Nigeria 2-0 Iceland: Full Report, Player Ratings, Man of the Match - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Nigeria 2-0 Iceland: Full Report, Player Ratings, Man of the Match

Nigeria 2-0 Iceland: Full Report, Player Ratings, Man of the Match

Published June 22, 2018

Greig Robertson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Just as they did in Euro 2016, our boys have ensured that maximum Gummi Ben-levels of euphoria will be reached in the final group game against Croatia, intentionally losing against Nigeria today for the sole purpose of tension-building. Icelanders, after all, don’t like doing things the easy way. I mean, why do you think they live on a random block of fire and ice near the North Pole in the first place?

Today at the Volgograd Arena, opponents Nigeria were fighting for their World Cup lives, and you could tell by their second-half efforts; particularly those of Ahmed Musa, whose brace secured a 2-0 victory for his side. They play Argentina next, who have one point after two games, with The Super Eagles currently in the driving seat to qualify from Group D alongside Croatia (six points) with three points.

But all is not lost. If Argentina beat Nigeria, and we smite Croatia by more goals, Iceland are still going through to the Round of 16. The whole nation won’t be sleeping until the decider at 18:00 GMT on Tuesday 26th, but all we can say is, go out there and SMITE THE WORLD!

How it happened:

45’ – The first-half ends goalless. 0-0

49’ – After a bright second-half start from Nigeria, Ahmed Musa somehow gets Victor Moses’ cross under his spell and slams home. 1-0

75’ – Musa gets in behind Kári Árnason and past Hannes Þór Halldórsson, before slotting in calmly. 2-0

83’ – Gylfi sidefoots a spot-kick over the bar after VAR adjudges that Alfreð Finnbogason was fouled in the box. 2-0

Player Ratings

Hannes Þór “Wild Claws” Halldórsson
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Very little to do in the first-half when Nigeria looked like they could have played until Goodluck Jonathan’s name didn’t sound ridiculous anymore without scoring. Couldn’t stop either of Musa’s goals.

Birkir Már “The Steriliser” Sævarsson
Blood Eagles executed: 4
Showed ambition and got the team on the front foot when in possession. Very dangerous when delivering crosses from wide areas.

Ragnar “Shaggy Breeches” Sigurðsson
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Fantastic block to deny Musa early on but he was undone when retreating by the Leicester City man’s quality in the six-yard-box for the opener. Withdrawn after he took a blow to the head.

Kári “The Disciple of Doom” Árnason
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Came out with the ball from the back commandingly but ultimately couldn’t deal with star man Musa.

Hörður Björgvin “The Beautiful Death” Magnússon
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Struggled with Moses’ steadily increasing influence throughout the game and was careless in possession at times.

Rúrik “The Siren” Gíslason
Blood Eagles executed: 3
Began to make his threatening, direct runs later on in the game but lacked end-product. Always full-blooded in the tackle and willing to take hits for the team.

Aron “The Annihilator” Gunnarsson
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Early launched throw-ins were a threat but Nigeria broke and scored from one of his tamer deliveries early in the second-half.

Birkir “Horror Hooves” Bjarnason
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Blazed over a difficult volley in the first period and was diligent in his defensive work as ever, but he should play centrally.

Gylfi “The Viking Virtuoso” Sigurðsson
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Always dangerous from set-pieces and tried to play through the lines, but missed the crucial penalty that could have gotten his side back in it.

Alfreð “Arctic Fox In The Box” Finnbogason
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Fluffed Iceland’s biggest chance in the first-half, turning Gylfi’s fantastic free-kick wide with his midriff. Came back from the dead to win the penalty that was unfortunately missed.

MAN OF THE MATCH – Jón Daði “The Scythe of Selfoss” Böðvarsson
Blood Eagles executed: 4
Chased lost balls willingly, pressed high and was tenacious throughout. Perhaps the stand-out performer in an otherwise disappointing afternoon.

Substitutes

Sverrir Ingi “The Kneecapper” Ingason
Blood Eagles executed: 2
Slotted in alongside Kári after Ragnar was withdrawn but was unable to prevent Musa’s second.

Björn Bergmann “The Axe of Akranes” Sigurðarson
Blood Eagles executed: N/A

Ari Freyr “The Unforgiven” Skúlason
Blood Eagles executed: N/A

Read more football articles here. Get a Smite The World T-shirt here.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!

Go travel with Grapevine tried and recommended tours by Grapevine. Fund Grapevine journalism by booking with us.


Show Me More!