The Cyprus national football team represents Cyprus in international football and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association, the governing body of football in Cyprus. Cyprus’ home ground is the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and the current coach is Timur Katsbia. Cyprus Football History.

YearAll years

Football was introduced to Cyprus by the British in the early 20th century. Initially played in schools across the island, it proved immensely popular and several clubs were regularly formed. Football clubs only played friendly games and the first unofficial island-wide league was organized in 1932.

1st Match

The team’s first match came on July 23, 1949, a year after becoming a member of the world governing body FIFA: a friendly in Tel Aviv against Maccabi Tel Aviv, which ended in a 3–3 draw. Seven days later, the team had their first international game: a 3–1 defeat against Israel in the same city.

In 1960

In November 1960, after independence from British rule, Cyprus drew their first official post-independence match 1–1 against Israel, as part of the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament. Cyprus’ first international victory was a 3–1 win over Greece in a friendly match on 27 November 1963. On 17 February 1968, Cyprus recorded its first competitive win, beating Switzerland 2–1 in a European Championship qualifying match at the Old GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

In 1974

In 1974, the national team enjoyed one of their most famous victories when they defeated Northern Ireland 1–0 in Nicosia. On 12 February 1983, as part of the Euro 1984 qualifiers, Cyprus drew world champions Italy 1–1 at the Serio Stadium in Limassol, followed by the same result against Czechoslovakia a month later. Four years later, in Euro 1988 qualification, Cyprus recorded their first point in an away match against Poland.

In 1989, they drew 1-1 with France in a World Cup qualifying match. Despite numerous victories on home soil, Cyprus had to wait until 1992 to record their first away win: a 2–0 victory over the Faroe Islands.

UEFA European Championship

Qualifying tournament results have also improved significantly in recent times. In the qualifying stages for the 1996 UEFA European Championship, Cyprus drew 1–1 with holders Denmark. Four years later, they missed out on a place at UEFA Euro 2000 despite 3–2 victories over both Spain and Israel and a 4–0 win over San Marino.

21 Century

On 15 November 2000, Cyprus achieved their biggest ever win in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier, defeating Andorra 5–0 in Limassol. On 7 October 2006, as part of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Cyprus pulled off a major upset by defeating the Republic of Ireland 5–2 at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, with Michalis Konstantinou and Konstantinou Charalambides scoring twice and Alexandros Garpozus finished the match.

Just one month later, on 15 November 2006, they caused another shock by holding previous World Cup hosts Germany to a 1–1 draw at home. On 13 October 2007, they beat Wales 3–1 in Nicosia. On 17 October 2007, Cyprus came close to a historic victory against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. But the hosts equalized in the final minutes of the game and the match ended 1–1. On 3 September 2010, as part of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Cyprus claimed a historic 4–4 draw against Portugal in Guimaraes. Cyprus Football History.

Euro 2016

During the Euro 2016 qualification stage, Cyprus, managed by Pambos Christodoulos, claimed one of their most historic victories by defeating 2014 World Cup participants Bosnia 2-1 in Zenica. In the final group match, the team faced Bosnia, needing a win to finish third. And relying on Belgium to beat Israel in Brussels.

As fate would have it, the Bosnians won the reverse leg 3–2 to qualify for the play-offs at the expense of the home team. Who led 2–1 at one point during the first half and for several minutes. 3rd place and a berth in the playoffs for the first time in history. As Belgium, soon to be the world’s number 1 team, comfortably defeated Israel at home. Cyprus Football History.

2018 FIFA World Cup

Cyprus will finish 5th out of 6 teams in Group H in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers ahead of Gibraltar ahead of Estonia. Their run to qualification will include an impressive 3-2 home win over Bosnia.

Cyprus beat San Marino 5-0 in the Euro 2020 qualifiers but lost to Belgium and Scotland. Although they beat Kazakhstan 1-2 away from home, they lost their last three games. And finished 4th out of 6 teams in the group, just ahead of Kazakhstan and San Marino.

UEFA Nations League

The 2020-21 UEFA Nations League was a major disappointment for Cyprus. They lost 0–2 against Montenegro, 0–1 against Azerbaijan. And 2–0 against Luxembourg and drew 0–0 with Azerbaijan in the fourth game. Although they beat Luxembourg 2-1 at home, they were beaten 4-0 by Montenegro in their last game and finished last in their group. This meant they faced Estonia in the relegation play-off. They beat Estonia 2–0 on aggregate, with goals from Marinos Tezionis and Pieros Soterio. For more details click here