Late Equalizer for Olafsvik

A mistake by FH defender Jonathan Hendrickx was all that Croatian Messi Hrvoje Tokic needed to slot home an equalizer in the 86th minute, as Vikingur Olafsvik came away with a hard-fought draw against last season’s champion.  Hafnarfjörður was the stronger team for most of the game, but a well-organized and stubborn Vikingur defense conceded only a single goal from Steven Lennon in the 28th minute.

Vikingur stays level in fourth place with 11 points, one behind Breidalbik and trailing FH and Stjarnan on goal differential.  They host last-place Fylkir next week, looking to take three points and move up.

One and Done in the Icelandic Cup

The good news was that Vikingur Olafsvik got a draw into the Round of 32 of the Icelandic Cup (I assume due to their winning the 1.Deild in 2015).  The bad news was that their draw was against Stjarnan, sitting top of the table and undefeated this year in the Pepsideild.

Playing on the road, VikingurOl sat back and played a defending/counterattacking game in the first half, and came close to capitalizing in the 28th minute as Pape Mamadou Faye’s shot went off the crossbar after deflecting off a defender, and Alfred Mar Hjaltalin put a shot on frame after the ensuing corner, only to be stymied by the Stjarnan keeper.  Stjarnan returned the favor in the 36th as Veigar Páll Gunnarsson hit the crossbar on a free kick, and two minutes later was denied by VikingurOl keeper Cristian Martinez.  The teams went to half-time scoreless.

Five minutes into the second half, VikingurOl took the lead as Pape Faye fed William Domingues just outside the box, and Domingues neatly slotted the ball home into the far corner.  Stjarnan equalized in the 59th minute as Veigar Páll Gunnarsson fed the ball into the box and Jeppe Hansen went up and nodded it home, but before the celebration was over, Pape Faye took the ball down the left wing, stiffed his defender, and beat the Stjarnan keeper one-on-one to put VikingurOl up 2-1.

VikingurOl staved off increasingly aggressive counterattacks for the next half hour as Stjarnan bombed down the field to try to equalize, but in the 88th minute, Guðjón Baldvinsson went up for a corner and headed it into the net to level the score at 2-2.  Four minutes of stoppage time came and went with no scoring, and the teams wentto extra time.

For most of extra time, VikingurOl was on their back foot, due to injuries to Björn Pálsson and Þorsteinn Már Ragnarsson forcing them to play a man down for 20 minutes.  A final flurry of attacks proved fruitless as Kristinn M. Pétursson and Domingues were both denied in the 120th minute.  So, to the purgatory of penalties.

VikingurOl went first and Domingues converted the kick he wasn’t able to get in open play, and when Olafsvik keeper Martinez guessed right and saved Guðjón Baldvinsson’s shot, it looked promising.  Through three rounds both teams made their kicks and Vikingur was up 3-2 into the fourth round, when Stjarnan keeper Hörður Fannar Björgvinsson stopped Pape Faye, leveling the teams.  After five rounds, the clubs were level at 4, and it was on to sudden death.

In round 6, both teams converted.

In round 7, both teams converted.

In round 8, Alfreð Már Hjaltalín was denied by Hörður Fannar, and Stjarnan’s Jóhann Laxdal beat Martinez to advance Stjarnan to the round of 16.

I learned in my referee class that penalties do not decide a winner, only which team advances after a draw when a decision is needed for the competition.  So some consolation can be taken from the fact that Vikingur played the top team in the Pepsideild to a draw, on the road, over 120 minutes.  And there won’t be any of these pesky distracting midweek games for the rest of the season.  But it would have been nice…