The selection of the 2018 world Cup: Those lucky Vikings…


Sunday. Reykjavik. Iceland – Croatia – 1:0. 90th minute. The hosts celebrate the winning goal. Photo: Reuters

Group I

ICELAND – CROATIA – 1:0 (0:0)

Goal: Magnusson, 90 (1:0).

Iceland: Halldorsson, Siverson, R. Sigurdsson (Ingason, 90+1), Magnusson, Hallfredsson, Batnasan (Gíslason, 81), Aadneson, Gunnarsson, G. Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson Finnbogason (Sigurdarson, 77).

Croatia: L. Kalinic, Lovren, Vida, Pivaric, Edwy, Modric, Badelj, Perisic, Kovacic, Mandzukic (Santini, 88). Kalinic (Brozović, 63).

Referee: Undiano Mallenco (Spain).

June 11. Reykjavik. Stadium “Laugardalsvollur”.

Luck team from Iceland moving every border. Starting with a penalty, not implemented Yevhen Konoplyanka in Kiev in front of empty stands, and to keep torn in the last seconds of the next meeting with the Finns in reykjavík (3:2 with goals in the 90th and 90+5th) victory, Icelanders continue to use the inclination of Fortune to this day.

Consider the extra five points scored, and then all six. Take them, we add two points and the standings would look with a much better mood. Now you need to defeat all. A maximum of somewhere to break up the world, hoping to cling to one of the second bushing (8 of 9). On the other hand, mobilizes.

Croats arrived in Reykjavik as favourites, although not unconditional. Rates on their victory accepted with a ratio of about 2:1, for owners of 4:1. I think the advantage in the eyes of the bookmakers it would be even greater, if the blazers could gather all their stars.

But failed health problems, wiped out half of the main line of defense (Sime vrsaljko and Vedran Corluka, Darijo Srna plus parted with the team). The result of the Ante Cacica had to put up with the Scouse with Dejan Lovren, putting it in a couple of Damagem Vida, and the right flank, as well as with Ukraine, to give Tina Edway, which is actually a Central defender. However, pretty decent, since I was able to win in the second leg of the competition Aleksandar Dragovic and Jonathan The same.

A serious loss and in the midfield – Ivan Rakitic. The other team a guy like MATEO Kovacic – for happiness, but the highlight is gone. With a pair of strikers Čačić understood habitually, using know-how Massimiliano Allegri – sent Mario Mandzukic on the left wing.

The first half was boring. Significant proportion of shots: 4 (0) – 5 (0). Without the corner and cards (warnings and was not in the end). So the second goalkeeper of Croats Lower kalinic, who had replaced a broken main goalkeeper Daniel Subasic, saved Croatian fans need to catch at validol or other more radical means.

Remember only one sensible point when Lovren brought down near the penalty area Birkir of Bhadrasana, but Gylfi Sigurdsson with a pretty good position hit the ball somewhere to the side.

Almost more interesting I went to the game after the break, but here to the finish was a little remarkable. Is that an inaccurate shot Nikola Kalinic close a cross from Ivan Perisic. But to score really wanted those and others. Croats, for example, was rebuilt for this attack, sending ahead of Mandzukic.

Interchange, as expected, came at the last minute, when the opponents are already mentally put in the bins at the point. First a minute before the end of the “official” game time Johan Berg Gudmundsson, responded to the transfer of Gylfi of Sigurdsson and insidiously a shot under the crossbar. Kalinic-the goalkeeper turned the ball away for a corner, but as it turned out, only delayed the goal.

Sigurdsson was again filed, this time on the head of the defender of English “Bristol city” Hejuru Bargueno to Magnusson, who koryavenko, for some strange trajectory threw the ball over Kalinic.

Ante ČAČIĆ, head coach of Croatia:

– I congratulate owners on victory. Throughout the match it seemed that it will end without goals. We have done very little to win, having failed from the beginning to catch the thread of the game. We are not surprised that the Icelanders will play with one striker, but we made many mistakes in passes, and this allowed the Icelanders to impose their game.

Not as excuses let me remind you that we were not injured Subasic, Vrsaljko, Corluka, Rakitic, Metro and Kramerica. Therefore, substitutions were only two. After the victory over Ukraine I said that we are already almost guaranteed himself a place in the final. Now I see that to achieve the goal will not be easy, but I’m sure we’ll do it.

Hami HALLGRIMSSON, head coach of Iceland:

We scored a funny goal, but it counted just the same as any other. And its importance cannot be overestimated. We continue to keep good chances to qualify. In case of a draw they would be much less. And having lost, we would have lagged behind the Croats already on 6 points.

A was pretty surprised when I entrusted a place on the left flank of defence is not usually played there Skulason, and Magnuson, as in the last match with Croatia. Explain it again: he with his tall height was more useful in opposition to well able to play head Kalinich for the “standards” than Skulason, who is 20 centimeters. But it so happened that Herder scoring… He was one of the best on the field. However, as our entire defense.

Eugene BELOZEROV, Sport-Express in Ukraine

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