Friday, 22 April 2011

ÍF only I could think of a witty headline

Hopperational details
Date & Venue: 21 April 2011 at Fuglafjørður Stadium
Results & Competitions:
ÍF Kvinnur 1 HB Kvinnur 5 in the Steypakapping (a knockout-competition)
ÍF 0 KÍ 1 in the Meistaradeildin (top-tier for men)

Two games, one venue.  That now exhausts my possibilities for top-tier games on this trip, meaning that I have been to 8 of the 9 venues in the division (remembering that HB & B36 are ground sharers).  As the fixtures turned out, B71 Sandoy are the team I missed out on seeing, even as visitors.

These matches in one sentence each
HB Kvinnur took a significantly higher percentage of their chances and the challenge from the home team fell away after half-time as Marianna Jacobsen completed an impressive hat-trick.

KÍ scored an early goal and were able to defend their lead while threatening to score again on the break.

So what?
HB Kvinnur go through to a quarter final at home to Víkingur Kvinnur, who had a walk-over in their tie.

KÍ are top of the league after three rounds, with a 100% record, on goal difference from EB/Streymur, who beat 07 Vestur today.  In the other games, HB beat B71 and B36 drew with Víkingur.  Víkingur’s point mean that ÍF drop to 7th after their defeat.

The drama unfolds

In glorious Spring sunshine, and with flags for once hanging limp, HB Kvinnur took an early lead.  Marianna Jacobsen was brought down from behind in the box in the 3rd minute and Rudi Zachariassen converted the penalty, although keeper Hanna Poulsen got a touch.  0-1

Zachariassen's penalty hits the back of the net

The match looked to be running away from the hosts when a second was scored after 11 minutes.  Jacobsen was played through the middle, and she had time to steady herself before finishing with confidence.  0-2

ÍF Kvinnur got one back after 22 minutes through their player-of-the-match, Jensa Olsen.  She flicked the ball over the approaching keeper with the outside of her foot after a good through ball.  1-2  The clip shows some action from the first half.

The game hinged on the last 5 minutes of the half.  After 40 minutes, Zachariassen, who had caused problems throughout the game, burst through the home defence in the left channel and finished superbly high into the far corner for her second goal.  1-3

ÍF should have scored immediately in reply, but a header came back off the post, and there was another clear shooting chance before the whistle.  As it was, HB took a two-goal cushion into the interval.  1-3 at half-time

As the second half began, ÍF pressed forward and Olsen had a couple of half-chances with shots from distance.  Then a flowing HB move involving Steintóra Joensen and Hildur Egilsdóttir led to Jacobsen’s shot creeping agonisingly past the post.  The fourth goal came on 68 minutes.  It was similar to the second - Jacobsen took the central route and was strong and composed as she finished superbly.  1-4

She completed her hat-trick nine minutes from the end with a shot off the bar as the ball fell to her 18 yards out from a corner. In the end it was comfortable enough for HB who won this game without any major scares.  Final score 1-5

Blue & White v Red & White - anyone else getting Subbuteo flashbacks from childhood?
In the following game, table toppers KÍ had the better of the opening few minutes.  One shot fizzed narrowly wide and ÍF goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen had to pull off a smart-one handed save from a free-kick.  The visitors duly took the lead with a goal from number 13 after thirteen minutes.   Kristoffer Jakobsen took one good touch on a through ball and scored easily.  0-1

My first clip is timed just after this, as ÍF immediately went in search of an equaliser.  

Mid-way through the half they had two chances in quick succession.  Jan Ellingsgaard hit the bar with a looping shot and Christian Muomaife headed just over.  They left themselves vulnerable to swift KÍ breaks and Aleksandar Jovevic had to take a yellow card for a cynical trip on one such occasion.  The resulting free-kick only led to a corner, which also came to nothing.

KÍ’s Høgni Zachariassen showed that the honourable art of centre-back shooting is alive and well.  Jovevic rolled the ball to him in space and the ball-boy may reach puberty before he finds that one.  As I was trying to count the number of youngsters around me wearing some sort of English Premiership item of clothing, (I lost count), ÍF’s Bogi Løkin had a header pushed away just before the whistle.  0-1 at half-time

The second half started as a midfield shutout, with no real chance of note until the hour mark when another ÍF header went over, this time from Uni Petersen.  The home side had plenty of possession but again they nearly conceded on the break, as Jakobsen set up Bárður Heinesen but only for Mikkelsen to save well once again.  ÍF then forced the KÍ defence into a panicky clearance from the 6-yard box, before Jakobsen missed a great chance for his second goal.

As the final whistle drew nearer, KÍ’s tactics changed and they looked to run down the clock.  Jakobsen limped off after a couple of heavy challenges, and ÍF had one more good chance in stoppage time as a shot went narrowly wide from 20 yards.  The win was greeted joyfully by the travelling support in a crowd of around 500.  My final clip is taken from the dying seconds as I moved back to try to capture the feel of the arena.  Final score 0-1

Post-match entertainment
A drive along the old road from Fuglafjorður to Leirvík in gorgeous sunshine, pausing only to look at the site of the Islands’ only hot spring (well, warm at 18 degrees Celsius) and for the pastry of the day.

Learn Faroese through football
Hósdagur  Thursday
Sól  Sun
Lot  Light breeze
Fjorðingsfinalur Quarter-final
Hálvfinalur  Semi-final

What Next?
A number of possibilities for Saturday to be investigated which should allow me to visit at least one more venue.  The most likely is Argir for AB’s game with FC Suðuroy in the second tier.  I really don't want to think about the flight back on Sunday, the laundry on Monday, and the in-tray on Tuesday.  As ever, thanks for your interest.  I have tried to explain the concept of "groundhopping" to the local supporters, and they are more than ready to welcome an invasion of English eccentrics.


  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this!
    I'm a Faroese football nut (one of the few who's not too bothered about the EPL). I'm a staunch supporter of ÍF, currently living in Scotland.
    Over the last hour I've read through all your entries about the trip and it's entertaining and enlightening to see an outsider's view of Faroese football. You've noticed things which I haven't thought about before.

    Sorry to see ÍF lose this one.

    Btw. I can hear by the accent of the people chatting around you that you were sitting among the KÍ-fans. :)

  2. Oddur, thanks for the comment! Yes, I was wearing blue as it happened so thought I blended better. I did see ÍF's bizarre win in the wind at Toftir earlier in the tour, as you will have seen. Love the big floppy red-and-white hats!

  3. Yeah I nervously followed that one online, we usually have trouble at that ground. If you ever come back then august is a good time, you'll catch the cup final.
    I absolutely love the game hopping concept, you've inspired me to do something similar when I've finished my degree.
    I don't know your policy on links but this is us at last year's cup final:
    It took me about two weeks to get over the 1-0 loss.