Friday was a day of records for one man, and a day of monumental achievement for one tiny island nation in 2016 UEFA European Championships qualifying action.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo breaks a record, seemingly, every other game these days, we’ll start the roundup of Friday’s news with the Faroe Islands. The who? The Faroe Islands, a country of less than 50,000 population, and the latest David vs. Goliath slayers.
On Friday, Landsliðið (“The Team”) knocked off 2004 winners Greece, in Athens, in front of 7,700 spectators. The 1-0 scoreline was enough to give the islanders their fifth ever competitive victory. Joan Edmundsson, scorer of the 61st minute goal, will never have to buy another drink in his home country again.
Oh yeah, that Ronaldo fellow. The Portuguese superstar scored the only goal of the game in his country’s 1-0 victory over Armenia. Nothing new there, he plays superhero essentially every game for Portugal.
What was most noteworthy, though, was that with his 23rd goal in European Championships play, Ronaldo passed Danish great Jon Dahl Tomasson to become the all-time leading goalscorer in European Championships history, which includes both qualifying and tournament games. Portugal currently sit second in Group I, one point behind leaders Denmark, with a game in-hand.
World Cup winners Germany continued its recovery from a post-World Cup hangover to thump minnows Gibraltar, 4-0. Thomas Mueller (two) and Mario Gotze scored the first three before Gibraltar defender Yogan Santos turned home the fourth into his own goal.
The goal of the day came from Scotland‘s 1-0 home defeat of Ireland when the Scots worked a well-designed short corner kick routine for Shaun Maloney (below video) to have a crack from 15 yards. With the win, Scotland pulled themselves into a three-way tie (Ireland and Germany) for second place in Group D.
Serbia 1-3 Denmark
Georgia 0-4 Poland
Hungary 1-0 Finland
Romania 2-0 N. Ireland