Category Archives: Montenegro

World Cup Qualifier: San Marino 0-8 Ukraine

15thOctober 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino (Att. 1,268)

San Marino 0-8 Ukraine


Well at least it wasn’t nine again.  That’s about all I can say about that.  What was nine however, was the number of players San Marino had left on the pitch by the end – red cards for Mirko Palazzi and Alessandro Della Valle.

Both of those players also gave away penalties, Della Valle in the first half to allow Ukraine to open the scoring after 13 minutes, and Palazzi in the second, for which he earned his marching orders with over half an hour still to go.  Della Valle’s red card came in the final minute for a second yellow in the aftermath of Ukraine’s 8th goal.

Marko Devic scored a hat-trick for Ukraine, but the win still wasn’t enough for Ukraine to take the top spot in the group and automatic qualification, thanks to England’s 2-0 win over Poland, but they head into the play offs with plenty of shooting practice under their belts.

As for San Marino, they of course showed only glimpses of endeavour.  On one occasion having gone a goal behind they did send several players up field for an attacking free kick.  What happened?  Ukraine cleared the free kick, broke quickly into the sparsely populated San Marino half and promptly scored their second, while the San Marino defence tried to hurry back and re-organise.

Even when they try and score it just results in another goal against.

SanMarino0-8UkraineSo the end of another campaign sees San Marino with another 10 straight defeats to their name, and a minus 53 goal difference to boot.  They did of course manage one goal against Poland recently, but other than that it was a total blank all round.

Where do they go from here?  Well the facile answer is that they go into a European Championship qualifying campaign and do it all over again.  But more than that, surely they need some other focus for their footballing ambitions?  Being humped on a regular basis can’t be fun.  What is to be lost by some of Europe’s true minnows arranging a few friendly fixtures against each other to at least have the opportunity to play some more attacking football once in a while?  And perhaps there would even be the chance of a victory every now and then.  Otherwise, just what is the point?

I’m not saying this trying to suggest that San Marino shouldn’t be taking part.  Quite the opposite in fact.  They, and all other nations, should be encouraged to compete as best they can in World Cup and European Championships alike.  But in addition to that an opportunity to try and win a few other games might be a worthwhile exercise, not only for trying to climb off the foot of the world rankings.

San Marino face difficulties that our other basement boys, Bhutan and Turks & Caicos Islands, don’t have, namely never competitively facing opposition that is not far above their standard and therefore potentially beatable.  They will always be in a different group from all other minnows and facing far bigger teams.  Defeat will follow defeat.

Similarly tiny Gibraltar will be on the UEFA scene shortly.  Surely a challenge match between San Marino and Gibraltar is the stuff of dreams for champions of the underdog?  I can only dream.

Final Group H Standings:

1. England Pl. 10 Pts. 22
2. Ukraine 10 21
3. Montenegro 10 15
4. Poland 10 13
5. Moldova 10 11
6. San Marino 10 0

World Cup Qualifier: Moldova 3-0 San Marino

11t October 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Zimbru Stadium, Chisinau, Moldova (Att. 5,000)

Moldova 3-0 San Marino


San Marino didn’t do too badly in Chisinau on Friday, lasting at 0-0 until beyond half-time.  Unfortunately a repeat of last month’s goal scoring heroics wasn’t to be, and ten minutes into the second half Moldova finally got their breakthrough.

Viorel Frunza beat Aldo Simoncini, who was restored to the team between the San Marino posts, after good work from Alexandru Antoniuc.  Eugeniu Sidorenco added a second after another goal mouth scramble, before banging home the third himself a minute from time.

Moldova played patiently throughout, presumably feeling that the breakthrough would eventually come. A policy that was clearly based on fact. This win broke Moldova’s run of four matches without a win. We eon’t go into how many matches San Marino now are without a win…

So all in all not a bad showing from San Marino; a goalless first half, and keeping the score to two before the final minute.  No goals scored though, for shame.

Group H now looks like this…

1. England Pl. 9 Pts. 19
2. Ukraine 9 18
3. Montenegro 9 15
4. Poland 9 13
5. Moldova 9 8
6. San Marino 9 0

All that remains now is for San Marino to act as sacrificial lambs to the slaughter against Ukraine on Tuesday night.  Ukraine will of course need a win to try and steal top spot from England, who face Poland on the same night.

Can San Marino avoid another 9 goal humping?  Let’s hope so.

World Cup Qualifier: San Marino 1-5 Poland

10thSeptember 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino

San Marino 1-5 Poland


Oh my!  Oh net bulging, goal scoring, my!  They only went and scored a goal!  And not just any old goal either, but an equalising goal.  I could only have been bettered if they’d actually taken the lead.

Alessandro Della Valle is the man of the moment, with San Marino’s first competitive goal for five long years.  Let’s celebrate this for all it’s worth – it could be a while before this happens again… Continue reading

They nearly scored! But didn’t. Poland 5-0 San Marino

26th March 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw

Poland 5-0 San Marino

A glance at the scoreline suggests the usual surrender to a stronger team, albeit with the goals account count not getting as high as might have been feared.

But beyond the scoreline there were a few incidents of real note for San Marino.  Firstly, Aldo Simoncini in goal made several decent stops, a couple of which were in the firsts 10 minutes alone.  And secondly, a last minute breakaway saw Danilo Rinaldi clean through on goal with only Artur Boruc to beat, and a chance to make a piece of Sammarinese footballing history. Continue reading

A Good Old-Fashioned Thrashing – San Marino 0-8 England

22nd March 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle

San Marino 0-8 England

Let’s just say that San Marino were lucky that England didn’t score more than eight.  To say that this could easily have been ten or more is quite an understatement.  Thankfully for San Marino, England had half an eye on the job they need to do in Montenegro on Tuesday; various changes through the second half to rest players for that game easing things off somewhat. Continue reading

San Marino back in action against England

22nd March 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle

San Marino v. England

SanMarino222It’s time for more World Cup qualifiers in Europe and that means San Marino are back in action again, hosting England in Serravalle on Friday before a trip to Poland next week.  For England it’s a guaranteed three points ahead of their big match with Montenegro next Tuesday, but for San Marino it’s a chance to be noticed on the big stage, and to do all they can to avoid a huge score. Continue reading

World Cup Qualifying: Montenegro 3-0 San Marino

14th November 2012
World Cup Qualifier
Stadion Podgorica

Montenegro 3-0 San Marino


Far from the beating we’d feared for San Marino, a 3-0 defeat represents something of a triumph for our boys in blue against the team now installed at the top of group H (although they are the only team to have had the pleasure of playing San Marino twice so far). Continue reading

Latest Rankings and Looking Ahead


With San Marino’s two latest defeats being the only action for us, there are no changes at the foot of the World Rankings.  So San Marino, Bhutan and Turks & Caicos remain the three worst teams in the world.

Next month sees action for two of our teams however, so two opportunities for ranking points.  San Marino continue their World Cup odyssey with a trip across the Adriatic to Montenegro and Bhutan are back in action with a friendly match in Thailand. Continue reading

World Cup Qualifier: San Marino 0-6 Montenegro

11thSeptember 2012
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

San Marino’s World Cup Odyssey


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