Iceland just played their second game at the World Cup, and lost 2-0 to Nigeria. But we're still hopeful for the next game against Croatia on Tuesday 26th of June!
After getting a 1-1 tie with Argentina in Iceland's first game at the world cup, the nation has been hopeful for a win against Nigeria and Croatia. Iceland has only once played against Nigeria before, which was way back in 1981 that was a 3-0 win for Iceland. Unfortunately, it was not to be in the match against Nigeria at the World Cup.
The first half of the game no goals were scored and at halftime it was a 0-0 tie between Iceland and Nigeria. Iceland had had more shots on the goal than the Nigerian team, but Nigeria was more in possession of the ball. So in halftime people were optimistic, as you can see in the video above where Guide to Iceland was live streaming from Ingólfstorg, in the centre of Reykjavík.
However, Nigeria scored very shortly after the second half started, on the 49th minute, and the game just went downhill for the Icelandic team after that. The goal was scored by Ahmed Musa, who added another goal on the 75th minute, after a very skillful breach through the Icelandic defence. It was a sad moment, but very well played, and he was definitely the best player of the game.
Iceland got several chances to lessen the goal difference, the biggest one on the 80th minute when Iceland got a penalty, but Gylfi Sigurðsson failed to score from it. That was a devastating moment, as a goal then would've easily given Iceland the boost they needed to settle the score and get a last minute tie, especially since there were 6 extra minutes added to the playtime, and they got a few near-misses towards the end.
Iceland had plenty of chances, but the Nigerians were fast and played well, and Musa was on fire. So it was a very well deserved win for Nigeria - and although Icelanders are left feeling a bit blue after the match, then all hope is not lost for Iceland!
Iceland still has one game left to play, against Croatia on Tuesday, at 6pm GMT. Croatia is in the lead of Group D, having beaten Nigeria 2-0 and Argentina 3-0, earning them 6 points. After Nigeria's win over Iceland they are now placed in 2nd place of the group, but only with 3 points, having won one game and lost another.
Iceland is currently ranked third, with only 1 point after their draw against Argentina, but although both Iceland and Argentina have lost one game and had one tie, Iceland has a better score count than Argentina.
So, if Iceland beats Croatia (it's happened before!) and Argentina beats Nigeria AND Iceland has an equal number of goals as Argentina, or higher - then Iceland will place second in the group and make it to the next round. So, there's still a chance for Iceland to make even more history by entering the Round of 16 at the country's first ever World Cup!
It's safe to say that Icelanders are pretty excited over both the match between Argentina and Nigeria, as well as the match between Iceland and Croatia.
Croatia is already the leader of the group and are secure in going through to the Round of 16, so perhaps they'll take it a bit easy in the match against Iceland, and may let their best players rest. The outcome of the game doesn't really make a difference for them, so this might give Iceland an even better chance of getting their much-wanted 3 extra points.
So let's all get onboard now, and support Iceland through to the next round! HÚH!