednesday may be asking too much, but at least this generation of players can go into a qualifier on the back of a victory for the first time since the mid-1990s.
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