AP Photo/Francois Mori

UEFA Nations League wrap: Germany facing relegation; Gibraltar red hot

1 Comment

Germany’s slump continued Tuesday in Saint-Denis, as Joachim Loew’s men guaranteed they’d finish 2018 with a losing record in a 2-1 loss to France.

[ MORE: Brazil wins at the death ]

The Germans led through a 14th minute Toni Kroos penalty, but fell victim a second half brace from Antoine Griezmann.

The Atletico Madrid superstar continued his claims for the Ballon d’Or with a headed finish of a Lucas Hernandez cross before converting a Blaise Matuidi-won penalty.The Atletico Madrid superstar continued his claims for the Ballon d’Or with a headed finish of a Lucas Hernandez cross before converting a Blaise Matuidi-won penalty.

Germany is now poised for relegation to League B, as its lone point is two behind Netherlands. The Germans need to hope the Netherlands loses to France on Nov. 16, or that the Dutch draw France. Both scenarios will require Germany beating the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen on Nov. 19.

Gibraltar 2-1 Liechtenstein

Gibraltar’s on fire, your defense is terrified.

Three days after Gibraltar stunned Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Armenia to record its first competitive win in national team history, it beat Liechtenstein at Victoria Stadium to make it 2-0.

Joseph Chipolina scored for the second-straight match, as Gibraltar sits second in League D’s Group 4.

American fun fact: Chipolina once played in the United States’ fourth-tier PDL for the Real Colorado Foxes (as opposed to those deplorable non-regal foxes).

Armenia 4-0 Macedonia
Kazakhstan 4-0 Andorra
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Wales
Ukraine 1-0 Czech Republic
Latvia 0-3 Georgia
Slovenia 1-1 Cyprus
Norway 1-0 Bulgaria

Lincoln’s policeman striker beats Rodgers, Celtic in Champions League (video)

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers first serious game in charge of Celtic was an unmitigated disaster.

The ex-Liverpool boss oversaw a 1-0 loss to Gibraltar semi-pro side Lincoln Red Imps in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round match.

[ MORE: Loew staying on at Germany ]

Gibraltar policeman Lee Casciaro scored the goal, and you’ll be forgiven if you don’t know much about him. The 34-year-old has played every game of his career for the Red Imps, and has made five appearances for the nascent Gibraltar national team.

It’s a shocking loss for Celtic, and hard to place in their more embarrassing moments in club history. Rodgers had said before the game that Celtic would treat Lincoln like Barcelona.

The second leg is July 20 at Celtic Park.


Sports court orders FIFA to admit Gibraltar as member

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

GENEVA (AP) FIFA has been ordered by sport’s highest court to accept Gibraltar as a member, opening the national team’s path to play in the 2018 World Cup qualifying program.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Monday it upheld the Gibraltar soccer federation’s appeal against FIFA blocking entry in 2014, but its panel of judges could not directly grant membership.

“The panel has unanimously ordered that the FIFA Congress take all necessary measures to admit (Gibraltar) as a full member of FIFA as soon as possible, within the limits of the FIFA Statutes,” the court said in a statement.

[ MORE: Timbers striker wanted by Palace, St. Etienne ]

The congress of 209 FIFA members meets next week in Mexico City. It could also add another new European member, Kosovo, at the same meeting.

It is a second victory for Gibraltar at CAS, after a previous ruling against UEFA meant it could join the European soccer body in 2013.

Spanish soccer leaders have consistently opposed the progress of Gibraltar, which borders Spain and was ceded to Britain more than 300 years ago. Spain still disputes sovereignty.

The latest verdict ruling means Gibraltar, which has a population of around 30,000 people, could now be fast-tracked into a 2018 World Cup qualifying group which kicks off in September.

FIFA and the Gibraltar federation could not immediately confirm if its statutes would allow Gibraltar immediate membership and a qualifying place, or if the process would be delayed by one year.

[ MORE: Vardy wins English POY award ]

“We understand that FIFA are working to ensure our inclusion in next week’s Congress agenda,” the Gibraltar soccer body said in a statement.

The CAS judges insisted that the FIFA ruling council should act quickly. The council, chaired by new FIFA President Gianni Infantino, meets next Monday in Mexico City, four days before the congress has its annual business meeting.

Gibraltar was prevented from joining FIFA before the World Cup qualifying draw made in Russia last July.

At a September 2014 meeting, the FIFA executive committee chaired by Sepp Blatter ruled that Gibraltar’s “requirements for admission to FIFA were not met and that it would not submit the GFA’s application to the FIFA Congress,” CAS said.

FIFA rejected Gibraltar’s application because the British territory was not an independent country as required by the governing body’s statutes.

Those rules were updated in 2013, two months before Gibraltar joined UEFA despite longstanding opposition led by Spain.

Gibraltar made its competitive debut in a qualifying group for the 2016 European Championship, losing every match.

FIFA and UEFA can easily slot Gibraltar into one of the two five-nation World Cup qualifying groups without adding extra fixture slots which are designed for the majority of six-team groups.

There is also space to add Kosovo, a former province of Serbia which declared independence in 2008.

On Tuesday, Kosovo is expected to join UEFA as a member in a vote of the 54 European federations, including Gibraltar, at their annual congress being held in Budapest, Hungary.

Kosovo’s pending application to FIFA is on the agenda of the world body’s council meeting next Monday.

The two vacant spots in European qualifying groups are in groups which have Belgium and Croatia as top seeds.

WATCH: Gibraltar U-16s score tournament-winning goal while Macedonian players celebrate

1 Comment

What a week for Gibraltarian soccer. They’ve found their way onto PST with not just one, but two famous goals in the span of five days.

This time, it’s one of their youth national teams making headlines. The Macedonian U-16 national team scored from a corner kick to break a 0-0 deadlock with Gibraltar in the UEFA Development tournament final. Upon scoring the entire team ran to their bench and celebrated wildly with the coaching staff and bench players (1:31:20 of the above video).

Just one problem with that: Macedonia’s bench was on the other side of the halfway line, meaning once every Macedonian player had cleared Gibraltar’s half of the field, they were clear to kick the ball off and restart play.

And they did just that, racing from the halfway line into the penalty area and slotting the ball home. The 1-1 result meant Gibraltar won the tournament on goal difference.

The Macedonians obviously didn’t pay close enough attention to learn anything from Ferroviario Maputo’s (Mozambique) misfortune barely a full week ago.

Gibraltar scores its first ever international competitive goal vs Scotland

Leave a comment

In Euro 2016 qualification matches today, one of the least interesting games has given us a historic moment.

Gibraltar has no hope of qualifying for the finals of the tournament. They’re not even recognized by FIFA yet as a member nation, and has only been allowed into UEFA competitions in 2013 through legal action in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They get demolished in every match they play. Through four matches in this qualification cycle alone, they’re 0-0-4 with 21 goals conceded and zero goals scored.

Until today.

They may have lost to Scotland 6-1, but that one is a historic goal. It was scored in the 19th minute by Lee Casciaro, who is a policeman by day, but a soccer player by night. The goal is the first internationally sanctioned goal at a UEFA or FIFA level in the country’s history.

Pretty cool finish for a policeman.

It actually tied things up 1-1 at the time, although they’ve since capitulated, and Scotland leads big as expected. They have held Scotland scoreless through most of the second half until allowing 2 goals late, which is positive. Baby steps, folks.