Monthly Archives: June 2014

FIFA Rankings July 2014: Turks & Caicos Climb


Following on from their victory over the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Cup last month the Turks & Caicos Islands have climbed well clear off the bottom of the FIFA world rankings with a frankly astonishing 66 point haul courtesy of that lone victory.

That sees them climb 26 places in the ranking tale to 181st and ends a stay at the bottom of the rankings that had lasted since October 2012.  Additionally, they are now ranked 29 out of the 35 CONCACAF nations thanks to their recent relative success. Continue reading

Friendly Result: San Marino 0-3 Albania

Sunday 8thJune 2014
International Friendly
Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle, San Marino

San Marino 0-3 Albania


It’s rare that San Marino play friendly matches, and when they do it is not usually against the higher level of opposition. (Their match with Italy a couple of years ago being a notable exception.) They’ve played Liechtenstein a few times, even beaten them once. Remarkable things can happen, if infrequently, particularly if the opposition sees the match as something of a training exercise and a chance to blood a few new youngsters. It’s therefore quite disappointing to report that San Marino’s latest friendly escapade has ended in defeat once more, to an Albania side that is very much on the rise.

San Marino did keep Albania at bay for almost half an hour, restricting them to a few long range efforts but nothing too dangerous.  They even managed one or two attacks of their own, though naturally none of them were particularly threatening.

But the tide was heading one way and when Albania scored their opener from Mergin Mavraj on 28 minutes, the end was nigh. The goal came after Armando Vajushi looped over a free kick from close to the right corner flag finding Mavraj who rose above the defence at the back post to head home.  Mavraj is a German born former German U-21 international, but chose to play for the nation of his parents (Albanian Kosovans).  This strike was his first international goal in 17 appearances.

This was the prompt for an intense period of pressure from Albania, and only a few minutes later, wide man Armando Vajushi added a second, and likewise it was his first international goal.  Cutting in from the right he fired a stunning left foot shot into the top corner beyond Simoncini in the home net.  Unstoppable.

Emiljano Vila added the third in the second half to round out the victory with an equally impressive strike.  The ball rebounded around the edge of the box and flew up above Vila who crashed home a terrific volley.

A 3-0 defeat it may have been but if there’s any consolation I suppose it can be found in the fact that Albania had to score two very impressive goals to see out the win.

Caribbean Cup: British Virgin Islands 0-2 Turks & Caicos Islands

Tuesday 3rd June 2014
Caribbean Cup Qualifier Preliminary Round Group Two
Guillermo Prospero Trinidad Stadium, Oranjestad, Aruba

British Virgin Islands 0-2 Turks & Caicos Islands

BVI0-2TurksComing in to this final group match on that back of two bruisingly bad beatings, it wouldn’t be surprising if optimism wa in short supply in the Turks & Caicos camps. But where there is life there is hope, as they say, and that hope manifested itself in the performances up until that point of their final opponent; the British Virgin Islands.

Both teams had suffered six goal hammerings against French Guiana, but while the Turks and Caicos were only narrowly beaten by Aruba, the British Virgin Islands had managed to ship let in no fewer than seven goals to the group hosts. Both teams were pointless so far, so to speak, and a couple of hours before Aruba and French Guiana would battle it out for group supremacy and qualification for the next round of qualifying, the two smallest nations faced off hoping to avoid a whitewash. For the Turks and Caicos Islands, it was a real opportunity to get a positive result and to escape their ranking fate; to finally get that monkey off their back. Continue reading

Caribbean Cup: Turks & Caicos Islands 0-6 French Guiana

Sunday 1st June 2014
Caribbean Cup Qualifier Preliminary Round Group Two
Guillermo Prospero Trinidad Stadium, Oranjestad, Aruba

Turks & Caicos Islands 0-6 French Guiana

Turks0-6FrenchGuianaMaking just one change to the starting line up from an impressive opening showing against Aruba, Turks & Caicos were looking to continue their form against French Guiana.  Striker Stevens Derilien replaced the injured Gavin Glinton as he had done during the first half of the opening match.

The result of this match, while being important in the Caribbean Cup of course, would have no bearing on Turks and Caicos’ FIFA ranking. French Guiana are not FIFA affiliated, being a part of France rather than an independent nation. In that context, if they were going to get roundly thrashed 6-0 it may as well happen against a team that wouldn’t affect their ranking. Had they somehow avoided defeat against French Guiana, as terrific as that would have been, there would surely be a glimmer of lingering frustration that a first positive result in years would still have seen them stuck firmly at the foot of the world rankings. The thorough defeat, however, made that prospect little more than a redundant afterthought. Continue reading