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Böðvarsson starts at the World Cup

Royals striker takes on Nigeria on the biggest stage of all

22 June 2018

For the first time since 2006, we've had a Royal representing their country at the World Cup!

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Jón Daði Böðvarsson started for Iceland in their crunch clash against Nigeria. With Argentina losing on Thursday night, the winners would take a big step towards qualification for the knockout stages of the competition. Unfortunately for Iceland, Nigeria ran out 2-0 winners on Friday afternoon.

Former Royal, Gylfi Sigurðsson, had the first chance of the game as he tested the gloves of the Nigerian goalkeeper with a looping free-kick over the wall.

It was a fiercely competitive first half in Volgograd, with both sides showing spells of supremacy in the game. Nigeria found it tough to break down the famously tight Icelandic defence, though, while Böðvarsson and his team-mates aimed to press further up.

Both teams looked to attack but the stifling heat in Russia appeared to make proceedings physically tougher for the nations.

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The first period ended with a good of pressure for Iceland, Böðvarsson was brought down on the far side and a free-kick was whipped in by Sigurðsson. Alfreð Finnbogason, goalscorer in the opener for Iceland, got a touch but couldn't direct it at goal.

A corner was then met by Böðvarsson in first half stoppage time, as his header went back across goal and just wide of the far post.

However, Nigeria nabbed the lead early in the second half. The Super Eagles broke on the counter after an Iceland long throw, Victor Moses crossed to Leicester's Ahmed Musa, whose cushioned touch and volley fired Nigeria ahead.

Iceland were not perturbed at going behind, having come from a goal down to draw with Argentina last weekend.

They kept pressing high and tried to force themselves back into proceedings, while Nigeria appeared to try and slow the pace of the game and preserve their slender advantage.

Böðvarsson was withdrawn at the 70-minute mark, and Musa was soon on the scoresheet again to double Nigeria's lead.

Sigurðsson had a golden chance to pull one back for Iceland, after a VAR review awarded them a penalty. He took a short run-up but couldn't keep his penalty down, his shot sailing past the upright.

Iceland's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages have taken a blow, but there's still a slender chance of getting through if they beat group leaders, Croatia, on Tuesday night.

Fixture List 2018/19

Fixture List 2018/19

Our full schedule for the forthcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign...

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