Paths to Victory 2: The Unrelegationing

A couple of weeks ago I posted that Vikingur Olafsvik would need to win at least one match in the last four weeks of the season to have a chance at avoiding relegation.  Today, Vikingur certainly came through, with a resounding 5-0 victory over 1.Dield-bound IA.  At the same time, Thor was held to a 2-2 draw against Keflavik, while appearing to outclass them for most of the match.

As things stand, Vikingur Olafsvik trails Thor by a single point, and is within striking distance of three other teams (Fylkir, Keflavik, and Fram).  While Vikingur is still in the drop zone, today’s match could put them on the path to staying in the PepsiDeild next season.

Vikingur travels to Reykjavik on Sunday to take on 9th-place Fylkir, and returns home to take on 6th-place Valur to end the season.  Let’s look at the possibilities.

Obviously, with two losses, Vikingur Olafsvik returns to the 1.Deild next season.

A loss and a draw puts them at 18 points, which will only avoid relegation if Thor loses both of their last two matches, against IA and 5th-place IBV.  Possible, but I wouldn’t want to bet on it.

With two draws, Vikingur ends with 19 points.  With a single Thor draw and a loss, they would also be on 19 points, and VikingurOl would stay up on goal differential.  Any other result from Thor would send Vikingur down.

With a win and a loss, more paths open up: two Thor draws would put both teams at 20, with Vikingur staying up on goal differential.  Vikingur could also beat out Fylkir for the last spot if Fylkir loses its last two matches, including Sunday’s against Vikingur and week 22 at IA and Vikingur is able to make up 5 in goal differential.  (Vikingur and Fylkir drew earlier in the season; with a win Sunday and a tie on points and goal differential, I believe Vikingur would edge ahead on head-to-head results.)

Turn the loss into a draw, and Vikingur closes out the season with 21 points, and still more paths open up.  If Thor beats IA and loses to IBV (or vice-versa), they end up with 21 and Vikingur stays up on goal differential.  If Vikingur’s win comes against Fylkir and Fylkir loses to IA as well, Vikingur passes them regardless of differential.  Or, if Keflavik loses their last two matches (home vs. 5th-place IBV and at 4th-place Breidablik), Vikingur overtakes them.

Finally, if Vikingur closes out the season with two wins, they end on 23 points, and could pass any of the three teams ahead of them:

  • Thor will drop behind Vikingur with anything but two wins.
  • Fylkir will drop behind Vikingur with a loss or draw at IA, or with a win at IA that allows Vikingur to make up five goals.
  • With two losses, a loss and a draw, or two draws, Keflavik will fall behind, either on points or goal differential.
  • Even Fram comes into reach, with matches against the top two teams in the league (FH and KR), for whom the Champion’s League seat might still be in play; two losses leave them on 22 points.

Bottom line: Win Sunday against Fylkir, and things start falling into place.

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Kissing Your Sister

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.

Vikingur Falls into Relegation Area

Vikingur’s inability to come away with a win over the course of the season is putting them in danger of falling back to 1. Deild after only a single season in the Úrvalsdeild.  With a 2-0 win over Valur, Keflavik moves ahead of Vikingur, 13 points to 12, and has a game in hand.  Vikingur has a 3-point edge in goal differential, but needs to win some matches.  It won’t be easy, with the next three coming against three of the top four teams in the league.