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0 vs 0
Played
November 15, 2013 7:00 PM GMT
Laugardalsvöllur — Reykjavík
Referee:‬ Alberto Undiano‎
Attendance:‬ 9768‎
 
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Hannes Thór Halldórsson
Hannes Thór Halldórsson
Iceland
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

Iceland 0-0 Croatia: Ten-man hosts battle to draw to keep World Cup hopes alive

Olafur Skulason was issued a straight red card in the second half but a resilient display from Lars Largerback's side secured a stalemate against the unconvincing visitors

Iceland battled to a 0-0 draw despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half of their World Cup play-off first leg with Croatia in Reykjavik on Friday.

Olafur Skulason pulled back Ivan Perisic when the winger was clean through on goal and was given his marching orders, but Lars Lagerback's side - roared on by a vociferous home support - ensured they remain very much in the tie against a Croatia team still low on confidence.

After an even first half, in which chances were at a premium, the game was turned on its head by the dismissal.

Croatia, under the guidance of coach Niko Kovac for the first time, began to enjoy the majority of possession but they were they unable to beat Hannes Halldorsson in the Iceland goal.

The 29-year-old made a string of second-half saves to deny Ivica Olic, Eduardo and Ivan Perisic to keep his side in the tie ahead of the second leg in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Iceland coach Lars Lagerback made two changes to the side that drew with Norway last month, while there were six new faces for Croatia as Eduardo partnered Mario Mandzukic in attack.

And the Brazilian-born forward almost broke the deadlock in the second minute.

The 30-year-old worked his way into the penalty area and, although his scuffed shot beat Halldorsson, it was cleared off the line by Ragnar Sigurdsson.

Alfred Finnbogason offered a prompt response from the hosts, controlling a cross from the left on his chest before seeing his shot well blocked by Vedran Corluka.

Kovac's side began to dominate possession, with Luka Modric pulling the strings, but clear-cut chances remained few and far between.

After wasting an opportunity midway through the half, Perisic brought the first save from Halldorsson shortly before the break, but his long-range effort was straightforward for the goalkeeper.

Iceland's chances were dealt a massive blow five minutes into the second half as Skulason saw red following a tussle with Perisic.

The Croatian got in front of his marker to try and get onto Rakitic's throughball but he was pulled down 20 yards from goal, and the defender was shown a straight red card.

Substitute Olic then forced a fine save from Halldorsson in the 55th minute as Croatia began to dominate. The striker slid in to meet an Eduardo cross but was denied by an excellent reflex stop.

Perisic had a final chance to win the game with seven minutes to play, but he wasted the opportunity as he volleyed wide of goal, with Modric's wild late drive from distance the only remaining chance the visitors could muster as both sides prepare for the second leg next week with everything to play for.


Iceland

-
4.00
-
3.00
-
4.00
17
2.00
22
Birkir Bjarnason
Midfielder
2.00
22
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Midfielder
3.00
-
Kari Arnason
Midfielder
3.50
-
1.50
-
2.50
7
Johann Gudmundsson
Midfielder
3.00
9
3.00

Croatia

3.00
-
3.50
22
2.50
33
Darijo Srna
Defender
3.50
4
4.00
9
Ivan Perisic
Midfielder
3.00
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
2.00
11
Ivo Ilicevic
Midfielder
47′
3.00
11
Ivan Rakitic
Midfielder
3.00
23
1.50
9
2.50
11
Eduardo
Striker
72′

Substitutes

-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
5
S. Ottesen
Defender
 - 
31
 - 
10
 - 
4
Eggert Jonsson
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
-
V. Pálsson
Midfielder
 - 
21
Rurik Gislason
Midfielder
63′
3.00

Substitutes

 - 
1
 - 
12
Lovre Kalinic
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
-
 - 
20
 - 
21
Niko Kranjcar
Midfielder
 - 
14
Milan Badelj
Midfielder
 - 
10
 - 
-
Mate Maleš
Midfielder
3.00
11
Ivica Olic
Striker
47′
2.50
9
 - 
-
Leon Benko
Goalkeeper
87′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
First Leg
Times In GMT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man Utd.
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0