Euro Handball Poland 2014

9th PLACE: Thrilling finish for Iceland

_DSC0265

National team of Iceland has defeated Croatia 33:28 (15:15) in the last game of the EHF Men’s 18 European Championship in Gdansk. The match was a thrilling contest till the last minutes.

MATCH REVIEW:

As both teams got their qualification for World Championship on Friday that game didn’t have really big value. Despite that from very first minutes both teams showed that they are going to fight and Croats and Icelanders weren’t going to give up on good handball.

First half were mostly played goal for goal. In first minutes better presented Iceland, who even was leading 1:4. Although good performance of them, Croatia was not going to give up and quickly they reduced distance. Until the break any of teams was not able to make visible advantage and first half ended with result 15:15.

Image of game didn’t changed for almost twenty minutes of second half. Key moment for that game was between 48 and 53 minute when Iceland scored five times in row and lead 31:26. During last minutes Croats were chasing result but even if they played with two players advantage they weren’t able to reduce difference of goals.

A little hero of Iceland happened to be Kristjan Kristjansson, who got his chance to play as  Omar Magnusson had one game suspension and Henrik Benediktsson was injured. Young back player had his opportunity, which used very well, scoring eleven goals and being the great part of his team’s victory.

_DSC0363

POST-MATCH QUOTES:

Einar Gudmundsson, Iceland, coach: It was a tough game to prepare and difficult to focus. I am very happy about the way we played, we were organized in a defence. We were playing without two key players because of the injury and the ban. We managed to play our game and that’s why we won. I also want to thank Polish Handball Federation for a great organized tournament, everything was one hundred percent.

Gretar Ari Gudjonsson, Iceland, player: The start wa really rough, it took some time. I think we were too relaxed about the game, because we already have secured the spot at the World Cup. After ten minutes in the second half I think everyone just didn’t want to lose and when we shined.

Hrvoje Horvat, Croatia, coach: I am dissapointed with my team’s will to win, it must much better. I think they have finished this tournament yesterday, when they qualified to the World Championship. That’s not right way and some guys will take a consequences.

Ivan Ivkovic, Croatia, player: It was very important game for us, so we wanted to win. From the beginning we had very bad attack and defence. In the second half nothing changed. We knew that Iceland is very good team, but we weren’t able to stop them. They were just faster and better.

_DSC0292

ICELAND – CROATIA 33:28 (15:15)

Iceland: Gudjonsson, Baldvinsson – Runarsson, Kristjansson 11, Hl. Bjarnason 2, A. F. Arnarsson 1, S. Magnusson 3, Styrmisson 1, D. Arnarsson 1, Hardarson 1, E. Magnusson 6, Benediktsson, He. Bjarnason 1, Rikhardsson 5, Palsson 1.
MVP: Kristjan Kristjansson.
7 metres:
1/1.
Suspensions:
5×2 min. (Rikhardsson 2×2 min.; Kristjansson, Hl. Bjarnason, Palsson).

Croatia: Jovic, Spikic – M. Babic, Zobec, Jurakic 4, Jelinic 5, Markusic 2, Smojver, Vrdoljak 2, Tokic 2, Obranovic, A. Babic 2, Kota 1, Sehic 5, Sipic, Ivkovic 5.
MVP:  Marin Jelinic.
7 metres:
2/3.
Suspensions:
3×2 min. (A. Babic, Smojver, Zobec).

Referee: Ruud Geraets and Paul Geraets (Netherlands).
Supervisor: Algis Mikucionis (Lithuania).
Observer: Antonio Goulao (Portugal).