Iceland Ties Estonia, Wins the Qualifying Group Skip to content

Iceland Ties Estonia, Wins the Qualifying Group

The handball match between Iceland and Estonia ended with a 25-25 draw yesterday. Iceland had already secured itself a ticket to 2010 European Championship in Austria and after yesterday’s game, Iceland beat Norway for the top seat in their qualifying group.

For this reason Iceland’s coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson wasn’t all too disappointed about the results of the game with Estonia. “The conclusion is that we won the qualifying group and to make it even better, we went through our games without a loss,” he told Fréttabladid after the game.

“We know that we didn’t play well [yesterday] but the team has been under a lot of stress lately and we are very satisfied with the final result,” Gudmundsson said, adding, “The fact that we were missing nine of the players who went to the Olympics was also an influential factor.”

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Iceland placed second in handball, many of the key players have been struggling with injury, so the upcoming summer vacation comes as a welcome time for relaxation.

A highly unusual incidence occurred at yesterday’s game. The sun shone in through the windows of the sports hall in Pölva where the game was played such that it blinded Iceland’s goalkeeper Hreidar Gudmundsson and most of Iceland’s defense players.

“I have never experienced anything like this in my career,” Gudmundsson said. He demanded the game be stopped but it wasn’t. “But Ambassador Hannes Heimisson was at the game with his wife. A boy was with them who had a cap so [Heimisson] ran out to his car, got the cap and brought it to us.”

“It was a Manchester United cap, which proved very useful to Hreidar because he was absolutely blinded. The ambassador was quick to think and saved the game for us,” Gudmundsson laughed. “It was a most unusual incident. Simply ridiculous.”

Click here to read about Iceland’s victory over Macedonia, which secured the team a ticket to the 2010 European Handball Championship.

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