Liechtenstein win battle of the minnows

Liechtenstein 2 Lithuania 0

Liechtenstein 2 Lithuania 0

First-half goals from Philippe Erne and Michele Polverino earned Liechtenstein victory against fellow minnows Lithuania in Euro 2012 qualifying Group I.

The hosts secured their first points in the group in a match dominated by long-range efforts from both sides.

Darvydas Sernas twice hit the post for Lithuania but also missed a clear-cut chance from six yards as his side slipped to defeat.

It took six minutes for either team to have a shot at goal – but when it arrived it was a blockbuster from Erne. Seizing possession more than 35 yards out after Thomas Beck’s cross, the midfielder let fly with his right foot and found the top corner.

That set a trend for the first half, with Sernas only denied a 20-yard equaliser by the post.

Saulius Mikoliunas and Tomas Danilevicius were off target from range for the visitors before Tadas Kijanskas missed a presentable chance from much closer range, heading wide from six yards.

Polverino inflicted due punishment in the 37th minute when he slotted home left-footed after Franz Burgmeier cut the ball back to the edge of the box.

Sernas failed to trouble Benjamin Buchel from close range, but the keeper had to be alert seconds after half-time to tip over Kijanskas’ 25-yard strike.

Defender Kijanskas headed substitute Edgaras Cesnauskis’ corner over, an effort matched shortly afterwards by Andrius Skerla.

A stunning save from Lithuania keeper Ernestas Setkus prevented Nicolas Hasler killing the game off completely, and Lithuania were almost right back in it as Sernas hammered a free-kick against the post.

They petered out in the closing stages, though, and Polverino volleyed over from some 35 yards as the hosts sought to rub salt into Lithuania‘s wounds.

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