A small team from a lower league or a small country; an underdog; a team with few resources; a team that doesn’t have a long tradition of playing football. Literally a minnow is a small fish (image here). (see the main report ‘European Minnows‘).
Example: Hastings goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford spoke of his “best night in football” as the non-leagueminnows booked an FA Cup third-round trip to Middlesbrough.
Example: (headline) ‘England cruise to win against San Marino minnows‘