Euro 2016: Saevarsson’s Late Own Goal Gifts Hungary 1-1 Draw With Iceland
Iceland defender Birkir Saevarsson’s own goal in the 88th minute made Hungary level 1-1 in their EURO 2016 Group F second round duel here on Saturday.
In the physically tough battle, Iceland, which drew Portugal 1- 1 in the first round, enjoyed a first half 1-0 lead through penalty.
In the 39th minute, Hungary veteran keeper Gabor Kiraly failed to catch the ball tightly from the opponents’ corner, and then conceded a penalty for a foul on Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson in a loose ball melee.
Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from the penalty spot in the 40th, firing low to the right of Kiraly who dove the other way.
Ten minutes before the goal, Kiraly made an excellent save to block Johann Gudmundsson’s close range attempt.
Hungary coach Bernd Storck said, “I don’t want to talk about the penalty. I did not see it.”
“We are happy about the result today. The late ball was lucky but we dominated the game. We were better in the second half and we deserve this point,” Storck added.
The second half started as Hungary were on the front foot, laying siege to the opponents’ box. Hungary captain Balazs Dzsudzsak made significant contribution, making many key interceptions and passes.
Iceland were content to sit deep and let their opponents have the ball.
Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said, “The atmosphere in the dressing room was a bit down after the game. No one expected the late goal.”
“Hungary are a really good team. We have to put a lot of energy into the game. Sometimes when you take risks you get it,” Hallgrimsson added.
The statistics showed that Hungary dominated the game, the second half in particular, boasting 67 percent of ball possession, 12 attempts and four on target, and completing 341 passes. Iceland only made five attempts, two on target, and completed 90 passes.
A heartbreak for Iceland, and a joy for Hungary came in the 88th when a neat build-up play down the left and a low cross from substitute Nemanja Nikolic which Saevarsson inadvertently turned into his own net.
Iceland’s last chance appeared in the 95th minute when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s low free-kick was blocked by Hungary’s wall and the ball ricocheted into the path of Gudjohnsen whose effort deflected wide.
After the tie, Hungary, who beat Austria 2-0 in the first round, are standing first in Group F with four points, followed by Iceland with two points. Portugal and Austria are competing in Paris.