Audjun Helgason called Fram Rejkyavík's 1-1 draw away to SK Sigma Olomouc "the best performance by an Icelandic club in Europe in many years" as his side look to finish the job tonight.
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Defender Audjun Helgason called Fram Rejkyavík's 1-1 draw at SK Sigma Olomouc "the best performance by an Icelandic club in Europe in many years" as his side look to finish the job tonight.
Defender Jón Gudni Fjóluson put Fram ahead in the first half in the Czech Republic last week and it took until the 89th minute for Sigma to respond, with Daniel Rossi Silva hitting a splendid equaliser. Nonetheless, the tie is very much in the Icelandic team's hands as they set about securing a third qualifying round meeting with Scotland's Aberdeen FC.
The 35-year-old centre-back Helgason was in no doubt of the significance of the result, ranking it as even more impressive than FH Hafnarfjördur's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa FC last season. "There's no doubt in my mind that this was the best performance by an Icelandic club in Europe in many years," he said.
The result came as a big surprise to football fans back in Iceland, who had generally regarded Fram's 2009 performances as something of a disappointment after their third-placed finish in 2008. Helgason added: "The guys played an almost perfect game and it was a shame to concede so late. But it was a fantastic goal and there was nothing we could do about that."
With the scene shifting to Iceland's Laugardalsvöllur national stadium tonight, Fram coach Toddi Örlygsson is expected to shut up shop, knowing that a clean sheet would guarantee progress. The former Nottingham Forest FC, Stoke City FC and Oldham Athletic FC midfielder favours conservative tactics, and a 0-0 draw might be an even more impressive outcome than the first-leg result.