The Icelandic national women’s football drew 1-1 with Ireland at Richmond-Park Stadium in Dublin yesterday. The teams will meet again and the winner will earn the right to compete in the 2009 European Championship in Finland.
Iceland’s manager Ragnar Eyjólfsson was moderately content with yesterday’s results. “It is important to have scored a goal away from home and we therefore have the upper hand in the second game; 0-0 is enough for us to win the duel,” he told Fréttabladid.
The Icelandic team fought aggressively from the start and already in the very first minute of the game Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir scored the opener for Iceland, following a skillful pass from Rakel Hönnudóttir.
Hönnudóttir had a good chance to score later in the first half, but her shot missed the Irish goal by inches. The score was 1-0 to Iceland by the end of the first half.
After about an hour of play Stefanie Curtis of Ireland scored for her team, although the ball rebounded off Ásta Árnadóttir of Iceland before reaching the goal.
Iceland and Ireland will play their second game at Laugardalsvöllur stadium in Reykjavík on Thursday.
“If there was ever a need for support, it’s now. It’s a matter of life and death,” said team member Edda Gardarsdóttir, adding jokingly, “It is also the last chance for us old ladies to make it to a big tournament,” referring to herself and Katrín Jónsdóttir, who have played for Iceland for many years.
Jónsdóttir agreed. “Hopefully a lot of people will show up for the game, dressed in warm clothing and armed with hot chocolate and a good mood.”
Click here to read about Iceland’s loss against France.