Thursday, May 11, 2006

ICELANDIC FOOTBALL IN A NUTSHELL - Part 5

THE NATIONAL TEAM

The Icelandic national team has played total 320 matches in all competitions, whereas the first match was against the main rival, Denmark in 1946. Iceland lost 0-3. Of these 320 matches, only 86 (27%) has ended with Icelandic win, 56 (18%) have ended with draw and we do not mention the rest. Iceland and Netherlands have played each other 11 times. Iceland has managed to win once (a friendly game in 1961), twice it ended with draw and Netherlands won the rest (one went 8-1 in 1973!!!).
The worst/best moments in the history of the Icelandic national team are probably (WC-Q World Cup Qualifiers, EC-Q European Cup Qualifiers):

" Denmark 14-2 Iceland (Friendly 1967 - Nightmare and the very worst moment of Icelandic football!)
" Iceland 2-1 East Germany (EC-Q 1975 - The first win in a competition against relative big opponent)
" Iceland 0-0 France (EC-Q 1986 - Platini played this game with France!)
" Iceland 1-1 USSR (EC-Q 1986)
" Iceland 1-1 USSR (WC-Q 1988)
" USSR 1-1 Iceland (WC-Q 1989 - Remarkable results for a country with
total 275.000 residents!)
" Iceland 5-1 Turkey (Friendly 1991)
" Iceland 2-0 Spain (EC-Q 1991 - no comment, just fantastic)
" Hungary 1-2 Iceland (WC-Q 1992 - A rare away victory against relative
good opponent)
" Iceland 1-1 France (EC-Q 1998 - France first game after being World
Champions)
" Iceland 1-0 Russia (EC-Q 1998 - somehow we have always performed
well against Russia and USSR))
" Ukraine 1-1 Iceland (EC-Q 1999 - This was when Dynamo Kiev where
one of the best team in Europe)
" Iceland 3-1 Czech Republic (WC-Q 2000 - This victory was almost to big
for Icelandic football to handle… we lost next game against N-Ireland 3-0 and
then 6-0 against Denmark!)
" Iceland 1-1 Germany (WC-Q 2003 - We where very unlucky with just one
point from this game! If we had won it had been Netherlands against Iceland
in the playoffs, not Scotland.)

Source: Tryggvi Már Ingvarsson. Troeter. 2003.

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