Lithuania's finest hours: England beware
Thursday, March 26, 2015
If England expect Lithuania to wilt on Friday, they may be in for a shock; UEFA.com's Vaidotas Januška celebrates the results that showed the Green-Yellows are a match for any side.
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Lithuania are aiming to add to their collection of heroic results against Europe's biggest nations when they take on England at Wembley on Friday in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group E, as UEFA.com discovers.
Lithuania 0-0 Italy
1 September 2001, FIFA World Cup qualifying
In the last game of what was a very disappointing qualification campaign, Lithuania put the wind up the UEFA EURO 2000 runners-up. Striker Edgaras Jankauskas almost capped an aggressive showing with the match winner, going close after bamboozling three members of Italy's star-studded defence, while Marius Stankevičius's marking job on Alessandro Del Piero hastened the FK Ekranas man's move to Serie A side Brescia Calcio. "We should be happy with the result considering the performance," conceded Italy boss Giovanni Trapattoni.
Germany 1-1 Lithuania
29 March 2003, UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying
With key players missing, new coach Algimantas Liubinskas looked to be in line for a miserable encounter with Germany, especially after Carsten Ramelow put the 2002 FIFA World Cup finalists ahead early on with a clever back-heel. However, Lithuania were resolute in Nuremberg, Tomas Ražanauskas evening things up. "It was predicted that we would lose four or five-nil, but at half-time I told the lads that we could score," beamed Liubinskas, whose team also beat Scotland later that week. "This is certainly the greatest result in our history."
Lithuania 0-0 Spain
13 October 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying
While it seemed a mismatch on paper, Lithuania gave Luis Aragonés's men – future UEFA EURO 2008 winners – a thorough examination on a chilly night in Vilnius. Winger Edgaras Česnauskis caused the visitors' defence problems, with Carles Puyol forced to clear one effort off the line. At the other end, goalkeeper Žydrūnas Karčemarskas preserved a point with a heroic double save from Xavi Hernández and Raúl González. "We really wanted to win this game," Liubinskas said afterwards, his disappointment a measure of his squad's ambition.
Italy 1-1 Lithuania
2 September 2006, UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying
Naples was ready for an extension of the victory parade that Italy had been on since lifting the World Cup that summer, but fans were silenced as a confident Lithuania took the initiative, Tomas Danilevičius – then playing in Italy with AS Livorno Calcio – finishing off a slick move after 21 minutes. Filippo Inzaghi equalised, yet Karčemarskas did superbly to deny the Azzurri maximum points. "The team played brilliantly," said Danilevičius, whose side performed well in a tough group – which also included France – and secured some notable wins in their next campaign.