Iceland out to repeat brave show


Iceland v Hungary

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MARSEILLE • Two of Euro 2016's surprise teams face off today, as Iceland face Hungary in Group F.

Iceland came from behind to hold Portugal 1-1 in their first game in the tournament, while the Hungarians secured a convincing 2-0 victory over Austria.

Hungary, who are playing in their first European Championship since 1972, have won their last five games against Iceland.

"You can see how they (Hungary) are progressing as a squad and a team," Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson said. "They are a really compact and solid team, known for their defensive side of the game, but against Austria, you could see how strong they are in attack. All praise goes to Bernd Storck and the coaching team."

Iceland will need to reproduce the resilience that subdued Portugal and three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Our defending was fantastic. We were well organised and worked really hard," Hallgrimsson said.

"With a win against Hungary, we'd probably be almost there and holding the group's strongest team to a draw should be a massive confidence boost.

"It's really good to have a point. We can go into the next game a little bit more relaxed."

Iceland are playing in their first major tournament and they will not be distracted from their preparations by any thoughts of celebrating the country's Independence Day yesterday.

"Celebrate tomorrow?" forward Johann Gudmundsson said.

"No, we are not celebrating. We will let the fans do that. Hopefully, we can celebrate after the game."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Iceland out to repeat brave show'. Print Edition | Subscribe