Best. Day. EVAR.

Following a second-division Icelandic football team from New Jersey is, shall we say, a challenge.  I usually head over to fotbolti.net, where the great folks frequently have a writer doing a live commentary on the match (in Icelandic, of course, but Google Translate FTW, as long as you can puzzle out things like “hoof diagram Viking defense and Hilmar Incorporating finishing well over Arnar Darra”).

Imagine my great surprise and delight when I got onto the page about 30 minutes into the game (hey, I was at work) and saw that the game was being streamed live on sporttv.is.  Could it be?  Could I actually get to watch the club, instead of just reading about them?

YES!

Unfortunately, I tuned in too late to miss the highlights of the first half – Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson slotting home a rebound before the first half-minute of the game had passed, and The Pride of Hackettstown, Joey Spivack, driving a long-range missile into the net in the 34th minute to put Vikingur up 2-0.

Overall, Vikingur seemed to have better quality possession throughout the match, keeping the ball in the attacking half and forcing Throttur to try to boom long balls forward and score on a breakaway.  They broke through in the 70th minute with a curling shot from just outside the box, and pulling to within one goal seemed to energize them, as they held possession far better and put pressure on the Vikingur defense.  In the last ten minutes of the match, Vikingur defender Brynjar Kristmundsson had to head a shot off the line, and a second shot skipped off the crossbar and out of danger, or Throttur could have leveled at 2.

In stoppage time, Throttur earned a free kick about 15 yards outside the box, and brought forward everyone including the keeper to try for the equalizer.  Vikingur keeper Arnar Darri Pétursson bravely went up into the crowd and took the service, and quickly released Þorsteinn Már on a counterattack; the Vikingur Ol striker calmly delivered the ball into the back of the Throttur net from 40 yards out to put Vikingur up 3-1 and put the match out of reach.

So, to summarize:

Þorsteinn Már got a brace.

The Pride of Hackettstown Joey Spivack scored his first Vikingur Olafsvik goal.  (He was favoring his right leg when he was subbed out in the 79th minute, but told me later it was just a cramp.)

Vikingur Olafsvik won.

Akranes lost.

Throttur and KA, who both started the day two points ahead of Vikingur, both lost.

Vikingur moved into fourth place, 5 points behind Akranes for promotion.

And I got to actually watch Vikingur Ol live on my computer.  Yes, that is correct: Sitting in New Jersey, I got to watch a video feed of a second-division Icelandic soccer match being broadcast from a stadium in Reykjavik.

I live in the future.

Eyþór Helgi Birgisson Gets 5-Match Ban

Friend of the Blog Eyþór Helgi Birgisson, who got a red card in Vikingur Olafsvik’s last match against Grindavik, was handed a 5-match touchline ban from the Icelandic Football Association for violation of Regulation 16, which prohibits the use of discriminatory language.  Eyþór Helgi will not even be permitted to attend the club’s home matches during the ban.

Sources in attendance at the game claim that, while Eyþór Helgi spoke to the referee after his sending-off, there was nothing discriminatory or prejudicial in his words or actions.  No further information has been forthcoming from the KSI, the club, or Eyþór Helgi.

The five match ban will run concurrently with Eyþór Helgi’s suspension for receiving a red card in the Grindavik match.  He will not be eligible to return to play until the club’s penultimate match of the season, against KV on 13 September.

Ceci n’est pas une match summary

Back in the day, radio broadcasts of American baseball games were local affairs.  There was no satellite feed, or high-quality landline, or other means of a broadcaster in a distant city to sit in the booth at the game and do a play-by-play broadcast back to the visiting team’s home city.  Instead, there would be a telegraph feed from the distant stadium back to the radio station, and a stringer at the game would telegraph back what was happening.  The broadcaster, sitting in a studio hundreds of miles from the game, would read the telegraph reports and make up the details of what was happening as he pretended to be watching the game live.

I know how they felt.  I’ve usually counted on fotbolti.net’s live blogs to keep up with Vikingur Olafsvik matches and to write up match summaries, but they weren’t able to send anyone to today’s match.  So they had someone at the stadium making phone calls to their reporter in Vestmannaeyju when something happened, and he would then post it to their live blog.

Not exactly the highest-fidelity information channel.

So, suffice to say that though Vikingur apparently had better control of the game in the first half, they weren’t able to score, and fell behind 1-0 when Garðar Bergmann Gunnlaugsson put a rebound into the net.  Friend of the Blog Eyþór Helgi Birgisson looked to have scored in the 29th minute but the goal was disallowed (I think I saw something about a corner, so I’m just going to claim that he scored off a corner but the referee disallowed the goal due to a foul on Vikingur).  The game remained 1-0 Akranes until the 80th minute, when Akranes keeper Páll Gísli Jónsson sent a goal kick deep, and Hjörtur Júlíus Hjartarson ran onto it and beat Vikingur keeper Arnar Darri Pétursson.  Akranes scored again four minutes later to go up 3-0, and a foul on Eyþór Helgi in the box with the penalty again converted by Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson like in the last match did no more than make the score look somewhat respectable.

All in all a disappointing day, with Vikingur Ol falling to fifth place, five points behind second-place Akranes and trailing significantly on goal differential.  The team is off until Saturday the 9th of August, when they face 10th-place Grindavik.  Ideally it will be a chance to make up some ground, but Grindavik actually has a better goal differential than Vikingur, has been in better form over the past five matches, and has a lot to play for, being only two points clear of the drop zone.

Update: Visual proof that the game really happened, again courtesy of FOB Helgi Kristjansson:

This, however, IS a converted penalty kick.

This, however, IS a converted penalty kick.

New Loan Shows Immediate Dividends

In what is looking like a very positive acquisition, Olafsvik’s Own Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson has returned to Vikingur Ol on a loan from KR Reykjavik.  Þorsteinn Már grew up in Olafsvik and played for Vikingur in 2011, appearing in 18 matches and scoring 6 goals including a brace in a 2-1 victory over Þrottur.  He went to Falkenbergs FF in Norway on a free transfer at the end of the 2011 season, but did not appear on the squad before being transferred to KR before the 2012 season.

For KR, Þorsteinn Már appeared in 68 matches, scoring 13 goals and adding two assists.  He immediately made an impact on his return to Vikingur, drawing a penalty that Eyþór Helgi Birgisson converted to put the squad up 1-0 against Selfoss, and scoring himself in the second half.  He appeared to link up well with Eyþór Helgi throughout the match, and looks to bring an increased goal-scoring threat through the center of the pitch to Vikingur’s attack.

Þorsteinn Már is the twin brother of striker Steinar Már Ragnarsson, and we hope that the twins pair up well over the rest of the campaign.

Vikingur Olafsvik tops Selfoss 2-0

Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson made a major impact in his first match for Vikingur Ol after arriving on loan from KR.  Þorsteinn Már, who is the twin brother of Vikingur striker Steinar Már Ragnarsson, drew a foul in the box leading to an Eyþór Helgi Birgisson penalty 17 minutes into the match, and scored a goal of his own on a counterattack in the 64th minute to lead Vikingur Ol to a 2-0 victory in Selfoss.

Selfoss started strong, forcing Vikingur keeper Arnar Darri Pétursson into several saves in the first ten minutes, but when Þorsteinn Már got taken down in the box by Selfoss keeper Vignir Jóhannesson, the referee pointed straight to the spot.  Eyþór Helgi confidently sent Jóhannesson the wrong way, putting Vikingur Ol up 1-0 early.

Þorsteinn Már and Eyþór Helgi continued linking well throughout the first half, with Samu Jimenez just missing after a good buildup in the 40th minute.  After halftime things slowed down, with neither side getting many opportunities, until Þorsteinn Már got a breakaway, outrunning Selfoss defender Andrew Pew and beating the keeper for his first goal in the white and blue.

Selfoss’s best chance came about five minutes later, when Ragnar Þór Gunnarsson hit the crossbar off a header, but they never seriously threatened the Vikingur lead.  Hackettstown’s Own Joey Spivack came in as a late substitute and got about five minutes of action in stoppage time, as the squad held on to nail down the 2-0 victory.

With the win, Vikingur Olafsvik moves into fourth place, two points behind Akranes and Þróttur, though they are still at a significant disadvantage against Akranes on goal differential.  Olafsvik hosts Akranes next Wednesday, in what promises to be a key match.