Own-goal heartbreak for Iceland as Hungary escape
June 19 2016 12:21 AM

DPA/Marseille, France

Euro 2016 debutants Iceland conceded a late own-goal in securing only one point in a 1-1 draw against Hungary yesterday.
Iceland defender Birkir Saevarsson scored an own-goal in the 88th minute, equalising Gylfi Sigurssson’s converted penalty in the 40th minute for Iceland. The draw leaves both nations with hopes of advancing to the last 16.
Hungary, appearing on the continental stage for the first time since 1972, sit atop the group with four points while first-timers Iceland have two after two games.
Portugal have one point and Austria have zero ahead of their match-up later in the evening.
Iceland were criticised by Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo about playing very defensively in their 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016 debut. But the first-timers had a top chance as early as 10th minute only to see Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s header sail just over the bar.
Hungary controlled the proceedings with a major advantage in possession and nearly grabbed the lead four minutes later but Richard Priskin’s header was just off target.
Iceland remained hungry and were close in the 31st minute as Johann Gudmundsson spun free from Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar and was point blank with Hungarian goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly. But the wily veteran got his knee on Gudmundsson’s shot.
The aggressive play continued and Richard Guzmics needed to get in the way of a good chance by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson in the 38th minute. The efforts were rewarded in the 40th minute as Iceland were given a penalty with the referee saying Kadar had fouled Aron Gunnarsson in the box.
Sigurdsson stepped up to the spot and delivered his right foot shot into the lower left corner with Kiraly diving in the other direction for a 1-0 Iceland lead.
Iceland looked poised to double the advantage at the hour mark but Sigthorsson’s header went just over the bar.
Hungary started pushing forward with more conviction but could not beat Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson, who blocked Balazs Dzsudzsak’s shot in the 66th minute and then corralled the loose ball just before the Hungarian captain could pounce on it.
Halldorsson kept his nerves in the 76th minute, coolly grabbing a free-kick by Dzsudzsak as the drama began to build up. And the late-goal dramatics of Euro 2016 continued as Hungary equalised in the 88th minute.
Substitute Nemanja Nikolic sent a dangerous ball into the mouth of the goal and Iceland defender Saevarsson hit the ball into his own goal to even the game.

Last updated: June 19 2016 12:23 AM

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