San Marino score first World Cup qualifying away goal since 2001

Mattia Stefanelli's strike levelled the scores but opponents Norway eventually won 4-1

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The Independent Football

San Marino scored their first away goal in a World Cup qualifier since 2001 in their 4-1 defeat to Norway on Tuesday.

Mattia Stefanelli pounced on a loose ball in the opposition box to rifle a shot into the top right-hand corner of Rune Jarstein’s net to level the scores at 1-1 in the 54th minute.

San Marino, perennial whipping boys of European international qualifying campaigns, held out for a further 23 minutes until Adama Diomande restored Norway’s advantage.

Goals from Martin Samuelsen and Josh King rounded off the hosts’ victory, but the night will be remembered for Stefanelli’s strike.

The Twitter account @soccersanmarino, which provides English language coverage of the national side, reacted to the goal with a series of ecstatic tweets.

“WE F****** SCORED AN AWAY GOAL. STEFANELLI YOU F****** LEGEND,” read one, which was shared widely on social media.

Footage of a Norwegian television channel’s pundits and their reaction to the goal also went viral, as their national side conceded to the team ranked 201st in the world.

San Marino famously scored after just 8.3 seconds in a World Cup qualifying match against England in November 1993.

Davide Gualtieri’s strike was the fastest in World Cup qualifying history until Christian Benteke’s 7th second strike for Belgium against Gibraltar on Monday.

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