Iceland lost to Spain by one goal in Mallorca yesterday in the qualifying round of the European Championship in football (soccer). Iceland defended well in difficult conditions until Spain scored towards the end.
According to Morgunbladid, Eyjólfur Sverrisson, Iceland’s coach, said he was satisfied with the results despite Iceland’s loss. Spain is generally considered a much stronger team than Iceland. The two teams played in pouring rain on an extremely wet field.
“We were going to improve the defense from the last few games and for the most part we succeeded. [But] the goal that was scored was something we could have prevented,” Sverrisson said.
“The team players deserve a compliment for their contribution to the game and they fought like lions while they had the strength. It was apparent in the second half that our team was getting tired,” Iceland’s coach continued.
Sverrisson added the Spanish team had played much better against Iceland than against Denmark last Saturday. Spain won the game 2-1.
“We saw a completely different Spanish team this time. They were extremely powerful in the midfield, where they hardly ever lost the ball. Therefore there were few opportunities for us to attack quickly,” Sverrisson explained.
The coach complemented Iceland’s goalkeeper Árni Gautur Arason on his performance in the game. “Árni had enough to do and he played very well.”
Iceland’s position after yesterday’s game is not optimal. Iceland has three points after five rounds and is the second to last team in the qualifying group F.
“It appears that everything can happen in that qualifying group. We beat Northern Ireland, which is now on the top of the group […]. Everything can happen in sport and we believe we can improve our position more in the next few games,” Sverrisson said.