Should competition debutants Iceland strech a knockout stages of Euro 2016 by securing a outcome they need opposite Austria on Wednesday, many credit will go to a dentist and a film director.(RESULTS | STANDINGS)
Iceland, with a race of about 330,000, are a smallest nation ever to validate for a Euros, nonetheless have been strong by their casting as minnows, holding Portugal and Hungary to 1-1 draws in Group F by volatile displays.
That means a win, or maybe another draw, opposite Austria, will put Iceland into a knock-out stages, a fairytale outcome that could make for an glorious film script.
Goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson would be a ideal decider of that, carrying halted his film career to turn a full-time veteran in 2014, initial in Norway and afterwards a Netherlands.
Halldorsson, who destined a video for Iceland’s 2012 Eurovision strain competition entry, has finished 14 saves — a many by any screw during a tournament, nonetheless a 32-year-old’s diversion is about many some-more than usually shot stopping.
Against Portugal, he attempted 28 passes — of that 27 went prolonged — that was a second many from any Iceland actor and opposite Hungary, his 35 attempted passes were some-more than any teammate.
These are statistics that simulate a vigour Iceland resisted in those dual matches as they averaged 33.5 percent possession, a lowest during a Euros.
“If someone had given us a choice of carrying this position before a competition we would have gladly taken it,” joint-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson told a news conference.
“We’ve finished utterly good even nonetheless we have been pushed back. We’ve combined some good chances so maybe that is a approach opposite Austria, to stay behind and let them come.”
Hallgrimsson, who will take solitary assign of a organisation when co-coach Lars Lagerback retires this summer, maintains a dental medicine in a tiny city in Iceland.
His bilingual press discussion during a team’s Lake Annecy training bottom was considerably some-more loose than a moving affairs staged by other nations.
He urged his players to use a round improved opposite an Austrian organisation who were deliberate intensity dim horses nonetheless who have purebred usually one indicate and no goals so far.
“They seem to be a small bit lacking in a dual games they’ve played. Let’s wish it will continue,” Hallgrimsson pronounced of Austria.
“They have unequivocally good organization nonetheless they also have unequivocally good people and that’s a fatal combination.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored 6 of Iceland’s 17 goals in subordinate as good as a chastisement opposite Hungary, is expected to again partner Aron Gunnarsson in executive midfield.
Hallgrimsson indicated his warlike captain Gunnarsson had shrugged off a groin injury.
For Austria, star turns David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic have nonetheless to make any sense in conflict nonetheless are expected to be retained, while manager Marcel Koller contingency confirm either to risk Marc Janko.
Janko, scorer of 7 goals in qualifying, was surprisingly wanting opposite Portugal, nonetheless Koller subsequently suggested a striker was struggling for fitness.
In a other organisation game, Hungary, on 4 points, will face Portugal, on two.