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Spain dominate in victory over Iceland in U-19 Euros opener

Spain’s Gonzalo Garcia heads the ball at goal against Iceland. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

ICELAND           1

Thornsteinsson 90

SPAIN                                2

Gasiorowski 16

Barbera 47

ICELAND L. Petersson, H. Karlsson, L. Robertsson, T. Antonsson (46 A. Adalsteinsson), A. Gislason (58 D. Kristjansson), B. Brynjolfsson, G. Thordarson (58 S. Jorundsson), A. Birgisson, G. Nokkvason (58 H. Haraldsson), E. Gudmundsson (79 R. Thorkelsson), A. Thorsteinsson.

SPAIN B. Aleman, A. Valle (90 E. Puyol), Y. Gasiorowski, A. Casas, I. Fresneda, D. Perez (72 A. Diao), M. Angel (83 A. Garrido), C. Palacios (90 F. Garreta), G. Garcia, V. Barbera (72 S. Omorodion), I. Akhomach.

Referee Gergo Bogar (Hungary FA).

Yellow cards Brynjolfsson, Gudmundsson, Haraldsson.

Red card Brynjolfsson (Iceland).

Spain overcame Iceland 2-1 at the UEFA Under-19 European Championships in a contest that was largely dominated by the Spanish. However, a late Icelandic goal could have spelled trouble for Jose Lana’s clan.

Spain always looked the more dominant side, but Iceland stood tough in the opening stages of the match, the only valid chance coming to Dani Perez whose header went wide after nine minutes.

However, it was an onslaught from Spain and 15 minutes into the fixture, Iceland succumbed as Yarek Gasiorowski volleyed home from an Ilias Akhomach corner

Akhomach, who was the star of the show for Spain on the night, could have made it two on 19 minutes after an individual effort, breaking past two defenders and forcing a diving save from Iceland goalkeeper Lukas Petersson.

Eggert Gudmundsson finally created Iceland’s first chance in attack on 23 minutes with another individual run into the area before hitting a shot which was deflected into a corner. From the flagkick, the same player hit a volleyed shot which went just over.

Spain’s attacking dominance continued and they nearly made it two in spectacular fashion right before halftime when Gonzalo Garcia put in a cross which Victor Barbera attempted to meet with an overhead kick. Barbera missed the ball but Manuel Angel was there, seeing his effort deflected into a corner.

Akhomach was the catalyst once again after the break as his pass to Barbera who showed his determination after his first shot was blocked by Petersson but grabbed the rebound to tap the ball into an empty net.

Two minutes later Gonzalo Garcia could have made it three, but he mistimed his shot from the right.

It was by now, Spain’s game with the ball cemented in the Icelandic half, as the Nordic side conceded to clearing the ball away with every attack with no real chance to escape Spain’s pressure.

77 minutes in newly substituted Samuel Omorodion went close to adding to Spain’s lead after a low cross from Akhomach but he skied his effort.

To make matters worse for Iceland, Bjarni Brynjolfsson, who had been particularly rough throughout the game received his second yellow card, and his marching orders with three minutes to go.

In spite of this, a late run on the left saw the ball fall to Agust Thorsteinsson who fired a whipped shot into the net and past Bruno Aleman to ruin his clean sheet after what had been quite an easy game for the Spanish goalkeeper.

Spain’s cool and composed play was thrown out of the window after this, but they held on until the final whistle.

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