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Böðvarsson and Iceland bow out of World Cup

Croatia defeat seals exit for Iceland

27 June 2018

Iceland's first ever appearance at a World Cup ended in defeat on Tuesday night, with Croatia taking a 2-1 win over Jón Daði Böðvarsson and his countrymen in Group D.

Academy

Gylfi makes Royals Academy history with World Cup goal!

27 June 2018

While Argentina pulled off a late win against Nigeria, circumstances meant that victory for Iceland would have seen them progress into the Round of 16 in the tournament.

Royals striker Böðvarsson was an unused substitute in Iceland's final encounter, with a late goal from Ivan Perisic giving Croatia a 100% record to take into the knockout stages.

They didn't have it all their own way, though, with Iceland pressing from the outset - knowing that a win could be enough to take them through.

Alfred Finnbogason and Birkir Bjarnason both went close in the first half for Iceland, but their early hopes were dashed after a powerful finish from Milan Badelj put them behind.

Iceland played with freedom in the second half, giving everything they had to try and salvage something from the game - with Sverrir Ingason's effort crashing off the bar.

However, they had a late glimmer of hope in a moment of history for the Royals' Academy. Gylfi Sigurðsson, who graduated from the Reading youth system, powered home a penalty with 15 minutes remaining to leave a grandstand finish in Rostov-on-Don.

This was the first time that any player to graduate from our Academy has scored a goal in football's biggest competition.

With Argentina leading against Nigeria, a late winner for Iceland would have sent them through to set up a tie against France in the last 16. It was Croatia, though, who sealed victory with Perisic's late drive across goal and into the top corner.

Iceland should return home with their heads held high after their endeavours in their first ever World Cup. We would like to congratulate them on their achievements, and we look forward to welcoming Jón Daði back to pre-season training after a well-earned break!


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