Torkil Nielsen, who doesn’t know him? Yes, who doesn’t know him – at least on the Faroe Islands. The rest of the world, even the football world, is certainly not familiar with this player name. With one exception: Austria.
While the current generation of national teams, born after 1990, shakes their heads in ignorance, older people still remember the Warhol moment of the staid amateur kicker from the Sheep Islands in the North Atlantic very well. In a fit of energy and carefree he pulled off the penalty area and poured team goalie Michael Konsel what was probably the bitterest goal in his entire career. And with it, the red-white-red kicker selection, which was struck anyway after the botched World Cup finals in 1990, inflicted an embarrassment of the century: 0: 1 in the European Championship qualification, in the first ever competition game of the Faroese – and Torkil Nielsen was world famous for a moment. As I said, in the Faroe Islands and Austria at least.
Pointed hat horror
If the pictures of this historic bankruptcy of Landskrona are reissued before the second World Cup qualifying game on Sunday evening (8.45 p.m. / ORF 1) – the pointed hat goalie Jens Martin Knudsen will not be forgotten – then the whole thing is just bogus and smoke that has long been forgotten and thank God overcome the football era. The Faroe Islands have long ceased to scare the Austrians – although the class difference is actually much smaller than it was 31 years ago. Because fishermen, sheep farmers, teachers and postal workers once played against highly paid stars like Toni Polster and Andreas Herzog, but now professionals are at work, mostly in Scandinavia. After the Nations League group victory in the D-Class, the next success came on Thursday when the Faroese in Moldova, where many other nations – including Austria – often struggle, scored a 1-1.
But the red-white-red trauma has long since been overcome – the best example is the most recent encounter between the two teams as part of the World Cup qualification for Brazil: just four days after the bitter qualification in Sweden, Marcel Koller’s youngsters had to make the difficult flight to Torshavn. But while observers were already blaming the troops on the ground, David Alaba and Co. passed the character test with flying colors and won 3-0. This also applies to Koller, who shortly thereafter extended his contract.
The first leg in Vienna had already ended with a 6-0 victory. Overall, after victories it is 4: 1 for Austria (goal difference: 16: 3) – in 2008 they parted ways, again 1: 1 in the World Cup qualification in Torshavn, which dashed the hopes for South Africa early on. The game, which was completely muddled due to a storm and TV picture failure, has not become as branded as the one on September 12, 1990. And it is certainly clear to everyone in this country that they must not underestimate the kickers from the far north, because the young players old stories are still presented warmly. Storm high-flyer Sasa Kalajdzic (born 1997), after his famous debut in Glasgow with a double, is much more concerned with the tactics for Sunday: “On the one hand, that can be a good game for a striker, on the other hand, it can be felt by three Man is covered, “said the ex-Admiran with a view to the expected defensive tactics of the Faroese.
It is quite possible that the Stuttgart legionnaire will be spared by team boss Franco Foda in view of the probably directional match on Wednesday at home against Denmark – because Kalajdzic was the best man on the field in the 2-2 win against Scotland. What was particularly proven by his header hit for a 2-1 lead in world class manner. The fact that in the end – despite taking the lead twice – it was not enough to win in Group F at the beginning was mainly due to defensive deficiencies. And that annoyed Foda enormously: “Football is a sport that makes mistakes, mistakes happen,” said the German dryly, who nevertheless spoke of two lost points.
He also attributed the defensive weaknesses to the lack of defensive boss Martin Hinteregger, who had recently been outstanding, but who also had to pass against the Faroe Islands and Denmark due to thigh problems.
“Obligatory victory” against the Faroe Islands
With regard to the ticket for Qatar 2022, nothing is lost by a long way. On the contrary: “We scored a point against a competitor away from home. The Scots also have ambitions to qualify for the World Cup in, just like Israel, Denmark and us. It will remain exciting.” For Sunday there is of course nothing to be worked out for – there must be three points. “We absolutely have to win the game. And then we will prepare for the next game.” Landskrona didn’t even touch Foda.