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Season review: Faroe Islands

Published: Friday 9 October 2009, 15.58CET
There were contrasting fortunes for the two Formuladeildin ever-presents as HB Tórshavn claimed their 20th title and a hot party ticket, and 17-time champions KÍ Klaksvík were relegated.
by Hans Pauli Joensen
from Torshavn
Season review: Faroe Islands
HB's Fródji Benjaminsen in action for the Faroe Islands ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 9 October 2009, 15.58CET

Season review: Faroe Islands

There were contrasting fortunes for the two Formuladeildin ever-presents as HB Tórshavn claimed their 20th title and a hot party ticket, and 17-time champions KÍ Klaksvík were relegated.

There were contrasting fortunes Faroe Islands top-flights ever-presents HB Tórshavn and KÍ Klaksvík in 2009. Led by talismanic captain Fródi Benjaminsen, HB claimed their 20th title to guarantee coach Sámal Erik Hentze's place at his favourite event on the Faroese social calendar. No such cavorting for 17-time champions KÍ, however, as their 67-season stay in the top flight was ended by relegation.

Champions: HB Tórshavn
Hentze's side led all the way. HB were five points clear after a third of the season, having won seven of their nine games, and extended that advantage to ten during their next nine outings. A minor blip – a return of five points from six matches – opened the door slightly for nearest rivals EB/Streymur, but HB slammed it shut in their penultimate fixture: a 4-2 victory over KÍ securing their fifth title since 2002.

Cup final: Vikingur 3-2 EB/Streymur
The league season may not have provided a grandstand finish, but Faroese fans got their fix of excitement in July's cup showpiece. When Finnur Justinussen made it 3-1 after 87 minutes, the trophy looked destined for Vikingur. Yet EB/Streymur, chasing a third straight cup success, would not relinquish their crown so easily. Arnbjørn Hansen reduced the deficit and, with four minutes of stoppage time indicated, his team laid siege to the Vikingur goal, even hitting the post. They held on, however. "The intensity was extremely high throughout the match, and it felt like having played two matches after the first half," said Vikingur defender Atli Gregersen.

Player of the Year: Fródji Benjaminsen (HB Tórshavn)
Seven years after landing the honour with home-town side B68 Toftir, Benjaminsen was named the Formuladeildin's finest for a second time. Now HB captain, the 31-year-old midfielder led from the front as his team strolled to the title, contributing ten goals, although he was no less forceful and influential shielding the back four.

One to watch: Finnur Justinussen (Vikingur)
Having failed to score in 160 minutes of substitute appearances before this season, Justinussen conceded that he had got a better understanding with his team-mates as a starter. Once the 20-year-old was let in, he commanded the best seat in the house. Justinussen orchestrated those around him to the tune of 19 league goals, and even got the clincher in the cup final.

Surprise package: AB Argir
Few gave AB much hope of top-flight survival, given that the previous time they had been promoted, in 2007, they were immediately relegated. Yet the Argir outfit paid no heed to the doubters, steadily collecting points before the trickle became a flow midway through the campaign with the introduction of several quality players. Their late haul of 15 points from seven games even had some dreaming of Europe, and while three subsequent defeats changed that, sixth place represented a fine achievement nonetheless.

Leading scorer: Finnur Justinussen, Vikingur (19)

Number: 67
HB and KÍ were bastions of the top flight, the only ever-presents since the league's inception in 1942. But after this, the 67th season – the 1944 campaign having been cancelled due to a lack of balls in the country – HB are the last men standing. While the capital club lifted the title, KÍ were demoted alongside Formuladeildin newcomers 07 Vestur.

Quote:
"I know what it's all about at this club, and I am going to do my bit so I get an invite to the annual party."
HB coach Hentze lays out his plans for the season. One league championship later, he would indeed go to the ball.

Last updated: 10/10/09 16.15CET

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