Fløtugerði Fuglafjørður, Faroe Islands ÍF vs. Linfield 7/3/13 13:45 CDT
The future snuck up on me yesterday. With the Confederations Cup done and dusted, with Brazil whipping the hell out of Spain 3-0 at the Macaranã, I figured that there wouldn’t be much more for me to think about, football-wise, while waiting on Jose Mourinho and Chelsea to turn rumours into reality so I could have something to finally sink me teeth into other than the swirling whirling worlds of if…the silly season transfer rumour speculations that I’ve covered a thousand times before. Mighty 4th place finishes and all that.
Instead, the brave and terrible future ambushed me with the realization that the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa have already started their mad marches to Lisbon and Turin respectively.
How the hell did I miss THAT meeting? Was I so caught up in visions of Rooney and Lewandowski in Chelsea blue ((although it’s more likely they will stay where they are)) that I failed to realize that Shirak clonked Tre Penne 3-0 at the Gyumri in Ijevan, Armenia on an Ismael Fofana hat-trick yesterday?
Was I figuring that I could wait until the weekend to rant and rave about Uzbekistan’s performance at the U20 World Cup ((Uzbekistan, for fuck sake!! I mean really now, what the hell!!)) that I never saw that come-from-behind 2-2 tilt between Lusitanos and EB/Streymur at the Estadi Comunal in Andorra La Vella coming at me? How the hell did I miss those meetings. I don’t know, you tell me!
I also missed some the following Europa League tilts:
Sliema Wanderers 1 Khazar Lankaran 1
Trans 0 Gefle 3
Bala Town 1 Levadia 0
Obviously, most of the above mentioned tilts were played in the grimmest of grim Eastern European shitholes.
The only exception there being Bala which is a beautiful little village set on the north shore of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) in north central Wales. Bala Town FC took the opening leg 1-0 on a 4th minute goal by Ian Sheridan and that was that. The return tilt, unfortunately, is in Talinn, Estonia, which is probably not as bad or as grim as I make it out to be. I suppose it could be worse. Yes, it definitely can be worse—here is Ağdam, Azerbaijan, the town where Qarabağ FC are from, sort of.
The Faroe Islands, consisting of 18 islands, 17 of which are populated, is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Denmark controls the military, police, foreign affairs, currency, but other than that, the Faroe Islands are self-governing.
The Faroe Islands are off the northwest coast of Scotland between Scotland and Iceland. There are 49,709 residents, about the size of Sheboygan WI. In the top football league in the Faroe Islands, the Meistaradeildin, there are 10 teams. ÍF is currently in 2nd place, which would put them right back in the Europa League qualifiers next year if their place stands. Imagine Sheboygan, Wisconsin with not just 10 semi-pro soccer teams, but 30+, playing in 3 divisions. It’s pretty amazing to think about.
Everyone on the islands must play soccer or watch soccer when they’re not fishing, and I mean everyone.
ÍF represents the village of Fuglafjørður, a fishing village of 1562 residents. It is quite literally a postage stamp of a community. ÍF should play today’s match with Linfield at their home ground Fløtugerði which has a capacity of 3000, and from the look of it, a beautiful place to play and watch a match. Unfortunately, the venue is not quite up to UEFA standards. Instead, the match will tee off at the Tórsvøllur (which is also the homeground for the Faroe Islands National Team, which could probably beat Sheboygan’s National Team, if it had one) in the capital city of Tórshavn, population 13,000 for those of you keeping score in our friendly village of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin (population 7,294).
ÍF’s leading scorer, Clayton Soares de Nascimiento (from Brazil!! Holy crap, he’s from Brazil!!!) is 2nd in scoring in the Meistaradeildin so far with 8 goals. Their other top scorer is Øssur Dalbúd who’s smacked home 5 goals so far this season.
By the way, by the time you read this, the match with Linfield will be final. The match will not be on television, pirate or otherwise. And all of the writing of this will be completed before the match tees off. The only additional verbiage will be the update on the final score.
As you should have gathered by now, I want ÍF to win this. But I’m thinking that a Linfield win to be more likely. Speaking of Linfield….
I will refrain from launching into a political rant about Northern Ireland at the moment. It won’t solve anything and it won’t make me feel any better about it. Suffice it to say that Linfield FC should count their blessings and move along from there.
Linfield FC has been in existence since 1886 when it was formed by workers at the local spinning mill in the south Belfast neighborhood of Sandy Row. Wilson Park is the largest football venue in Northern Ireland, and the N. Ireland National Team rents it from Linfield FC for their home matches. The return leg of this tilt will be held in front of 20000+, which is almost half the entire population of the Faroe Islands.
Last season, Linfield FC finished 3rd in the Northern Ireland Premiership behind Crusaders, and Champions League bound Cliftonville to qualify for today’s match with ÍF. In last season’s Europa League qualifiers, Linfield beat EB36 Tórshavn 0-0 on aggregate but 4-3 on pens. Linfield then went on to defeat at the hands of AEL Limassol (who finished this past season 5th in the Cyprus 1st Division to miss out on this year’s Europa League) 3-0 on aggregate.
Hmmmm…maybe defeat at the hands of ÍF is not out of the question after all. I surely hope so.
Worlds of ÍF…….if and if and if…. When I checked the box score, I noticed that Clayton Soares, their leading scorer wasn’t named to today’s squad, not even the substitutes bench. As I type this quick final recap. I don’t know why. It couldn’t be that he’s cup-tied as he’s played in the Faroe Islands for the last 10 years. Perhaps he got a knock of some sort in their 3-1 win over KÍ Klaksvík last Friday? I don’t know.
I do know that Linfield broke through on the 68th minute on Andrew Waterworth’s goal. His sub, Philip Lowry duplicated that effort at the 74th minute.
ÍF will need to win by at least 3-0 or 3-1 at Wilson Park next Wednesday to go through. If I were you, I wouldn’t bet any of my mother-in-law’s money on that.
At the end of the day next Wednesday, ÍF will return home to postage stamp perfect Fuglafjørður and pick up their season right where they left off.
As for Linfield, well…..I promised I wouldn’t get into that. So ’nuff said.
As for me, I hope I never get caught napping like that again. My word.
I’ve got that countdown clock ticking down to tomorrow’s tilt between ÍF’s partner in crime, Vikingur, and Inter Turku. Now it’s back to Worlds of If and Worlds of WTF(?). As soon as Wayne Rooney signs on the dotted line for Chelsea, I’ll be bolt upright, typing away madly and furiously as always.
It’s also time now for a POINT Special.
Finally, the music today, will be like a good sermon. It will have absolutely no relevance to anything but itself.