By Stefán Stefánsson
FH Hafnarfjördur's perfect start to the Icelandic season continued on Sunday when they won 1-0 at ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar to record their eleventh straight Premier League victory.
The Vestmanna Islands side were given a helping hand when Hafnarfjördur, already without injured defender Tommy Nielsen, were reduced to ten men just before half-time. But even a player down, the pacesetters went on to claim three points.
Hafnarfjördur now have a maximum 33 from eleven games, nine more than Valur Reykjavík in second, but they were unable to carry their league form into Europe. They were defeated 2-1 at home by Azerbaijan's PFC Neftchi last Wednesday, losing their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie 4-1 on aggregate. In the UEFA Cup first qualifying round first legs, Keflavik won 4-0 in Luxembourg against FC Etzella Ettelbrück while ÍBV were held 1-1 at home by Faroe Islands team B36 Tórshavn. The return matches are on Thursday.
Former Iceland coach Atli Edvaldsson has replaced Ásgeir Elíasson at Thróttur Reykjavik, following the latter's resignation. Elíasson twice led Thróttur to promotion, but the club have struggled this season and were bottom of the table until Edvaldsson took charge two weeks ago.
Thróttur drew 0-0 at home to ÍA Akranes in Edvaldsson's first outing on 12 July before a 1-0 success at Fylkir five days later lifted the club to eighth place. Edvaldsson has signed a contract until the end of the campaign. It is his first coaching job since he left the national side in 2003.
The transfer window opened at the start of July and teams have been active in the market. Keflavík have landed 22-year-old Swedish utility player Kenneth Gustavsson on an 18-month contract from Swedish second division outfit IFK Malmö.
Fylkir have been struggling after losing Ólafur Stígsson, Sævar Thór Gíslason and Haukur Ingi Guðnason to long-term injuries, so they bolstered their squad with 26-year-old Danish midfielder Peter Tranberg. ÍBV have also added depth with the acquisition of 20-year-old Dane Rune Lind from Esbjerg fB.
In other news, Iceland will play friendly matches against Venezuela at the Laugardalur national stadium on 17 August and Poland in Warsaw in October - as well as resuming their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Croatia on 3 September.
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