Monday, 18 April 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Winners are ... KÍ

Hopperational details
Date & Venue: Sunday 17 April at the Injector Arena, Klaksvík
Results and Competitions:
KÍ 3  B68 Toftir 1 (Premier League, top tier)
KÍ Kvinnur 9  HB Kvinnur 0 (Women’s 1.deild, top tier for women)
Hopping:  Two matches but only one venue.

Pre-match entertainment

Scenic drives around the northern islands, with a rainbow en route.

These matches in one sentence each
KÍ were helped on their way to the top of the table by a goalkeeping error for the game’s second goal.
KÍ Kvinnur demonstrated why they are the irresistible force in Faroese women’s football with a demolition of their opponents from Tórshavn.

So what?
Newly-promoted KÍ are one of three teams to have won both their games but they have a superior goal difference and therefore head the table.  B68 are one of three teams yet to win a point.  In today’s other games which completed the second round, EB/Streymur go third with a win at ÍF and B36 are second after their home win over B71.
KÍ Kvinnur have won all three of their games and head their table too.  They have won the league in every year beginning with 2 and looks like they will get their twelfth in a row this year.

The drama unfolds 
This match was played in near-ideal windless and fairly mild conditions!  B68’s defender Niclas Joensen was given an early yellow card for a mistimed tackle as Bárður Heinesen threatened.  KÍ’s keeper Gunnar á Steig was then called into action to make a save from a free-kick as both sides tried to take the initiative.  B68’s Hjalgrím Elltør unsuccessfully tried an outrageous curling free-kick from near the half-way line after 20 minutes.  The sparring continued - a quick B68 corner caught the home defence asleep and led to a headed chance for Ndende Guéye but KÍ immediately countered and only a late block prevented a shot on target at the other end.  Joensen was kept very busy.  The home supporters in a crowd of around 500 applauded every attempted through ball and were warm and encouraging to their team.  My scene-setting clip is taken from the first few minutes of the game.    are in blue.

Gradually KÍ began to create the better chances.  Bárður Heinesen span away from his marker in midfield and passed to Nenad Stankovic, who was unlucky as his dipping shot bounced up off the bar.  One of several crosses from the right by Henry Heinesen produced a chance for Elltør, but he snatched at the shot and sent it wide.

The deadlock was broken after 39 minutes.  B68 defender Oddur Hgaard and keeper Torður Thomsen failed to deal with a bouncing ball through the middle - I cannot say from where I was standing at the other end whether either or both were at fault - but Bárður Heinesen nipped in to score.  1-0

Both sides had one more chance before half-time.  Joensen headed over from a corner and Elltør brought a good save from Thomsen.  1-0 at half-time

Thomsen was called into action again a few seconds after the restart, but KÍ really should have gone two up.  However, a second goal did arrive after 54 minutes.  A disputed free-kick was given for handball (harsh, I thought).  Høgni Madsen shaped to cross but instead fired it in to the near post.  The photo shows that Thomsen had it covered but somehow he contrived to let it creep in.  2-0

After this, KÍ continued to make chances.  Henry Heinesen created a chance for Kristoffur Jacobsen, who shot over.  Elltør finally got the goal he had been threatening, with a low shot to the corner after 76 minutes.  Cue wild celebrations!  3-0  They nearly added a fourth when Jacobsen pulled the ball back for Jógvan Isaksen whose shot was saved by Thomsen at full stretch.

B68 did get a consolation goal after 81 minutes.  Joensen won the header from a corner and in the ensuing melée Ibrahima Camara got the goal.  However, KÍ saw out the final few minutes to hang on to the points.  Final score 3-1

Sadly, very few people stayed on to watch the top-tier women’s game, which followed on the same pitch.  The first clip is taken from the opening minutes with the score at 0-0.

KÍ Kvinnur dominated from start to finish.  Maria Thomsen has been credited with the first goal, though I thought Sofía Purkhús got the last touch.  It turns out to be important in deciding which of them has a hat-trick.  Thomsen, Purkhús, Sigrid Jacobsen and Rannvá  Andreasen caused all sorts of problems with their combination play up front, and how Jacobsen did not score today she will never know.  She had at least four good chances.  The attackers were supported by a dominant central midfield performance by captain Malena Josephsen, and assured central defensive displays by Paula Mikkelsen and Bára Klakstein.  HB struggled to clear their lines, even from goal kicks, so they were faced with wave after wave of KÍ Kvinnur attacks.

Here’s the chronological record.  I can't really say the drama unfolded, as in TV terms this was about as dramatic as the test card.

Purkhús just fails to get the last touch on Thomsen’s through ball but it goes in anyway.  1-0
Josephsen sets up Purkhús to score.  2-0
Thomsen passes from the left for Andreasen’s first.  3-0
Thomsen’s second, as caught on camera.  4-0

Andreasen’s second, an easy finish after a poor clearance.  5-0 at half-time
A curling shot from 20m by Andreasen to complete her hat-trick.  6-0
Andreasen lays the ball off to Purkhús who finishes.  7-0
Josephsen deservedly gets herself on the score sheet with a well-crafted approach and finish.  8-0
Thomsen completes her hat-trick within a minute 9-0

To be fair to HB, they made KÍ work harder in the second half, but they never closed down Josephsen.  Gunn Mohr Hentze was their most impressive player, with some neat touches going forward, but there was an enormous difference in class and confidence between the two teams.  Home keeper Randi Wardum had very little to do - the first two shots from HB were not until the second half and then they were off-target.  If I have not mentioned the entire  team it is only because the others must have had relatively little to do - they had no weak links in the side.

What I learned today
I encountered single track tunnels today for the first time in my driving experience.  If the passing places, every 100m or so, are on the right, then you have to pull in and wait for oncoming traffic to pass.  This is an example of something that is best NOT left to chance, I guess!

Something random
Sadly, I will miss this but let's hope it tours to London.

Learn Faroese through football
Litið lot  Gentle breeze
Álop  Attack

What Next?
NSÍ play B68 on Wednesday, but I am in search of a youth game on Monday afternoon too. 

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