Liechtenstein is on a roll. Andorra finally has won a game. And make no mistake, Albania looks like a threat.
With European teams about a third of the way through 2006 World Cup qualifying, the continent's soccer is more and more unpredictable.
A tiny Alpine principality of just 33,000 that started playing international tournaments in 1994, Liechtenstein stunned Portugal with a 2-2 tie last weekend. On Wednesday came a 4-0 upset of Luxembourg, the country's first road win since a soccer federation was established there 70 years ago.
Andorra, a tiny nation tucked between Spain and France, recorded the first qualifying win in its history on Wednesday, beating Macedonia -- which had held mighty Holland to a 2-2 tie five days earlier. The 1-0 loss prompted Macedonia Coach Dragan Kanatlarovski to offer his resignation.
Liechtenstein's new coach, Martin Andermatt, a Swiss native who led SSV Ulm and Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga, has instilled discipline and order in the squad, which is composed of local amateurs and professionals playing in neighboring Switzerland. The result is four points from four World Cup qualifiers.
"This team is only starting to show its potential," Andermatt said. "It can develop even further."
Andorra had participated in the qualifying stages of the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 European championship, but lost every game.
Albania also is shaking up the established order of European soccer. The Albanians, who upset European champion Greece, 2-1, last month, first showed their strength in Euro 2004 qualifiers, when they beat Russia and tied Ireland and Switzerland.
-- From News Services