After a good performance against Ireland on Friday last week that ended in a 0-0 draw, Slovakia’s national football team were subjected to a shameful defeat against Armenia last night in Group B of the EURO 2012 qualification round.
Although the Slovak team started the match well, the second half would prove disastrous with the Slovaks eventually losing 0-4 at home against the Armenian underdogs. The Armenian team is ranked 71st in the FIFA world rankings, while Slovakia enjoys 26th place, but even so, the Armenians won also the first encounter 3-1.
After the first goal by Movsisyan in the 57th minute, the Slovaks started panicking and trying to get a goal back. This opened up their defence, which the Armenians then made clockwork use of with another three goals in the 70th, 80th and 90th minutes.
Slovakia’s campaign was looking good until last night, but now it has an uphill struggle as it has to get a win against Russia, which is never an easy task. After the match coach Vladimir Weiss lamented: “I assume responsibility for the loss myself. I should have let fresh players play and not those who played the full ninety minutes against Ireland. The group is wide open, and if we win the next two matches then we can dream of the playoffs. If not, we are out of EURO 2012”.
Group B as it stands now
|2||Republic of Ireland||8||15|
OK, but ‘disgraced’ is in the headline. And I’d still query ‘shameful’. I accept it was a scoreline noticed all over Europe (I had a few messages from friends asking ‘what the hell happened there?” and so on) but it was two small nations playing each other. One (Slovakia) which has over-achieved so much under Mr Weiss that expectations of them have become exaggerated and another (Armenia) who are better than most people here are prepared to acknowledge. Weiss has been saying for a year that Armenia play the best football in Slovakia’s group and, unlike your average football coach, what he says tends to make sense. What we saw from the visitors on Tuesday confirmed his view. Only my opinion, of course…
James, the defeat was shameful, as written above. Not in reference to the play. There is no use of the word disgraceful in the article.
The words ‘shameful’ and ‘disgraceful’ are an over-reaction in my opinion.
It was a defeat, yes. And it adversely affects Slovakia’s qualification chances.
But, speaking as one who was there, it wasn’t a bad game to watch and anyway its importance was put in stark perspective by what happened in Russia the following day.