Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The national soccer team from Armenia has never qualified for a major tournament--not the World Cup, not the European Championships, nothing. In fact, they've never even come that close.
Until this year's qualification for Euro 2012, that is. The Armenians went to Dublin for Tuesday's final qualifier against Ireland knowing that a win would vault them past the Irish into one of four two-leg playoffs that would determine the last four slots for next year's Euros. It's not an exaggeration, at all, to say this was the biggest soccer match in the country's history.
So yes, Armenia defender Valeri Aleksanyan picked a really, really, really bad time to do this:
Already down a man thanks to a controversial red card, that own goal created a mountain for the Armenians to climb, and they would go on to lose 2-1. The Irish advanced to the play-offs, and the Armenians were eliminated.
Which is why we're sincere in hoping a young Armenia team rebounds to at least challenge for a spot in World Cup 2014 or Euro 2016. Because otherwise, the video you're watching above is one of a moment that's going to haunt poor Aleksanyan -- now his country's answer to Bill Buckner -- for the rest of his life.
HT: Dirty Tackle.