Match report | Empty goal missed in stoppage time: Gerson Rodrigues’ record becomes irrelevant | Iceland – Luxembourg 1:1 | 7th matchday | European Championship qualification 2022/23

Luxembourg was extremely unfortunate to miss an away win in Iceland on Friday evening. Gerson Rodrigues broke a record, but he couldn’t enjoy it – because of a blatant miss.

He couldn't believe it: Gerson Rodrigues left Luxembourg's victory in the European Championship qualification.

He couldn’t believe it: Gerson Rodrigues left Luxembourg’s victory in the European Championship qualification.

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Luxembourg dropped big points in the bitter fight for a European Championship ticket in Group J on Friday evening. The small football nation, which is suddenly to be taken seriously, couldn’t get beyond a 1-1 draw in Iceland. With a three-pointer, national coach Luc Holtz’s team would have drawn level with second-placed Slovakia on points – ahead of the direct duel on Monday (8.45 p.m., LIVE! on kicker) in the Stade de Luxembourg.

Iceland got off to a much better start to the game and deservedly took the lead after 23 minutes: After a fine combination, Sigurdsson crossed for the 19-year-old Oskarsson, who scored his very first international goal. There was no response from the guests until halftime. But then Holtz apparently found the right words – and made the right changes: In addition to Mannheim’s Jans, goal scorer Gerson Rodrigues also came into play.

The Sivasspor professional needed less than 60 seconds to make it 1-1. Following a pass from Mainz’s Barreiro, the 28-year-old scored from the turn into the bottom left corner (46′). With his 17th international goal, the native Portuguese became Luxembourg’s new record goalscorer – Leon Mart, born in 1914, had once scored 16 goals.

St. Pauli’s Sinani only hit the crossbar

And the guests almost turned the game around completely, but the eye-catching Sinani didn’t have the luck of the brave. The FC St. Pauli professional’s shot hit the crossbar after 69 minutes. Iceland fought back – from the 70th minute onwards with Gylfi Sigurdsson (318 Premier League appearances) and Finnbogason (115 Bundesliga games for Augsburg).

The home fans screamed for goal in the 87th minute, when Anderson and Thorsteinsson, who were also substitutes, could have caused ecstasy. But after Anderson’s cross, Thorsteinsson only hit the left post from close range. A huge missed opportunity – but not the miss of the evening: Because Iceland’s keeper Runarsson rushed forward in stoppage time, Gerson Rodrigues was allowed to shoot at the hosts’ empty goal just before the penalty area. However, under slight pressure, he incredibly shot the ball – he also put his hands in his face – into the side netting (90th + 3).

Luxembourg has eleven points ahead of the big duel with Slovakia (13 points). The first leg at the end of March ended 0-0. With a home win – it would be the third in the European Championship qualification – the dream of the finals in the neighboring country would become tangible.

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