DANNY Lafferty, Shane Ferguson and Niall McGinn’s Northern Ireland can take some consolation from their 3-2 defeat in Luxembourg on Tuesday (September 10) in that they’re not the first fancied side to have been humbled by the Grand Duchy.
Back in 1960 Luxembourg beat Eusébio’s Portugal 4- 2 ensuring their non-qualification for the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
This doomed Eusébio, José Águas, Mário Coluna, Domiciano Cavém - all goalscorers in Benfica’s historic back-to-back European Cup wins over Barcelona in 1961 and Real Madrid in 1962 - to gardening duty in the summer of 1962.
Other giants slain by the Benelux minnows included a Netherlands side that included Klaas Nuninga - a future Ajax forward who would later miss out on a European Cup medal in 1969 to an AC Milan side featuring Giovanni Trapattoni.
Fifty years ago yesterday (September 11) Luxembourg held the Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam in their attempt to qualify for the second ever European Championship in 1964.
A month later they beat them 2-1 at home. Believe it or not they forced Denmark to a quarter-final replay after drawing 5-5 on aggregate. They only missed out on a semi-final place due to a 1-0 defeat to Denmark in the neutral Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam.
Other notable wins include a 2 -0 defeat of Turkey in the qualification campaign for Germany 1974.
And as recently as 2008 they beat a Swiss side featuring Alexander Frei and Hakan Yakin 1-2 in Zurich in the second qualification game for the South Africa World Cup.
That same Swiss side would go on to top their qualifying - including Israel and Greece - and beat eventual World Champions Spain 1-0 in the group stage of the tournament proper.
At the summer Olympics in Helsinki in 1952 Luxembourg also beat Great Britain 5-3. They were beaten by Brazil 2-1 in the first round proper of the competition.