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Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia: Full Report, Player Ratings, Man of the Match

Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia: Full Report, Player Ratings, Man of the Match

Published June 26, 2018

Alas, Iceland’s beautiful adventure ends in glorious defeat. Earlier today at the Rostov Arena, our boys battled until the bitter end but were unable to get the win they needed, losing 2-1 to the old enemy Croatia. They dominated the game for long periods, and had the better chances, but nothing quite stuck on the defining evening in Group D.

They will now board the longboats home, marking the end of an extraordinary chapter in the ongoing saga that is Icelandic football. They leave Russia with the Smiting of Messi to hold dear, more invaluable tournament experience to pass onto the warriors-in-waiting, and a brand new million-strong army of sexy Rúrik fans to boot. Remember, folks: this was only the dress rehearsal. Next time around in Qatar, we will unequivocally SMITE THE WORLD.

How it happened:

45’ – Aron Einar’s Barmy Army are unable to make their dominance towards the end of the first-half count. 0-0

53’ – Milan Badelj finishes cooly after Croatia get in down Iceland’s right-hand side. 1-0

76’ – Gylfi makes to no mistake this time from the penalty spot, punishing Dejan Lovren for a handball. 1-1

90’ – Ivan Perišić exploits tired legs and slams home to end our boys’ World Cup journey. 2-1

Player Ratings

Hannes Þór “Wild Claws” Halldórsson
Axes Ground: 6
Didn’t make a save of note and couldn’t do much with either of the goals.

Birkir Már “The Steriliser” Sævarsson
Axes Ground: 6
Useful on the rare occasions he ventured forward, but should have dealt with the threat down the right for Croatia’s opener.

Sverrir Ingi “The Kneecapper” Ingason
Axes Ground: 6
Composed when called upon defensively, however wasteful at the other end. He had to score one of his two quickfire chances after Croatia initially took the lead.

Ragnar “Shaggy Breeches” Sigurðsson
Axes Ground: 6

A reasonably assured performance to say birds were chirping around his ears against Nigeria. A warrior for turning out.

Hörður Björgvin “The Beautiful Death” Magnússon
Axes Ground: 7

Provided much more of an attacking threat than in recent games and was always in the thick of it. His best performance of the tournament.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Emil “The Emilinator” Hallfreðsson
Axes Ground: 7

Intelligent on the ball, and provided the basis for most of the side’s best attacking moves. Unfortunately caught dawdling for Perišić’s deciding goal when his legs had tired.

Jóhann Berg “The Berginator” Guðmundsson
Axes Ground: 6

His looping set-pieces were always dangerous and he showed his mettle by shaking off a calf muscle tear to feature. Another hero.

Aron “The Annihilator” Gunnarsson
Axes Ground: 7

Began dictating from the middle in the last 20 minutes of the second half and had our boys’ best effort from open play. A titan of a man.

Gylfi “The Viking Virtuoso” Sigurðsson
Axes Ground: 7

Drove the boys forward from deep and displayed the sheer magnitude of his testicles to stick his penalty away after Lovren’s handball.

Birkir “Horror Hooves” Bjarnason
Axes Ground: 6

Shook off a thunderous blow to the nose from Pjaca, who he will surely sue for attempting to ruin his good looks. Should have buried at least one of the many chances he was presented with.

Alfreð “Arctic Fox In The Box” Finnbogason
Axes Ground: 7

Held the ball up well and linked-up Iceland’s attacking play. Put in an inch-perfect cross for Birkir’s chance of the match. His performance deserved a goal, and exposure at the World Cup could earn him a big move.

Substitutes

Björn Bergmann “The Axe of Akranes” Sigurðarson
Axes Ground: 6

Provided legs at the end and looked fairly threatening on his home turf.

Albert “The Prince of Darkness” Guðmundsson
Axes Ground: N/A

Arnór Ingvi “The Viking Horse” Traustason
Axes Ground: N/A

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