Can San Marino stun England? Three Lions’ most shocking scorelines
San Marino’s collection of spirited semi-professionals proudly represent their small nation, and England (14/1 to win Euro 2016) should be wary of the perils of complacency as they head into their Euro 2016 qualifier clash with the minnows.
The micro nation have lost all of their four previous encounters against the Three Lions, but did once shock Paul Ince and co by netting one of the fastest ever opening goals, as Davide Gualtieri slotted home within 8.3 seconds after kick-off, way back in 1993.
England still emerged as 7-1 victors on that occasion, but here, Coral writers take a look at the results that have really stunned the Three Lions’ fanatical faithful.
USA 1-0 England (1950)
Sixteen years before their famous World Cup win, England, who claim to be the inventors of the beautiful game, were sorely embarrassed by the USA at the Brazilian finals. The Stars and Stripes were comprised mostly of amateurs, containing a hearse driver and school teacher in their hastily assembled ranks.
The Americans did their nation proud, however, as England could not find the net despite their dominance. Whilst the Three Lions toiled to no avail, their cousins from across the pond hung on to snatch a remarkable winner.
Joe Gaetjens, a Haitian student simply studying in America, deflected a wayward shot with his head to seal what is now a notorious smash and grab, and still considered one of the worst defeats in England’s history.
England 0-1 Scotland (1999)
Auld enemy Scotland thrilled travelling Tartan Army fans with a Euro 2000 qualifying victory over eternal rivals England.
The Three Lions still made it to the finals, but defeat on home soil, courtesy of Don Hutchison’s thumping first half header past David Seaman, was a bitter bill to swallow.
It was the first time England had suffered defeat against Scotland since 1984, but that, at least, did not take place on the hallowed turf of Wembley.
Denmark 4-1 England (2005)
There were no songs made about Sven Goran Eriksson’s friendly defeat, or rather, demolition, at the hands of the Swede’s Scandinavian foes Denmark.
Whilst the match may have been a dead rubber, the surprising result is now seen as symbolic, as Eriksson oversaw England’s heaviest defeat for 25 years. Exhibition match or not, the lacklustre display was a sign of things to come.
The Danes were in dreamland as Dennis Rommedahl, Jon-Dahl Tomasson, Michael Gravgaard and Soren Larsen’s all hit home in an embarrassing second-half rout that saw David James truly earn his nickname ‘Calamity’.