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Iceland cling on for Belarus win

Belarus 1-2 Iceland
The visitors withstood late pressure after Sverrir Ingason was sent off 17 minutes from time and their two-goal cushion was halved from the spot.

Iceland goalscorer Jón Dadi Bödvarsson closes down Belarus's Maksim Volodko
Iceland goalscorer Jón Dadi Bödvarsson closes down Belarus's Maksim Volodko ©Pressball

Iceland got off to a winning start in UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group 10, clinging on for a narrow win with ten men in Zhodino.

Jón Dadi Bödvarsson fired Iceland into a fourth-minute lead, and Emil Atlason headed a second not long after the interval, but the visitors were living on their nerves by the end. Iceland captain Sverrir Ingason was dismissed for a foul on Artur Bombel and Denis Kovalevski converted the resulting penalty.

Kristjan Gauti Emilsson's cross from the left teed up Bodvarsson to beat Artem Soroko for Iceland's opener. While the goalkeeper saved another Bödvarsson effort six minutes after the break, he could do nothing to stop Ingason nodding in Iceland's second from the rebound.

Soroko's save from Hordur Björgvin Magnússon prevented Belarus from going further behind, and Bombel fired against a post for Belarus before Atlason responded with a long-range effort that crashed against the crossbar. Ingason's dismissal and Kovalevski's goal turned up the heat on Iceland on 73 minutes, but they held on for three points, with Bombel missing the target after going one-on-one with goalkeeper Runar Runarsson at the death.