Iceland loses 6-0 to Switzerland

10.09.2018 - 09:24
epa06842795 Iceland's Birkir Bjarnason reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Iceland and Croatia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 26 June 2018.
Birkir Bjarnason átti slæman dag í íslenska liðinu, líkt og aðrir leikmenn liðsins. Mynd: EPA - RÚV
The Icelandic men’s national football team lost its first UEFA Nations League match against Switzerland on Saturday, 6-0. It was Iceland’s first game under the leadership of the new head coach, Erik Hamrén, from Sweden. It was Iceland’s worst defeat in 17 years, when the team lost 6-0 against Denmark in October 2001.

Pundits in Iceland agreed that one of the worst aspects of the game was that Switzerland could easily have won by an even more convincing margin. 

The Swiss opened their goal tally in the 13th minute with a goal by Steven Zuber. This was followed ten minutes later by a free kick that Hannes Þór Halldórsson managed to save at first, but the ball landed at the feet of Fabien Scaer, who crossed it to Danis Zakaria—easily defeating the sleeping Icelandic defence to make it 2-0. The score would remain unchanged at half-time. 

If the first half was shaky, the second was disastrous for the Icelanders. Shaqiri scored in the 53rd minutes from a free kick far out in the right-hand-side of the pitch. The ball connected with the head of Birkir Bjarnason and straight past Hannes Þór into the back of the net. 

A fourth Swiss goal shortly afterwards was judged off-side and disallowed. But in the 67th minute Haris Seferovic made it 4-0 when he converted a good assist from Fabien Schaer into a goal. Shortly after this, the Swiss had a second disallowed goal deemed off-side. 

The defender Albian Ajeti scored the fifth goal in the 71st minute and substitute Admir Mehmedi scored the final goal of the game after being on the pitch no more than ten minutes. 

The final score of 6-0 made it the worst possible start for Hamrén as the new coach and there was little positive to take from the game. Iceland looked fractured and disjointed in defence, and the attack was not any better. Icelandic football fans are now hoping their humiliation will prompt a strong rebound for the game coming up tomorrow, Tuesday, in Reykjavík, against the world number two ranked team, Belgium. The game starts at 18.45 UTC.

Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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