Luxembourg’s striker Gerson Rodrigues (2L) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A qualification football match between Ireland and Luxembourg at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on March 27, 2021. CLODAGH KILCOYNE / POOL / AFP
The Republic of Ireland fell to a shock 1-0 defeat by minnows Luxembourg in their 2022 World Cup qualifier in Dublin on Saturday.
Dynamo Kiev midfielder Gerson Rodrigues condemned the Irish to their second defeat in as many Group A games with a superb long-range effort five minutes from the end.
Ireland sit bottom of the group on zero points, four behind leaders Serbia and Portugal who drew 2-2 in Belgrade.
Luxembourg meanwhile are a point behind the two leading teams after a rare World Cup qualifying victory for the tiny country.
The win at the Aviva Stadium came thanks to smart play from the 25-year-old Rodrigues, who pounced on a knockdown to lash home his sixth international goal.
Luxembourg have never qualified for a major tournament and have little chance of making it out of the five-team Group G and to next year’s finals in Qatar.
However, despite hailing from a country with a smaller population than many provincial European cities, Luc Holtz’s side inflicted an humiliating defeat on Ireland.
Stephen Kenny is still looking for his first win as Ireland boss, with his run of games without a win since taking charge last year now at 10.
His next opportunity will come on Tuesday when Ireland face World Cup hosts Qatar in a friendly in the Hungarian city of Debrecen.