Iceland cruised to a resounding victory against Bulgaria in the opening UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying group stage match for the 2013 finals in Sweden.
Having made their finals debut in 2009, Iceland are keen to repeat the trick and Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir, top scorer in qualifying last time with 12 goals, struck four times tonight to deny Bulgaria, whose previous top-level EURO fixture was in 1994. Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir and Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir were also on target.
Vidarsdóttir's close-range finish Gunnarsdóttir's thumping effort from distance set Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson's side on their way inside 12 minutes. Just before the interval Vidarsdóttir added a third then struck the final two goals after Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir had made it 4-0 on 63 minutes from Fanndís Fridriksdóttir's cross.
Vidarsdóttir completed her hat-trick from the penalty spot with 18 minutes left after being felled by Korneliya Naydenova and completed the scoring in added time. Iceland continue their campaign against top seeds Norway on 17 September while Bulgaria welcome Northern Ireland on 22 October. Hungary and Belgium are also in the pool.
"I am happy with my team," said Eyjolfsson. "They performed well and it's always good to score six goals and keep a clean sheet. This win was important for us. We are aiming high and want to win this group. To do that we have to beat a team like Norway and we are confident that we can do so. Norway will visit us here in September and we are looking forward to it."
The seven group winners and best runners-up (counting results against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their section) progress to the final tournament, and the other six runners-up go to the play-offs for three further places alongside hosts Sweden in July 2013.