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Iceland beat Moldova to Youth Olympics

Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 17.49CET
Iceland's Under-15 squad won the 2014 Youth Olympic Games boys' football qualifier ahead of Moldova, Finland and Armenia in Nyon to earn a trip to Nanjing next August.
by Andy Lockwood & Jo Juvet
from Colovray Stadium
Iceland beat Moldova to Youth Olympics
Iceland celebrate their success ©Getty Images

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Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 17.49CET

Iceland beat Moldova to Youth Olympics

Iceland's Under-15 squad won the 2014 Youth Olympic Games boys' football qualifier ahead of Moldova, Finland and Armenia in Nyon to earn a trip to Nanjing next August.

Iceland's Under-15 squad won the 2014 Youth Olympic Games boys' football qualifier in Nyon to earn a trip to China next August.

In Saturday's semi-finals involving the four invited nations, Iceland overcame Finland 2-0 and Moldova beat Armenia 3-0. After Finland defeated Armenia 2-1 for third place earlier today, Iceland won the final 3-1 against Moldova and will visit Nanjing for the six-team event from 15 to 27 August alongside last week's girls' qualifiers, Slovakia.

Kristófer Kristinsson got Iceland off to a good start by pouncing in a goalmouth scramble 13 minutes in against Moldova. Kristinsson set up Hilmar McShane to add another ten minutes later and Iceland goalkeeper Aron Stefánsson pushed Nichita Iurasco's 30-metre free-kick over the bar late in the first half.

Áki Sölvason made it 3-0 three minutes into the second period as he applied his head to Karl Magnusson's floated free-kick. Although Denis Soltan reduced arrears just before the hour mark, pouncing on a rebound from a Stefánsson save, Iceland prevailed and will emulate Montenegro, who played at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic boys' football tournament in Singapore.

"I thought after the draw that if we could beat Finland in the semi-final then we would go all the way," said coach Freyr Sverrisson. "I have given all my heart to getting the team to China and we're going there so I'm very happy. The 18 players who have been here this week are going to grow up a little bit faster [for the experience]."

On Saturday, Iceland had played out a physical semi-final with Finland, holding firm in defence before Helgi Gudjónsson was teed up by Kristinn Pétursson for the 59th-minute opener. McShane doubled the advantage five minutes later.

Armenia began the stronger in the other semi against Moldova but Vitalie Damascan punished a 19th-minute slip from Erik Khurshudyan. Moldova stepped up a gear in the second half and Vsevolod Nihaev's 49th-minute free-kick was nodded in by Denis Furtuna before Iurasco fed substitute Maxim Molesteanu for a late third.

In Monday's third-place play-off, the impressive Ansu Sherrif Jr scored on 16 and 61 minutes to ensure victory for Finland despite Erik Gharibyan pulling one back for Armenia from the penalty spot late on.

Results
19 October
Semi-final 1: Iceland 2-0 Finland
Semi-final 2: Moldova 3-0 Armenia

21 October
Third-place play-off: Finland 2-1 Armenia
Final: Iceland 3-1 Moldova

Last updated: 21/10/13 19.08CET

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