San Marino score first competitive goal in five years, Poland still win 5-1

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

For 207th ranked San Marino, international football is all about the small pleasures like sharing the pitch with some of Europe's best players and making it to the stadium on time. Last week, they lost 9-0 to Ukraine — a disastrous result for any other team, but just another game for the accountants and barmen of San Marino's amateur squad.

Going into Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Poland, sat firmly at the bottom of their group with seven losses in as many matches and 38 goals allowed with none scored. When Poland scored in the 10th minute, it seemed like it would be business as usual, but then, in the 22nd minute, San Marino scored their first competitive goal in five years. A header from bank clerk Alessandro Della Valle off a free kick shocked Poland to make it 1-1, prompting the San Marino boys to let loose with a rare celebration.

San Marino did score twice in a friendly against Malta (which they lost 3-2), but their last goal in a competitive match came in a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia in 2008 (which they lost 3-1). This time around, they ended up losing 5-1 to Poland, but the goal was a success for the day.

And now only 205th ranked Andorra remain scoreless through eight matches of UEFA World Cup qualifying (though they've only allowed 24 goals).

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