Efficient Iceland left no uncertainty against Austria | Handball Planet
EURO 2014

Efficient Iceland left no uncertainty against Austria

Iceland took on Austria as the second match of the Main round Group 1 began in Herning. It wasn’t the most attractive game of the tournament, but it was an efficient one, as the fans in Jyske Bank Boxen arena witnessed as much as 60 goals (27-33) scored. The main contributors to this staggering ratio of a goal per minute, were Konrad Wilczynski and Dominik Schmidt with with 6 and 5 for Austria; while the Icelandic team captain, Valur Sigurdsson was unmistakable scoring 7/7. Today’s match saw another great individual performance, this time from the left-back Gudmundsson as the emerging star has been the main source of firepower for Iceland throughout the match with 6/8.

As the match got underway, Jyske Bank Boxen was steadily filling up to it’s maximum capacity of 14,000 seats, all sold out for today.  The first minutes of the half saw a nervy beginning before the right-wingerSigurdsson got the Icelandic dynamo going, with 4:10 the score mid-way through the first half.The early lead was tenaciously built on, throughout the half, as the difference still stood intact at 7:13 with 10 minutes to go until the break. Austrian left-winger Santos was fairly ineffectual as Austrian team rarely managed to get the ball to the talented 21- year old. On the other side Gudmundsson had found his range shooting 3/3 from the left back position.Last 10 minutes of the half saw Austria with a mountain to climb, as it was the Gudmundsson show, which set the half-time score at 9-17

The second half started in a similar fashion with Austria unable to seriously endanger the highly organized Icelandic team. Result-wise, It was still cold; even by Austrian standards at -9, 13 minutes from the start of the second half, with the score being 18-27. Gustavsson was once again doing a great job denying a high number of shots on his goal, boasting a high-percentage saves ratio at 37% (15/41). The usual culprits Gudmundsson and Sigurdsson maintained the lead as the match went into the last 10 minutes.Wilczinsky and Szilagyi took turns to cushion the blow, but the last five minutes were more of a pleasure-cruse for ‘The Vikings’as they were in control by the difference set earlier in the match. After Svavarsson was fouled on the 6-meter line, Sigurdsson confidently stepped up to take the penalty for 27:33 with no time left on the clock.

The 23-year old left-back Gudmundsson will have every reason to be happy with his performance tonight, finishing the game efficiently with 6 goals. Goalkeeper Gustavsson was next to unbeatable tonight, as Iceland saw all pieces of the puzzle fall in place, before the match against FYR Macedonia on Monday.Austria will have no easy task taking something from this group, as the meet the World champions, Spain in two days.

Photo: Bjørn Kenneth Muggerud/Handballpix.com

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