Iceland 39 – Algeria 24
Iceland’s best-known goalkeeper, the veteran Björgvin Páll Gústavsson, did not play in Thursday’s opening defeat at the hands of Portugal, but was in the squad last night, saving many shots in the first half.
It was a good match for many Icelandic players, but none stood out quite as much as the winger Bjarki Már Elísson, who scored nine goals from nine shots in the first half, helping Iceland to a 22-10 lead at the break.
That lead only grew early in the second half, and Algerian victory never looked likely at any point in the 60 minutes. Iceland eventually secured a 15-goal victory: 39-24.
Assuming Iceland win their match this evening against Morocco, it will be the Moroccans who are knocked out, while Algeria, Iceland, and Portugal progress to the second round. That being the case, Iceland will advance with two points, because points earned against the eliminated team do not count in the second round. Portugal will go through as group leaders with four points, having beaten Iceland in the first game.
Janus Daði Smárason will not play this evening, or during the remainder of the tournament. Janus Daði says the shoulder injury he has been battling since the autumn has got the better of him. He is now on his way back to Europe. “I just need to come home to my club and sit down with the doctors and we need to see what the future will be,” he told RÚV.
The Marocco match will be live on RÚV TV and radio this evening. Coverage starts at 19.15.