A blurred - but very symbolic - picture of Georgia's second half penalty in the Group B Euro 2008 Qualifyier where Faroe Islands' display was indeed just as blurred as the photo, throughout the match.
After a bright start to the game where the Faroe Islands should have taken the lead after 6 minutes, things went from bad to worse, and in the end, the Faroe Islands lost 0-6 to Georgia in what was probably the most lackluster performance the Faroese national team has produced for a long time and it's only natural to ask if the Faroese national team is back at square 1 after having made great progress over the last years.
However, it were the Faroe Islands who had a golden opportunity to take the lead after just 6 minutes, when Rógvi Jacobsen headed the ball in front of the feet of Christian Høgni Jacobsen after a corner, but from 5 meters and the goal begging, Christian Høgni blasted the ball high over the goal. Opportunities don't come bigger than that.
But from thereon, it was all Georgia!
They had the easiest of task in playing the ball around and keeping possession as the Faroese tactics seemed to be to wait for the Georgians to make the moves. And the Georgians did make the moves, and when they did, they were lethal! But question marks must be set to the Faroese defensive play which was much too passive throughout the match.
When the Georgians scored their first goal after a quarter of an hour, they had produced a long string of uninterrupted passes for literary minutes and suddenly Jaba Kankava unleashed a rocket-shot from long range which goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen could do nothing with.
A couple of minutes later, Georgia doubled their lead, when Gotita Gogua sneaked unnoticed into the penalty area behind the Faroese left back and received the ball and played it across to Aleksandr Iashvili in center of goal who banged it in the back of the net.
Christian Høgni Jacobsen then had another good opportunity when he received the ball in a clear position in front of goal, but his first touch let him down and the opportunity was squandered.
Georgia were 3 up 8 minutes before half-time, when Shota Arveladze unhindered turned in a cross from the left, as the defense just stood looking at him, more or less.
Just 6 minutes after the interval it went wrong for the Faroes again. Pauli Hansen, who had substituted Claus Beck Jørgensen at halftime, gave away possession with a bad pass just outside the penalty area, and when David Mujiri became clear in the penalty area, he was brough down by Atli Danielsen. Levan Kobiashvili put away the penalty.
17 minutes into the second half, Arveladze scored his second when he, close to goal, steered in a long cross from the right.
And 8 minutes before the end, Arveladze completed his hat-trick, when Georgia's combinations beat the off side trap and Arveladze strolled around the keeper and put the ball into the empty net.
This was not the start the Faroe Islands had hoped for in their opening game of the 2008 Euro qualifying campaign. And neither was is the start coach Jógvan Martin Olsen had wanted in his first qualifier in charge.
And in the radio after the match, Jógvan Martin Olsen didn't want to admit that the Faroese performance had been appalling and instead tried to turn tings around and said that Georgia had been one of the very best teams to ever have played in the Faroes.
- But it was a rather poor attempt as Georgia really wasn't that great. And really, how can a team that hasn't won a European qualifier away from home since 1995 suddenly become this good?
But is must also be mentioned, that 2 of the very best Faroese players are out injured, Jón Róin Jacobsen and Súni Olsen, who both play in the Danish Superliga with AaB Aalborg. Also Andrew av Fløtum, who plays in the Danish 1st division was out injured. And when the best Faroese players are absent, it does make a difference to the team. For example, 4 of the starting 11 had only played 19 internationals between them (2 in the defense and 2 on the midfield).
But where does this leave the Faroe Islands? Are they back at square 1 or will they come back strongly on September 2 when they play away to Scotland at Celtic Park.
We'll keep our fingers crossed...
In the picture above, the Faroe Islands (in white) have 1 of 3 succesive corners in the second half, but it never became really dangerous.