Iceland 1-1 Hungary: Late own goal means points shared

Iceland's Birkir Saevarsson scores an own goal during the Euro 2016 Group F match between Iceland and Hungary in Marseille Picture: Ariel Schalit/AP
Iceland's Birkir Saevarsson scores an own goal during the Euro 2016 Group F match between Iceland and Hungary in Marseille Picture: Ariel Schalit/AP
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A late own goal from Birkir Saevarsson saw Hungary snatch a 1-1 draw and avoid an unexpected defeat against Iceland.

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 40th-minute penalty had put Iceland on course for victory – and perhaps in sight of a place in the last 16 – in a tight Group F clash in Marseille.

But Hungary had dominated possession throughout against an Iceland side content to defend and the pressure finally told in the 88th minute as Saevarsson turned a Nemanja Nikolic cross into his own net.

That sparked jubilant celebrations in the crowd at the Stade Velodrome with fireworks, as has become common in the tournament, again being set off.

Hungary will feel the result was the least they deserved, although they found chances hard to come by.

Captain Balazs Dzsudzsak did have one chance in the early stages but his fierce shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Aron Gunnarsson and he later had another effort deflected for a corner.

Iceland went close when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed over and Sigurdsson might have hoped for a better outcome after whipping in a dangerous-looking ball that evaded everyone.

Iceland came alive on the half-hour mark as Sigurdsson outmuscled Tamas Kadar to turn and shoot but Gabor Kiraly saved well with his feet.

Kiraly needed to stand up well again just moments later, but this time to redeem himself after playing team-mate Richard Guzmics into trouble. Guzmics was forced into a rushed clearance from a poor Kiraly pass and Iceland intercepted. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson swept in but the goalkeeper turned his shot away for a corner.

The danger was not over, however, and Kiraly compounded his error by spilling the corner. The ball ran loose and Gunnarsson went down under a Kadar challenge. It was perhaps a harsh penalty but Sigurdsson made no mistake from the spot.

Iceland seemed content to sit on their lead in the second half, although Bodvarsson attempted the spectacular with an overhead kick that flew well wide.

Hungary were allowed to keep pushing forward but Iceland stayed deep and limited their opportunities. Dzsudzsak did take aim with two long-range free-kicks but only one of them troubled Hannes Halldorsson, and the goalkeeper clutched that at the second attempt.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between but Hungary’s pressure eventually bore fruit as they found space down the right with 87 minutes on the clock.

Laszlo Kleinheisler released Nikolic and his cross into the middle was diverted in by a tired Saevarsson.

Iceland might have snatched the lead back in injury time but Sigursson fired a free-kick into the wall and veteran substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen put the rebound wide.

Hungary coach Bernd Storck felt his side claimed the least they deserved. He said: “I’m proud of my side, that we had so much possession and played football, always trying to stretch the game.

“We’re very happy with our performance and the late goal. It was a big bit of luck but a deserved one because we dominated the game.”

Storck paid tribute to the resilience of Iceland, who also drew against Portugal in their opener.

He said: “Iceland have a lot of experience – that’s why it was difficult for us. Considering their results in qualifying against the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Turkey, they’re a top team – that’s what you can’t forget.”

Iceland joint manager Heimir Hallgrimsson said: “We were happy with a point against Portugal but we’re disappointed with this result. We put a lot of effort into defending, what we did badly was keeping the ball. That was probably down to tiredness in the end.”