Iceland Under 21s 2 Scotland under 21s 1
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2010
All to play for on Monday at Easter Road with an away goal
|Scotland's hopes of reaching the European Under-21 Championships are very much alive despite losing to a strong Iceland side in Reykjavik. The home side won 2-1 thanks to Almarr Ormarsson's 78 minute winner, but Scotland know a 1-0 win in the second leg at Easter Road on Monday will see them into the finals for the first time since 1996. Jamie Murphy put Scotland in front after just 19 minutes to silence the crowd of 7,255, but Iceland bounced back with an equaliser from Johann Berg Gudmundsson after 34 minutes. Ormarsson became Iceland's hero when he volleyed home the winning goal from 30 yards with 12 minutes remaining. The day did not start well for the home side, who had Rurik Gislason ruled out through injury and then saw goalkeeper Haraldur Bjornsson suffer an injury in the warm up. That meant 19-year-old Arnar Darri Petursson was handed a place in the starting XI, but Scotland could only manage two shots on target in the whole game.
After a slow start, Scotland goalkeeper Alan Martin had to save twice in the 15th minute. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Birkir Bjarnason opened up the defence and Kolbeinn Sigtorsson fired in a shot from the near post which Martin saved before also blocking the follow-up from Sigurdsson on the penalty spot. Surprisingly Scotland took the lead after 19 minutes when defender Holmar Eyjolfsson lost the ball in his own penalty area and Murphy hammered the ball into the net from the right-hand side of the box. Iceland's response came 15 minutes later. Bjarnason's right-wing cross was cleared only as far as Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who equalised with a great shot with his left foot from outside the area.
Johann Berg was dangerous on the left wing in the second half, producing several good crosses that Kolbeinn Sigtorsson failed to take advantage of, twice heading over the bar in the opening 15 minutes. But Ormarsson was far more accurate in the 78th minute after coming on as a substitute just five minutes earlier, firing in a superb winner from 30 yards out to give his side hope of reaching the finals for the first time.
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