Vikingur Olafsvik went into Akranes today desperately needing three points to gain ground on Thor at the edge of the drop zone, and left with five goals, a clean sheet, and a dominating victory.
In the 16th minute Toni Espinosa buried a free kick, and two minutes later Juan Manuel Torres took a cross from Captain Hafsteinsson and fired a laser into the bottom corner. After some back and forth with no scoring, IA midfielder Arnar Mar Gudjonsson picked up his second yellow card, and the rout was on.
Kiko Insa took a pass from Samu Jimenes in the 43rd minute and slotted it past the Akranes keeper to send Vikingur into half time up 3-0. Vikingur controlled play in the second half, with Alfred Mar Hjaltalin and Gudmundur Magnusson finding the back of the net to close out the match, sending Vikingur home to Olafsvik with the most lopsided victory scored by any team in the Urvalsdeild this season.
About a week ago, I noted that Vikingur Olafsvik could not afford to play for draws, even against teams like KR. With four weeks left, they were trailing Thor by three points, and needed to get some wins to avoid relegation.
Today, they certainly played like a team going for a win. Emir Dokara fired a shot over the crossbar in the second minute, and six minutes later Samu Jimenez pushed forward from the back line and fed a cross to Alfred Hjatalin, who put the ball on frame but was turned away by the KR keeper. Throughout the first half, Vikingur continued firing on the KR goal, with shots from Dokara, Eythor Birgisson, Togo national team callup Farid Zato, and Captain Gudmunder Stein Hafsteinsson peppering the KR keeper, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The barrage continued in the second half, as Birgisson and Hafsteinsson had shots saved, but in the 57th minute, KR midfielder Sigurdarson scored against the run of play to put Vikingur down 1-0. For the last half-hour the Vikings pushed forward to try to get an equalizer, and things could have gotten ugly fast if not for the stellar goalkeeping of Einar Hjörleifsson, who had five saves in the final 15 minutes. The whistle blew with KR still up 1-0 on Vikingur.
When the day ended, the bottom of the table was just like it was when the day started, as Thor fell to Stjarnan and IA lost to Keflavik. Vikingur Olafsvik trails Thor by three points, while IA is six points further back with a game in hand. A win Sunday at Akranes – losers of five of their last six matches – would give Vikingur a shot at escaping relegation with some help and a strong finish. But like today, it’ll be a day to go out for a win.
Things started slowly for the first quarter-hour in Hafnarfjörður, but the home side quickly got into gear and it looked like it was going to be a long day for Vikingur. With possession deep in the Vikingur end, FH broke through in the 27th minute with a header in off a corner. Vikingur was unable to capitalize on some opportunities late in the first half, with Hafsteinsson heading off the crossbar and Torres’s strike going wide, and halftime saw them down 1-0.
Early in the second half, things got worse for Vikingur, with another FH goal off a corner, to put the visitors down 2-0. It looked bleak until Hafsteinsson was taken down in the box by FH keeper Róbert Örn Óskarsson, who got sent off and brought Toni Espinosa to the penalty spot. Espinosa’s shot snuck past backup FH keeper Dadi Larusson, and the match was on, with Vikingur bringing on Björn Pálsson to put more pressure on the attack.
The pressure paid off in the 79th minute, as Kiko Insa scored off a corner from Espinosa. The last twenty minutes was a wild run up and down the pitch, with both sides getting opportunities but being unable to convert. Vikingur comes away with the road point against a top-class team, and will enjoy the long break until facing off at home against perennial powerhouse and top-sitting KR.
No team in the Urvalsdeild has more draws than Vikingur Olafsvik.
Unfortunately, no team in the Urvalsdeild has fewer wins than Vikingur Olafsvik.
Vikingur pulled off another draw Sunday against a very solid Breiðablik side, with keeper EInar Hjörleifsson putting up another clean sheet. Getting a result against a team in the running for a Europa League spot isn’t something to scoff at. On the other hand, time is running out in the season to get out of the relegation zone, and things don’t get any easier over the next two weeks with matches against top squads FH and KR.
Come to think of it, draws over the next two weeks might not be such a bad thing.
For the first hour or so, it looked like the Vikingur squad had left their ability to create at home in Olafsvik with captain Guðmundur Steinn Hafsteinsson. Vikingur didn’t have a scoring opportunity until the 57th minute, when Damir Muminovic came close on a header off a free kick, and only some stellar goalkeeping from Hjörleifsson kept the game scoreless.
IBV broke through in the 67th minute off a corner, with Þorvarðarson putting away a rebound from the edge of the penalty area after Hjörleifsson saved a header from Gauta. The mood was low as interim captain Masic went down and had to be helped off the pitch for five minutes and the rain came down in Vestmannaeyjar.
Everything turned around the 80 minute mark, as Farid Zato, who may have gotten away with handling earlier in the second half, put the club on his back and carried them to a result. He cracked a shot from distance, just off frame but putting IBV keeper David “Calamity” James on notice. Then, after Vikingur got possession off the ensuing goal kick, he broke through three IBV defenders and buried a shot past James from the edge of the area to level at 1-1.
The last 10 minutes was a flurry of activity as Vikingur pushed forward to try to steal two more points. Birgisson fired home a header after a give-and-go with Toni Espinosa in the 89th minute, but was ruled offside. Two minutes later Espinosa set up another opportunity, this time for Sami Jimenez, whose shot sailed just over the crossbar. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but Vikingur came home with a well-earned point.