Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Iceland goalkeeper Halldorsson: I tried to get inside Messi's head

Iceland goalkeeper Halldorsson: I tried to get inside Messi's head

If you thought that Christian Eriksen was influential for Tottenham, you should see him for Denmark. "If someone is surprised when they don't know much about the Icelandic national team". Spoken like a veteran.

And then there's Iceland's X-factor, what Icelanders call "Islenska geoveikin", which roughly translates as 'Icelandic madness.' On the pitch, the Viking mindset translates into a team that doesn't have the silky skills of World Cup glamour squads but likes to think it can outwork anyone. So if there is a victor between Australia and Peru, whoever wins will be in a good spot ahead of the last game.

Last but not least, we get to see Croatia and Nigeria for the first time. Iceland had done so well that 1-1 was effectively a win. Seven of our pundits are going for Croatia, with Nicolas thinking they will storm to a 4-0 win. The team has earned its reputation as an organized, stout defending side that's unsafe on set pieces.

And they don't just dig into the trenches, either.

However, the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists equalised five-minutes later via an Alfred Finnbogason tap-in.

"Maybe we needed to be more creative in the first half".

"A tip of the hat to Iceland, a small country with 350,000 residents and a huge team", Liberman added.

More news: Apple clamps down on App Store on-device cryptominers

Like nearly everybody can say, 'Yeah, I went to school with this guy or I know his mother, ' or something, " said Halldor Marteinsson, who runs a podcast on Icelandic football.

"Meza was the person we were looking for because he gives us versatility and he allows us to recover the ball", said Sampaoli, who has been in charge of the two-time World Cup champions for a year after successful stints with Chile and Sevilla.

Their disciplined, defensive tactics frustrated an Argentina side who enjoyed the majority of possession and they also carried a threat going forward from the start, with Birkir Bjarnason scuffing a glorious early chance. "So maybe that's also what keeps us on our toes, that we are always a bit anxious that we might get smacked".

Iceland played its debut on soccer's biggest stage like it belonged alongside the 2014 runners-up.

Hallgrimsson says that theirs is not a miracle and that they want to build on from the success they had in France two years ago during the European Championship where they reached the quarterfinals.

"Messi misses a penalty and somehow, somewhere, I think Ronaldo may be winking", tweeted former Barcelona and England forward Gary Lineker.

Like this: