National Teams

Successful Icelandic resistance

Croatia's stalemate
in cold Reykjavik

15.11.2013.
Croatia's stalemate in cold Reykjavik
photo by: HNS
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Iceland and Croatia failed to score in the first leg of the World Cup 2014 play-offs.

The first 90 minutes of battle between Iceland and Croatia for a place in Brazil 2014 has not produced a winner. The match in Reykjavik, a debut for Niko Kovač as Croatia head coach, ended in a 0:0 stalemate.

The match was opened by Eduardo i Finnbogason, who missed good chances, but the rest of the first half was not a very busy affair for goalkeepers Halldorsson and Pletikosa.

Croatia tried with a couple of crosses, but the ball usually ended in Iceland keeper's hands, while Perišić twice tried with long-distance efforts.

Just before the break, Iceland lost the striker Sigthorsson to injury, and his place was taken by experienced Gudjohnsen.

Five minutes into the second half, Iceland was reduced to ten men. Perišić started the run towards Halldorsson, and was fouled by O. Skulason, who was shown the red card. Srna came close with the following free-kick.

However, Halldorsson was in good form in until the final whistle, thus the Croatian pressure was not capitalized. In the 80th minute, Perišić sent the ball wide after he was set up by Mandžukić.

The second leg is scheduled for Noveber 19th, at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.

15.11.2013., Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik. Spectators: 9767
Referees: Alberto Undiano (ESP), Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP), Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth referee: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)
Iceland
0
Croatia
0
12Hannes Halldorsson1Stipe Pletikosa
6Ragnar Sigurdsson3Josip Šimunić
7Johann Gudmundsson4Ivan Perišić
8Birkir Bjarnason5Vedran Ćorluka
9Kolbeinn Sigthorsson
46'
7Ivan Rakitić
10Gylfi Sigurdsson10Luka Modrić
11Alfred Finnbogason
63'
11Darijo Srna
14Kari Arnason17Mario Mandžukić
88'
16Olafur Skulason
50'
21Danijel Pranjić
17Aron Gunnarsson22Eduardo Alves Da Silva
72'
23Ari Skulason15Ivo Iličević
46'
Bench
1Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson12Lovre Kalinić
2Kristinn Jonsson23Danijel Subašić
3Hallgrimur Jonasson2Šime Vrsaljko
4Eggert Jonsson6Dejan Lovren
5Solvi Ottesen8Mate Maleš
13Victor Palsson9Ante Rebić
72'
15Helgi Danielsson13Gordon Schildenfeld
18Arnor Smarason14Leon Benko
88'
19Rurik Gislason
63'
16Milan Badelj
20Haraldur Bjornsson18Ivica Olić
46'
21Emil Hallfredsson19Niko Kranjčar
22Eidur Gudjohnsen
46'
20Mateo Kovačić
Coaches
Lars Edvin LagerbackNiko Kovač