March 16, 2008, Iceland vs. Faroe Islands, Friendly International

Miserable afternoon in Iceland as the Faroe Islands lose by 3 goals

Kórinn Indoor Arena, Kópavogur, Iceland:
Iceland - Faroe Islands 3-0 (1-0)
1-0 Jónas Guðni Sævarsson
2-0 Owngoal
3-0 Tryggvi Guðmundsson


Neither team was at full strength as this date was not an official UEFA date for international matches and thus clubs were not bound to release their players.

This meant that the Faroe Islands were missing some of their best players like Jón Rói Jacoben in defense, Súni Olsen in midfield and forward/midfielder Christian Lamhauge Holst, who all play in the Danish Superliga. However, record goal scorer Rógvi Jacobsen had made the trip to Iceland as the Norwegian league hasn't started yet.

But maybe Iceland were effected even more by their absences, as most of their best players play in stronger leagues than the Faroese players do. Iceland's only foreign based player was Aron Einar Gunnarsson from AZ Alkmaar who played his second match for Iceland today. The rest of the team was mostly made up of inexperienced players who had played between 0-5 games each, mixed with the services of two experienced guys who combined have been capped more than a hundred times.

Although this was an official international, in many ways it felt more like an unofficial with so many names missing.

The first half produced few scoring opportunities. But the best one fell to the Faroe Islands when Arnbjørn Hansen was played through halfway into the half, but alone with goalkeeper Kjartan Sturluson, Hansen squandered the great opportunity.

But overall, however, Iceland mostly had the upper hand throughout the first 45 minutes but found it difficult to create scoring opportunities. And it also looked like the first half would be goalless, but in the very last minute, Iceland took advantage of a sleeping Faroese defense and made it 1-0. Baldur Aðalsteinsson was given too much space and time on the right and was allowed to cross the ball in front of goal to a completely free Sævarson who headed home from close range.

Six minutes into the 2nd half, Iceland went close again when Helgi Sigurðsson rose above Jóhan Troest Davidsen, but his header went close by the left post.

Ten minutes later, only a one-handed save from keeper Mikkelsen avoided Iceland's second goal when he stopped a header in connection with a corner.

A couple of minutes later, the Faroes then had a couple of tries. First a long range effort from Atli Danielsen, and shortly after a low shot from Christian Høgni Jacobsen after a solo run, but in both cases, Iceland's goalkeeper saved comfortably.

On 68 minutes, Iceland was close again when their player was allowed to turn and shoot, but Mikkelsen blocked the shot with his feet at the near post.

But after 71 minutes Iceland doubled their lead. Again, the defense was too sloppy when Tryggvi Guðmundsson was allowed to enter the penalty area and go to the byline, and when he made the cross, Fróði Benjaminsen was unlucky to turn the cross behind his own goalkeeper. Benjaminsen's second owngoal in succession, as he also made one last time away to world champions Italy.

Within 10 minutes, Iceland added a third goal to their tally. Iceland won the high ball just outside the Faroe Islands penalty area, and with a back heel from Pálmi Rafn Pálmason, Tryggvi Guðmundsson was played clear, and from a couple of meters inside the penalty area, he sent his low shot under goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen.

Three minutes from time, Rógvi Jacobsen (who a couple of years ago played in the Icelandic league) made his frustrations evident and was given march orders when he received the second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Iceland's Aron Einar Gunnarsson. This was just a couple of minutes after he had been given the first yellow for another challenge on the same player.

All in all, a miserable afternoon for a Faroese team who showed between little and nothing.



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