19th November 2013
Estadio Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Gibraltar 0-0 Slovakia
Well it looks as though Gibraltar aren’t destined to become a Worst in the World as they sealed a magnificent 0-0 draw with Slovakia in their first official international. Official in terms of being a UEFA member that is. They aren’t members of FIFA so technically wouldn’t have a world ranking anyway, but avoiding defeat means there is no debate about whether they are one of our basement boys or not.
Playing in a stadium in Faro which could have held the entire population of Gibraltar as their own Victoria Stadium is not up to UEFA standards just yet, they took to the field in front of a smattering of fans, including Gibraltar’s First Minister Fabian Picardo. It was of course a backs to the wall performance with not much in the way of an attacking threat, but the defence continually frustrated the Slovakians, marshalled by 34 year old Danny Higginbotham who now plays for non league Chester.
“It was very emotional before and after the game,” said Higginbotham. “It’s been a long way to get here and I don’t think too many people thought we would get the result but we deserved it.
“It was backs against the wall for most of the game but we expected that. In the end we were unfortunate because we had a few good chances at the end.”
Slovakia hit the bar in the final minute, but hadn’t otherwise created too many clear chances, and as the full time whistle went the few Gibraltarian fans cheered their heroes, who stayed out on the pitch to savour the moment.