By Sportswriter Paul Giblin
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Iceland won’t be changing their strategy much when they
play Nigeria in their World Cup group’s second game in
Volgograd on Friday.
opening game of the tournament saw them hold Argentina
to a 1-1 draw to give Heimar Hallgrimsson’s side a
fighting chance of reaching the last 16, but to do that
they realistically need to beat a Nigeria side which is
disappointed in their first game when they lost 2-0 to
achievement of the Icelandic side can be put into
perspective by the fact the country has a population 556
times smaller than Nigeria, but as they showed in the
2016 European Championships and in qualifying for
Russia, Iceland are not going to be intimidated by
anyone, but neither are they going to be overconfident.
think we are better than Nigeria. We know our strengths,
and need to make the best of them,” Hallgrimsson said in
an interview with FIFA TV.
of Iceland’s best recent results have come when they
surrender possession to their rivals. Indeed, they had
less than 30 percent possession when they beat England
in France in 2016 and drew against Argentina in Moscow
five days ago.
they would have the possession, they have many of the
best attacking players in the world. But we have a team
that is at its best when we have the opposition in front
of us, and we have clinical attacking players when we
attack,” Iceland’s hero of that game, goalkeeper Hannes
Halldorsson said after facing Lionel Messi.
therefore is not predicting much of a change on Friday
against a rival with players such as Victor Moses,
Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi or Jon Obi Mikel in their
to find what kind of playing style, what kind of
characteristics this Icelandic team needs to have, and
what identity an Icelandic national player needs to
have. And this is the way for Iceland to be successful,”
also expect to have around 20,000 fans cheering them on
in Volgograd as they look to write another chapter in
their incredible recent history.