Culture
Football
A Smite By Any Other Name: Women’s Team Crashes Out Of World Cup Contention

A Smite By Any Other Name: Women’s Team Crashes Out Of World Cup Contention

Greig Robertson
Photos by
Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir

Published September 5, 2018

As the Icelandic Valkyries’ World Cup hopes are shipwrecked, a new era begins for the men under Swedish coach Erik Hamrén. Here’s the latest news from the battlecamp.

Icelandic women’s team smited by Germany
Our national women’s football team roared into battle on September 1st at Laugardalsvöllur as they continued their doomed quest to smash through into the 2019 Women’s World Cup finals. Having put themselves in pole position to take the top spot with an electrifying away win against the much-fancied Germans, a win would have sealed the automatic qualification spot. However, it wasn’t to be: their valiant forces charged time and again at the cowering German horde, coming close to scoring, but they were duly smited 0-2 in front of the sold out crowd. A chance to make the play-offs slipped through their bloody fingers in a 1-1 home draw with thee Czech Republic. Time to sharpen the battleaxes for the next Euros. JR

#SmiteTheWorld reboot at UEFA Nations League
Erik Hamrén’s first games at the helm of the Icelandic longboat come against Switzerland and Belgium on September 8th and 11th respectively, with the sage Swede looking to build on predecessor Heimir Hallgrímsson’s illustrious tenure. He faces two tough tests in the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament, which was devised to replace inanimate international friendlies. The team will be without World Cup warlords Samúel Friðjónsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Ólafur Ingi Skúlason, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Alfreð Finnbogason and Albert Guðmundsson. However, Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson, Victor Pálsson, Guðmundur Þórarinsson, striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, and Viðar Kjartansson have all been drafted back into the international fold as our boys enter a new era. Áfram Ísland! GR

Premier League snow leopards begin to purr
Burnley’s sparkling scythe Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Everton’s steely-eyed sharpshooter Gylfi Sigurðsson have both contributed to their first goals of the season, getting the smite train back on track. “The Berginator’s” inswinging corner was met by James Tarkowski in Premier League matchday two in an eventual 1-3 loss to Watford, although his individual form has since been stunted by injury and he will miss Iceland’s Nations League matches as a result. Meanwhile, Iceland’s “Viking Virtuoso” found his shooting boots in the Carabao Cup, poking in Sandro Ramírez’s cross-cum-shot in a 3-1 felling of Rotherham United. Aron “The Annihilator” Gunnarsson is yet to feature for Cardiff this season because of a knee injury, although his off-field potency remains—Iceland’s lionheart welcomed a newborn son on September 3rd. GR

From Ísland to Islington: Hero Hannes to make goons out of Arsenal
World Cup hero Hannes Þór Halldórsson could be forced to go through the motions of saving a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty, as his Qarabağ side drew Unai Emery’s Arsenal in the Europa League. The Azerbaijani champions will play the North Londoners at The Emirates Stadium on December 13th; both sides’ final Group D fixture. Hannes will also be making a trip to Lisbon to play the Sporting CP omnishambles as well as FC Vorskla of Ukraine, who may well not actually exist. Regardless, Hannes will be invading the dreams of all his opponents’ star players. Yes, even you, Mykhaylo Serhiychuk. GR


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