The former Soviet state of Lithuania declared its independence in 1990, and since 1992 has participated as a fully-fledged national football team in international competitions. To date, they have yet to make the breakthrough into one of the big tournaments.
They keep threatening to take that vital step up and now and again produce a result that shakes the footballing world. Most impressively, in Euro 2004 qualifying, they held Germany to a 1-1 draw in Nürnberg. Despite Germany's early lead, an equaliser from the boot of Tomas Razanauskas produced "the greatest success in our footballing history," to quote coach Algimantas Liubenskas. But there was even better to come. In their next match they defeated Scotland 1-0, with Razanauskas once more getting the vital goal for the Lithuanians.
They were back on the wheel of shock results in September 2006 when they went to Italy at the start of the Euro 2008 qualifiers to take on the team who had been crowned world champions just two months before. Tomas Danilevicius gave Lithuania a shock lead before Filippo Inzaghi equalised for the home nation.
Their tilt at FIFA World Cup™ glory has been accompanied by disappointment ever since France 1998 when they were unfortunate not to qualify, missing out on the play-offs by a single point. In the run-up to 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ they finished bottom of their group with only two draws to show from eight games; four years later, a mean defensive record with only nine goals conceded in ten games could not be translated into victories and a fifth-placed finish in a group of six was the best they could manage.