Burgmeier suspended from Germany match

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor

FRANZ Burgmeier became the most capped player in Darlington history when he played in Liechtenstein’s 2-0 defeat by Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Burgmeier was booked during the second half, for dissent, so will be suspended for Liechtenstein’s next World Cup qualifier on March 28 next year, when they play in Germany – the day Darlington are at Barnet.

Unlike in club football, where he plays left-wing, Burgmeier played at leftback and helped his country, ranked 135th in the world, provide stubborn resistance.

Wales included West Ham’s Craig Bellamy and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale but did not take the lead until the 42nd minute through Wolves’ David Edwards.

Bellamy then saw a penalty saved after the break before a deflected own goal added cruel second to the scoreline.

Burgmeier later admitted Liechtenstein had been galvanised by pre-match criticism.

A “pub team” jibe had been attributed to Wolves and former Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy.

Burgmeier said: “It was not very respectful, especially because we drew with Azerbaijan in our last game. The team clearly reacted to such a comment with the performance against Wales – and don’t forget Ireland could only manage a draw against us in Liechtenstein back in 1995.”

Burgmeier felt Liechtenstein deserved better and he added: “I thought the referee favoured Wales – particularly for their penalty, which came after our goalkeeper was fouled.

“We knew Craig Bellamy was a threat. He was a bit unlucky with some of his chances, and Simon Davies played well. But the others were just OK, and we feel we can give them a better game when we are at home.”

The return fixture is not until October 2009, and Liechtenstein do not have another World Cup qualifier until March, but Wales play away to Germany on Wednesday.”

■ Darlington’s youth team maintained their impressive start to the season by defeating the previously unbeaten Wigan Athletic.

Having started the campaign with five league wins and a draw, Craig Liddle’s side beat the Lactics 3-0 in the first round of the Puma Youth Alliance Cup.

Ten minutes after the restart Quakers scored twice in two minutes through Josh Gray and an own goal, then John McReady sealed the win on 75 minutes.

■ Darlington have been drawn at home to Bury in the third round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The tie will be played week commencing November 3.


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