Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF) president Paul Philipp was in ebullient mood after his nation came from behind to defeat Northern Ireland 3-2 and register their first victory in 44 home FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Aurélien Joachim wiped out Martin Paterson's opener on the stroke of half-time and Stefano Bensi edged the hosts in front with the clock ticking down. More drama was to come, though, as Gareth McAuley levelled, paving the way for Mathias Jänisch's dramatic winner three minutes from time. It was a savvy display that drew lavish praise from Luxembourg coach Luc Holtz, while Daniel Da Mota pinpoined his team's resolve and hailed the dawn of a new beginning.
Paul Philipp, president of the FLF
It was a thoroughly deserved win and one that has promoted football in Luxembourg. It was a good game with lots of chances. I can't stress enough how great this day is for football in this country. The team played extremely well and [Aurélien] Joachim has the ability to score from any position. But I don't want to single anyone out for special praise because the team was fantastic.
Luc Holtz, Luxembourg coach
I am delighted with the victory. We were unlucky to be behind after 15 minutes because there was only one team playing football and it was us. We knew of Northern Ireland's threat on the counter and we lost concentration for their opener. The equaliser was deserved and important for our morale for the second half. It was very pleasing to score the winner after being pegged back. Luxembourg will have been Northern Ireland's strongest opponent in the last three games: I want to congratulate the team for this.
Daniel Da Mota, Luxembourg forward
It was a fantastic team effort. Getting the equaliser before the break was very important for our morale and the win was completely deserved. One of our greatest strengths is that we don’t let our heads from when going behind. The new 4-4-2 formation has also improved our game and given us lots of options.
Laurent Jans, Luxembourg midfielder
We wanted to show our intentions right from the off: that we were capable of beating them. We continued to push forward after the second goal; you could see that the win was coming. The three points are just reward for our hard work over the past few months. I want to say thanks to all the fans that have supported us today, you saw how important they were for us tonight. Everything came into place.
Mario Mutsch, Luxembourg midfielder We can go from strength to strength after tonight. This victory shows how far we have come but we are hungry for more, even the though the games against Russia and Portugal will be different. The supporters got a taste of what’s to come and were able to see our development.
Mathias Jänisch, Luxembourg midfielder and goalscorer
The team deserve a lot of credit. We played very well over 90 minutes. It was fantastic to score my first goal but the fortunes of the team are always of greater concern. I hope we can push on from this.
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