Women’s National Team Secures Historic Win Against Denmark Skip to content
Iceland national football team
Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.

Women’s National Team Secures Historic Win Against Denmark

The Icelandic national team secured a 0-1 victory over Denmark in Viborg last night. The win is historic, as it marked the first time that a senior Icelandic football team defeated a Danish side in Denmark, RÚV reports. The Icelandic defence was notably solid, with eighteen-year-old Fanney Inga Birkisdóttir standing out in her debut international match.

A lot at stake for both teams

It was clear before that game that Iceland would finish third in their group of the Nations League; Wales, at the bottom of the group, had been relegated to League B. Meanwhile, Germany and Denmark were in contention for the top spot, which grants a place in the Nations League semifinals. The top two teams of each group in League A also qualify for the Olympic Games next year.

Despite Iceland having missed out on the top two spots, a victory was important as it meant that the team could improve their position in the world rankings, which is important for seeding in upcoming competitions.

A noteworthy debut

As noted by RÚV, the atmosphere was lively ahead of yesterday’s match in Viborg. The Danes arrived in strong numbers at the 10,000-capacity stadium. The Danish team had an early scoring opportunity but missed the target. This seemed to relieve some pressure off the Icelandic team.

The game marked an international debut for 18-year-old goalkeeper Fanney Inga Birkisdóttir, who displayed remarkable confidence in goal. The Icelandic defence held strong in the first half. Playing deep in their own half, they successfully thwarted the Danish efforts to find openings, except for an early chance.

Karólína Lea and captain Glódís Perla came closest to scoring for Iceland. Karólína intercepted a weak clearance from the goalkeeper, narrowly missing the goal with a long-range effort. Glódís threatened the Danish goal with an early header. The captain consistently made her presence felt, especially in set-piece situations.

Second half

At the start of the second half, Denmark intensified their attack. The Danes created two good chances, but on both occasions, Fanney Inga was more than equal to the task in goal. Her impressive performance last night, following a strong season with Valur in the top women’s league in Iceland, cements her status as a future star goalkeeper, RÚV maintained.

Karólína Lea eventually scored the winning goal of the game in the 77th minute. After her initial shot was saved, the ball bounced back to her feet and she slotted it home. “Karólína had a fantastic game and it almost seemed like there were two or three copies of her on the field in Viborg tonight. She was everywhere,” RÚV noted.

The Danish team relentlessly pressed forward, aware that the game between Wales and Germany, which was being played at the same time, was goalless. No matter how hard they tried, however, all their attacks were halted by the solid Icelandic defence, with the reliable Fanney Inga backing them.

The disappointment for Denmark was profound, with the Danish national broadcaster describing the result as a “fiasco,” especially as the match between Wales and Germany ended in a goalless draw, meaning that Germany finished above Denmark.

A positive international break

As noted by RÚV, this two-match international window has been tremendously positive. The team scored two goals against a spirited Welsh side and secured an away victory against Denmark. Iceland has thus won three out of six matches in League A of the Nations League. The victory against Denmark bodes well for the future, especially considering the initially grim outlook in the Nations League. “It represents a perfect end to the year for the team,” RÚV noted.

The next challenge for the team will be in February when Iceland competes in the playoffs to maintain their position in League A. The matches will be played abroad, although the venues have yet to be determined.

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