Ullevaal Stadion - Oslo 15/10/2013 - 20:00CET (20:00 local time)

Qualifying round - Group E

Norway - Iceland
1-1
 

Norway - Iceland 1-1 - 15/10/2013 - Match page - FIFA World Cup 2014

 
The official website for European football

Iceland focused on sealing play-off spot

Published: Sunday 13 October 2013, 20.23CET
Captain Aron Gunnarsson is relishing "the most important game we have ever played" as Iceland prepare to visit Norway needing a win to secure a Brazil 2014 play-off berth.
by Stefán Stefánsson
from Reykjavik
Iceland focused on sealing play-off spot
Iceland defeated Norway at home ©Eva Björk

Standings

Last updated: 16/10/2013 12:09 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Sunday 13 October 2013, 20.23CET

Iceland focused on sealing play-off spot

Captain Aron Gunnarsson is relishing "the most important game we have ever played" as Iceland prepare to visit Norway needing a win to secure a Brazil 2014 play-off berth.

Iceland are steeling themselves for "the most important game we have ever played" according to captain Aron Gunnarsson, as they visit Norway on Tuesday looking for the victory that would earn them a 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off spot.

The Icelanders kept themselves a point clear of third-placed Slovenia in Group E with a 2-0 success at home to Cyprus on Friday, the same night that Switzerland – who now host the Slovenians – sealed first position in the section. They therefore have their fate in their own hands, but whereas previous generations tended to lose focus towards the end of qualifying campaigns, coach Lars Lagerbäck and his assistant Heimir Hallgrímsson look to have ensured that everyone is concentrated on their task.

"We are young and do not scare easily," said Cardiff City AFC midfielder Gunnarsson, who played in Iceland's 2-0 home win against Norway last September. "We have already put pressure on ourselves and now we just have to handle it. We have Norway on Tuesday, which will be the most important game we have ever played. The Norwegians will not give us anything, like we wouldn't give them anything. They have nothing to lose so they might play well, but we just have to think about our game, stay cool and everything will be OK."

As for striker Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, who opened the scoring against Cyprus, he is hoping for a more accomplished display when Iceland take to the Ullevaal pitch. "Overall I was not too happy with how we played, but there will be no carelessness against Norway," commented the AFC Ajax forward. "We have to rely on ourselves and it's best that way. This will be the most important game in Iceland's history and we're aiming for the play-offs. These days we play better football than Norway and are higher ranked, so there is no way we're dropping out now."

"We have to go for victory but we can also benefit from other results," added Lagerbäck, who will enjoy a full complement of players in Norway despite eight of his team facing Cyprus just one yellow card away from suspension. "We will of course hear what is going on between Switzerland and Slovenia, and if it's good news we will try to be more careful."

"Now this is all about what we do," said Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, Iceland's other scorer against Cyprus. "We do not expect any favours from Switzerland, and it is great to go and have a shot at the play-offs. That has been our goal for the whole competition, but now we have to get down to work and be ready for Norway."

Last updated: 08/05/14 2.49CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match

http://www.uefa.com/worldcup/season=2014/matches/round=2000294/match=2008651/prematch/preview/index.html#iceland+play+spot

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.