San Marino record historic victory against Wales

San Marino 1-0 Wales
Juri Biordi's 22nd-minute strike proved sufficient for the home team to rewrite the history books and record their first win in Group I.

Juri Biordi scores San Marino's winner against Wales
Juri Biordi scores San Marino's winner against Wales ©Foto Pruccoli

San Marino made history by overcoming Wales 1-0 to record a rare win in Group I. 

It was the nation's first success in UEFA competition (other than a forfeit win) since their Under-17 side got the better of Andorra in 2002. "We won through a combination of hard work, skill and organisation. We also had a bit of luck but this is a historic moment for us and something to celebrate," said coach Pier Angelo Manzaroli. "I would like to congratulate all my players. The entire nation should be proud of them." 

Manzaroli's team withstood heavy pressure in Serravalle and poured scorn on their underdog status when Juri Biordi turned in Manuel Battistini's free-kick at the back post. It needed a moment of inspiration to lift Welsh spirits and Thomas Lawrence almost provided it, capitalising on a defensive slip by Gian Luca Proli and firing centimetres wide. 

The 19-year-old midfielder dragged another effort past a post on the stroke of half-time as San Marino paused for breath. Goalkeeper Elia Benedettini had to be at his best in the second half to deny Lloyd Isgrove before Robert Ogleby induced palpitations among the home support when he conspired to plant a header from Lee Evans' corner off target.