Iceland lost its first game in the World Men’s Handball Championship in France yesterday, 27-21 against Spain in Group B. Iceland performed well in the first half, leading by two goals at half time, 12-10. However, Spain struck back in the second half, defeating Iceland.
Iceland’s best player was goalkeeper Björgvin Páll Gústavsson. He deflected 13 shots in the first half, including three penalties, and 19 shots in total (41 percent of all shots). He also scored one goal. Captain Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson scored the most goals, five in total, Vísir reports.
Iceland played good defense in the first half and were active in the offense, too, scoring the first two goals of the game and achieving a lead by four goals after only three minutes. The start of the second half was promising with the score being 15-13 for Iceland after seven minutes.
Then Spain improved their defensive play, Icelandic players got suspended and Spain scored one goal after the other. Meanwhile, Iceland didn’t score for nine minutes. When Iceland finally got back in the game, the gap between the teams was too great and Spain stood up as winner.
Iceland’s next game in the preliminary round is against Slovenia on Saturday. The 2017 World Cup the first championship for Iceland’s manager Geir Sveinsson. As a player, he competed for Iceland in a number of championships, including the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.
Today, Denmark, led by Icelandic manager Guðmundur Guðmundsson; Germany, under the lead of Dagur Sigurðsson, also from Iceland; and Sweden, coached by Icelander Kristján Andrésson, will play in their respective groups, ruv.is reports.