Confirmation came today in the latest FIFA rankings that Montserrat have finally climbed off the bottom of the world rankings, following their stunning 7-0 win over the British Virgin Islands last month. That lone victory, a first in 18 years has earned Montserrat an incredible 66 ranking points and resulted in a climb up to 181st place in the current rankings table, a climb of 25 places. Utterly astonishing. Continue reading
World Cup Qualifier
Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle, Serravalle, San Marino
San Marino 0-6 Montenegro
As expected San Marino started their World Cup campaign with a defeat at home to a decent Montenegro side, losing 6-0.
Looking beyond the scoreline, San Marino even had the chance to take the lead in this one, a rarity indeed. Continue reading
European World Cup Qualifying gets under way this month and for us that means a swift return to action for San Marino after their encouraging yet ultimately disappointing friendly loss to Malta in August. First up for the Sammarinese is a home tie against Montenegro on 11th September in Serravalle which represents quite a tough opening to what is, naturally, a very tough group with several familiar faces in it. Continue reading
9th September 2012
Caribbean Cup First Qualifying Round
Stade Pierre Aliker, Fort-de-France, Martinique. Att. 120
British Virgin Islands 0-7 Montserrat
Well I don’t know what to say! Not only have Montserrat avoided defeat for the first time since joining FIFA in 1996, they’ve also got a first win and done it in fine style. A 7-0 victory is simply astounding.
An even first 30 minutes belied two teams that, for all their positive talk, were short on confidence and lacked the belief to just go for it. And then, as the first half wore on, the chance to grasp the initiative was presented to Montserrat. Marlon Campbell, one of the new breed of UK-based players, playing his club football with Bethnal Green United, got his international goal scoring record off the mark with two strikes late in the first half to put Montserrat two goals to the good. Minutes later, they were in dreamland when their Australian-based midfielder, Darryl Roach, made it three. Continue reading
So this is it. A potentially huge match for Montserrat and a realistic opportunity to climb from the foot of the FIFA rankings and avoid defeat for the first time as a FIFA affiliated nation.
I hope I’m not being too overly optimistic, but given the previous results in this group is it really too much to ask that Montserrat have a real chance against the British Virgin Islands? All past history for Montserrat screams at me to stop being so daft, but let’s look at the evidence. Continue reading
7th September 2012
Caribbean Cup First Qualifying Round
Stade En Camee, Riviere-Pilote, Martinique. Att. 400
Martinique 5-0 Montserrat
Only a 5-0 defeat to Martinique is not a bad showing at all for our intrepid islanders from Montserrat, who made several changes to the team from the first match two days ago. Bearing in mind that British Virgin Islands were beaten 16-0 by the same opponents this performance offers real hope for Montserrat’s final group match against BVI. Can it really be hoped that defeat will be avoided, or whisper it quietly, even a win? Continue reading
Up next for Montserrat in Caribbean Cup qualifying are the non-FIFA affiliated Martinique on Friday 7th, hosts for this first round group stage. Being an overseas territory of France, Martinique are not an official FIFA country so this match will not affect Montserrat’s world ranking, even were they to give their hosts a beating. Quite how this differs from Montserrat being a dependent territory of the UK I don’t really know, but in FIFA-land it seems to matter. Continue reading