Minnows San Marino end 40-game losing streak 9 months ago

Minnows San Marino end 40-game losing streak

The magic of the Nations League is alive and well

Usually, when San Marino play a game of football, it only ends one way.

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The mountainous microstate's football side only gained affiliation with UEFA and FIFA in the late 1980s and, since playing their first competitive game, have lost pretty much every time they've taken to the field - often heavily.

Thankfully, the Uefa Nations League offers them a break from being pasted in major tournament qualifiers by the likes of France, Spain or Germany, pitting them against some of Europe's smaller national sides instead.

On Tuesday, San Marino travelled to Liechtenstein - hardly a footballing superpower themselves - where they avoided defeat for the first time in nearly six years. A goalless draw in Vaduz was enough for them to bring a 40-game losing streak to an end and claim their first ever Nations League point in League D, Group 2. The result also saw goalkeeper Simone Benedettini earn San Marino's first ever clean sheet away from home.

The last time they avoided defeat was back in November 2014, where they held Estonia to a goalless draw at home. Since then, a string of defeats has contributed to them propping up the FIFA rankings in 210th (last) place.

Despite recording such a historical result, the wait for San Marino's first ever competitive win goes on. In fact, their only win came in a friendly against Tuesday's opponents 16 years ago.