Liechtenstein is still dealing with the shock of a 3-0 win against Iceland with Hans-Peter Zaugg's side close to bettering their best ever qualifying campaign.
Two goals in the last ten minutes from substitute Thomas Beck added to Mario Frick's first-half opener at the Rheinpark Stadium in Vaduz to create an improbable result. Liechtenstein Football Association president Reinhard Walser said: "The atmosphere after the match was of course very euphoric and people were very, happy. The Icelanders were very unhappy."
The 67-year-old Walser, a management consultant by day, was among a crowd of 2,589 in Vaduz who saw Liechtenstein record their best ever UEFA European Championship qualifying result. "The celebrations went on in the restaurants and in the pubs in Vaduz until long after midnight," he said. "Even today people on the streets have been stopping me and wanting to talk about this match."
Walser was thrilled with the contributions of Beck, Frick and goalkeeper Peter Jehle but was also full of praise for the whole team and coach Zaugg, who took the helm in December 2006. "Zaugg has forged a unity in the team," said Walser. "There is harmony and a very good atmosphere between the players and the coach which makes working for the association great fun."
The win against Iceland was Liechtenstein's second of the campaign, following an earlier 1-0 win at home against Latvia. An earlier 1-1 draw in Iceland has left Liechtenstein with seven points, by far their best ever haul in European Championship qualifying and just a point short of their best ever campaign, their eight-point haul from 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
That latter campaign saw them take six points off fellow minnows Luxembourg, but they faced no such easy games this time around. However, while Liechtenstein were no match for section giants Spain, Sweden and Denmark, they have given the medium-sized nations a real fight, and will hope to increase their points total as they travel to Latvia for their final qualifier on 17 November. "There is a big buzz, even euphoria, about football in Liechtenstein at the moment," said Walser. "We want to come back from the last match in Riga with some points."
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