In Matchday 4 of the UEFA Nations League D Group 3, Kosovo squared off against the Faroe Islands in the Capital of Tórshavn, at the Tórsvøllur. First place against third, Kosovo were the favorites coming into this match. They had 2W-1D-0L for a total of 7 points (from the first 3 matches), scoring 5 goals and conceding just 1; while the Landsliðið had 3 points (1W-0D-2L), 3 goals scored, and 6 goals conceded.
A dominant performance by the Dardanët in the first half, they went up 1-0 from a Milot Rashica wonder strike in the 9′. The #7 attacking midfielder, who currently plays for Werder Bremen, received the ball off a deflection and hit it first time into the top right corner, surprising everyone on the pitch including goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen; never again will he score a more clean and perfect goal in his career. However, Kosovo were unable to capitalize on many of there chances and this came back to haunt them as in the 50′. 5 minutes after the start of the second half, the ball was worked out to the right flank by Hallur Hansson before right-back Gilli Rólantsson Sørensen whipped in a cross that was finished into the bottom right corner by René Joensen. A terrific counter-attack, the first-time hit finish was icing on top of the cake for the Landsliðið. Neither nation was able to convert their chances after this to take them into the lead and the match finished as a 1-1 draw.
Looking into the stats of the match, Kosovo had 66% ball possession, 10 shots (3 on target), and a pass success percentage of 85% whilst the Faroe Islands had 34% of the ball, 9 shots (4 on target), and a pass success percentage of just 67%.
Lazio’s Valon Berisha was in action for Kosovo as he started the match once again in the center attacking midfield role in a 4-2-3-1 formation, alongside Rashica (to his left) and 19-year old Edon Zhegrova (to his right). The vice-captain, who was the best man on the pitch, put on a brilliant display for his nation as he fought to try and secure all three points. Although no shots in this match, he was vital for the Kosovans moving forward by creating chances and always coming to collect the ball. He successfully completed 85 of 92 passes (92%) and led the match in key passes (4) and touches of the ball (116). In addition, he successfully completed 2/2 aerial battles and had 5 interceptions in the match.
A terrific international break for Valon, let’s hope Simone Inzaghi starts to give him more of a chance now that he has fully recovered and is back to his best.