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Season review: Faroe Islands

Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012, 16.16CET
EB/Streymur held their nerve on the last day of term to lift the Faroese First Division title for the second time after suffering penalty shoot-out disappointment in the cup.
by Hans Pauli Joensen
Season review: Faroe Islands
EB/Streymur pose with the 2012 Faroese First Division championship medals ©Sofus Debes Johannesen
Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012, 16.16CET

Season review: Faroe Islands

EB/Streymur held their nerve on the last day of term to lift the Faroese First Division title for the second time after suffering penalty shoot-out disappointment in the cup.

Champions in 2008, EB/Streymur held their nerve on the final day of the season to claim their second Faroese First Division title, after losing out on penalties to Víkingur in the cup.

Champions: EB/Streymur
Hedin Askham's charges found their feet after a sluggish start, before surrendering top spot to KÍ Klaksvík at the midway stage following a run of five points from as many games. They soon wrestled back the initiative, yet shackled by apprehension, were overhauled at the summit with three games remaining, this time by ÍF Fuglafjørður. ÍF also lost their composure, however, and their goalless draw with relegated B68 Toftir paved the way for EB/Streymur to capture the title, which they did by taking maximum points from their remaining two matches. Askham said losing in the Faroese Cup final was a key moment in their league-winning run, explaining: "It maybe had the advantage that we became even more focused on the league, and I believe that it was the spur that turned us into Faroese champions."

Cup final: Víkingur 3-3 EB/Streymur (Víkingur win 7-6 on pens)
Appearing in their sixth successive final, having won all but one of the previous five, EB/Streymur took the lead through Jónhard Frederiksberg on 31 minutes, but the Gota and Leirvik side recovered after the interval and Hans Jørgen Djurhuus headed them level. EB/Streymur reclaimed the initiative through a Levi Hanssen penalty before Víkingur captain Atli Gregersen converted at the other end to make it 2-2 with 14 minutes left. EB/Streymur led for a third time four minutes into extra time but Pætur Dam Jacobsen was sent off and Víkingur equalised through Hjartvard Hansen.

After ten penalties it was 4-4 and, as sudden death began, Bárdur Hansen missed Víkingur's sixth effort only for EB/Streymur goalkeeper René Tórgard to blast the next one over. Erling Jacobsen scored Víkingur's seventh, with striker Arnbjørn Hansen then failing to find the target as the Faroese Cup was decided on spot kicks for the first time. The game was described as one of the best football matches in the nation's history.

European places
EB/Streymur – UEFA Champions League first qualifying round
ÍF Fuglafjørður – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
HB Tórshavn – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
Víkingur – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Clayton Soares do Nascimento (ÍF Fuglafjørdur)
The official player of the year will not be announced until 20 October but the 33-year-old forward is a strong contender among the three nominees to scoop the award. Having not begun the season as a regular starter, he Brazilian hit peak form on 12 May when registering a hat-trick in a 4-1 victory against HB Tórshavn. From there, he never looked back, blitzing a further 19 goals to top the charts at the end of the season, equal with KÍ's Páll Klettskard. ÍF missed the title but it was their best finish since their sole league win in 1979. "Of course, we were a bit disappointed that we couldn't hold on to first place, but I think second is OK," said Clayton Soares.

One to watch: Hallur Hansson (HB Tórshavn) 
The 20-year-old was the fulcrum of HB's dynamic midfield and consequently earned a move to Danish Super League side Aalborg BK a month before the end of term. Hansson made his senior debut for the Faroe Islands against Iceland in August and shone sufficiently to start against Germany in a FIFA World Cup qualifier a month later.

Surprise package: KÍ Klaksvík
In only their second season back among the elite since promotion in 2009, Páll Gudlaugsson's youthful side, comprising several home-grown talents, displayed wisdom beyond their years to earn a respectable fourth-place finish, only missing out on a European berth on goal difference. KÍ succeeded by playing a stylish brand of football, culminating in a league-best 59 goals in 27 outings. "The team has made great progress," said Gudlaugsson. "I'm a bit disappointed, but also very pleased that we are on the way to building a strong, young team."

Leading scorers: Clayton Soares do Nascimento, ÍF Fuglafjørdur & Páll Klettskard, KÍ Klaksvík (22)

Relegated: FC Suðuroy, B68 Toftir

Promoted: 07 Vestur, AB Argir

Number: 7
TB Tvøroyri and B68 Toftir finished level on points in eighth and ninth places in the ten-team table, and with an identical goal difference. However, having scored seven more goals – 30 to B68's 23 – TB stayed up, and B68 went down.

Quote
"This is a fantastic moment. This is the cup final multiplied by ten." EB/Streymur coach Hedin Askham after his side sealed the league title. 

Last updated: 11/10/12 9.25CET

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