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Iceland claim historic Norway scalp

Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 23.45CET
Iceland 2-0 Norway
The hosts ended an 11-game, 25-year wait for a win against Norway with an impressive victory over their Group E rivals in Reykjavik.
by Stefán Stefánsson
from Laugardalsvöllur
Iceland claim historic Norway scalp
Aron Gunnarsson of Iceland tussles with Norway's Daniel Braaten ©Eva Björk
Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 23.45CET

Iceland claim historic Norway scalp

Iceland 2-0 Norway
The hosts ended an 11-game, 25-year wait for a win against Norway with an impressive victory over their Group E rivals in Reykjavik.

After an 11-match wait, spanning 25 years, Iceland finally overcame Norway as they earned a 2-0 win against their rivals in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E.

Goals in either half from Kári Árnason and Alfred Finnbogason did the damage as Lars Lägerback's charges made history and got their campaign off to the perfect start.

After surviving a difficult opening period, Iceland pushed on and from a long throw by captain Aron Gunnarsson, defender Kári Árnason stabbed the ball inside the left post for a 21st-minute lead. The home side almost doubled their lead before the break, hitting the post from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick, but the guests recovered and battled back, John Arne Riise impressing on his national record 105th-cap and the front three showing good movement but failing to find a goal.

Norway kept up the pressure in the second half, with substitute Joshua King at the heart, but Iceland defended solidly and waited for a chance to counter. On 72 minutes striker Alfred Finnbogason, newly signed by sc Heerenveen, came on for Rúrik Gíslason and nine minutes later he showed why the Dutch side were so keen to secure his services. Collecting a long ball by Sigurdsson, Finnbogason ran half the field to slot past the keeper from close range. King struck the crossbar in added time, but Iceland held on.

"I'm very pleased; we played as planned after working well in friendlies and training," said Iceland coach Lägerback. "The players did not give the Norwegians much space and were constantly disturbing their game. We can dream but I want to be an optimistic realist: This is only the first game of ten."

Last updated: 08/05/14 8.43CET

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