Preview: A simple Walkover for the Dragons against Andorra?

September 5, 2015 4:45 PM

dgA new match awaits the Dragons after their recent 3-1 loss against the Belgians. On Sunday evening at 20:45 at the stadium Bilino Polje in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina will face the national team of Andorra in regard to the 2016 European Championship qualifications. It should theoretically be a walkover for the Dragons. This is due to Andorra’s dismal football performances and it is therefore not a surprise that they rank last in Group B without a single point while already conceding 27 goals and only scored 3 goals in 7 matches.  Furthermore, BiH ranks 28th in the world while Andorra ranks 202nd on the FIFA ranking table which marks the huge gap between the two countries.

However, the lack of international success for Andorra’s national football team is primarily due to its tiny population and thus a small base of active football players. Andorra is the fifth smallest UEFA member because only San Marino, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and The Faroe Islands are smaller. Since their debut on the international stage in 1996, Andorra only managed to win one competitive match against Macedonia in 2006. A great amount of players are, besides playing for the national team, employed as teachers, administrators or mechanics and thus predominantly amateur football players. This explains the difficulty that Andorra faces on the international stage in their endeavor to success. Players like Ildefons Lima who is the current all-time top scorer with 9 goals, Oscar Sonejee and Marc Pujol are considered to be the star players. However, it has to be noted that all three are playing for modest clubs in Andorra’s domestic league.

From a historical point of view, it will be the second time that both teams will face each other. The previous match in March earlier this year ended in a 0-3 victory for BiH due to a hat-trick by Edin Dzeko with all three assists coming from Senad Lulic. Looking ahead to the upcoming match, Andorra’s strategy will be to ‘park the bus’ and thus defend with many men behind the line of the ball. An early goal from the Dragons will therefore be important to break Andorra’s defensive wall. With Andorra’s historical statistics in mind, it will be very unlikely they would be able to beat the Dragons.

The match in Zenica, with a large amount of fans backing up the Dragons, should be a walkover as BiH is in serious need of points in order to enforce qualification. As it stands at the moment, BiH needs to compete with Israel and Cyprus for the third position in Group B which gives the right to secure qualification through the play-offs. On the same day, Israel will face the strong Welshmen while Cyprus will host the talented Belgians in Nicosia. Chances are likely that the Dragons will move closer to third position in this group and overtake Cyprus.

Written by Dustin Giel

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