Sigurdsson scores but Iceland are eliminated

Tuesday, 26 June, 2018 43comments  |  Jump to most recent

Gylfi Sigurdsson's 76th-minute penalty was ultimately rendered immaterial by Ivan Perisic's winner
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored an equaliser from the spot to give Iceland hope of qualifying for the knockout phase but Croatia ultimately prevailed to top Group D at the World Cup this evening.

The Everton midfielder atoned for his penalty miss against Nigeria to level the match with a quarter of an hour to go, cancelling out Milan Badelj's opener, but Ivan Perisic won it for the Croatians in the final minute.

The Nordic side needed to win and hope that Argentina didn't beat Nigeria by a bigger margin in the other decisive match in the group.

In the end, the Argentines saved themselves with a 2-1 win but it was immaterial as far as Iceland's fate was concerned.

The result ends Sigurdsson's participation in the tournament and ensures that he will play a part in the bulk of the Blues' pre-season preparations after a permitted post-Russia break.  

Reader Comments (43)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 26/06/2018 at 22:12:40
Well, he looks ready to go.

This guy is in the Gareth Barry mold. Not the position he plays or physical capabilities. But how he plays. An always fit, talented top pro. We need more like him.

I can't wait for the season to start.

Jamie Sweet
2 Posted 26/06/2018 at 22:46:09
Took some bottle to step up again and elect to hit a very similar penalty to the one he missed against Nigeria. I thought it was going over again when it left his boot!

Nice rest for him now, a decent pre-season and hopefully Silva can find a way to get the best out of a hugely talented player.

Tom Bowers
3 Posted 26/06/2018 at 22:56:23
Iceland are a decent team but blew too many chances overall. I would have liked them to advance instead of the Argies.

Speaking of the Argies, can anyone agree with me that some players at the highest level have very little going on inside their heads?

Having seen what VAR has been doing with penalty incidents in previous games, why on earth is idiot Mascherano doing grasping and clutching an opponent so blatantly at a time when they were leading and needed to win the game?

It's just inexplicable and, if they hadn't got through in the end, then his teammates may have lynched him.

Bill Gienapp
4 Posted 26/06/2018 at 23:53:09
Iceland was one of the teams I was pulling for going into the World Cup, but they just weren't good enough – particularly in a competitive group.

They grind, they play with a lot of self-belief and they operate as a team. But their overall lack of quality and creativity means their margin for error is extremely slim.

I'm glad though that Sigurdsson can tell his grandkids that he scored a goal in the World Cup.

I also think Argentina's been absolutely insufferable and really hope France cleans their clock.

Jim Harrison
5 Posted 27/06/2018 at 03:43:59
Tom (#3),

I thought very similar. The Man City defender who blasted the ball into an opponent who was lying on the floor after the whistle? He actually got away with it, but what are you thinking?

The Panama players too. Had Stones not scored, the first there would have all been penalties. For Kane's second, they gave away 3 pens simultaneously. Had the ref not seen, they would surely have been given by review.

Darren Hind
6 Posted 27/06/2018 at 03:49:23
Took it on the referee's whistle. Took a proper run-up – like he respected the keeper.

Got his technique right with his body over the ball ensuring he didn't send it over the bar. It's not the mistakes we make in life, it's how we learn from them

Sorry to see Iceland out. Their fans will always bring something special to any major tournament.

Now we are heading towards the business end of the tournament. This is where the "lucky bastards" start to get good.

John G Davies
7 Posted 27/06/2018 at 06:21:20
Straws being firmly clutched.

Just looked at the two penalties. Exactly the same preparation; exactly the same run-up. One went in, one missed.

Ajay Gopal
8 Posted 27/06/2018 at 09:19:29
Good for him to get a goal, will do no harm to his confidence.

I like Gylfi – he is an intelligent footballer, he is committed, might be slow but he gives it 100%. If Everton can get 2 excellent seasons from him, he being our playmaker, that would do us fine. Mind you, we did pay an insane amount of money, but that is all water under the bridge.

Everton might be able to make it up by signing Wilshere on a free! A midfield 3 of Gana, Siggy, Wilshere (backed up by Davies, McCarthy, Baningime, and Dowell) may not be too shabby – definitely not Top 6, but just enough to coast along in the 7th-10th position until we make the step up.

Les Green
9 Posted 27/06/2018 at 10:50:50
Jim @5: I noticed at the beginning of the 2nd half against Panama, their manager made a point of approaching Southgate, speaking to him and shaking his hand.

Right after that, I noticed they'd stopped all their stupid shenanigans, and subsequently conceded less. The light must have finally gone on during the half-time talk, I guess.

Phil Sammon
10 Posted 27/06/2018 at 10:54:23

That is a staggering comment considering all your bluster the last couple of days.

He took the same run up and hit the ball as high as possible without missing. If anything, he learnt nothing. He just got it right this time.

I can't believe you're trying to claim vindication on this one. New depths officially plumbed.

Dermot Byrne
11 Posted 27/06/2018 at 11:02:16
Phil... in the post you are annoyed about, it is worth noting

"It's not the mistakes we make in life, it's how we learn from them."

That must have been hard to admit and credit where it is due!

Dermot Byrne
12 Posted 27/06/2018 at 11:03:35
More seriously, if nothing else, the World Cup will see his fitness improved – and I'm pleased with that.
Jim Harrison
13 Posted 27/06/2018 at 11:07:36
Les (#9),

You maybe right. Perhaps the occasion got to them in the first half. I don't think I have seen such cynical tactics in a top-level game for a long time
Even without review technology, it was a naive approach. I am all up for a physical game but some of the antics were plain stupidity.

Brent Stephens
14 Posted 27/06/2018 at 11:33:53
Pleased for Gylfi that this one went in. A pressure kick, having already missed one. Good for his confidence, so good for us.
Jerome Shields
15 Posted 27/06/2018 at 12:20:10
I sure he is relieved to score that penalty.
Darren Hind
16 Posted 27/06/2018 at 13:05:51

I don't need vindication. Both penalties are available on YouTube for anyone to compare.

An ability to see and basic numerical skills will help. If you see anything like the same number of run-up steps, consult either specsavers or a maths teacher.

I have to do a double-take when people make two penalties to be exactly the same, only one missed and the other didn't. The fact he sent one so high over the bar and the other one a foot under it says everything.

Hopefully he will have learned his lesson and will never again disrespect a keeper with this two-step nonsense.

That way, Everton will benefit.

Vin Genova
17 Posted 27/06/2018 at 13:17:23
I thought that same thing, Jamie (#2)! So much confidence to smash into the roof of the net a game after sending one over the bar, most players would've rolled a grass cutter somewhere in that situation.

The left-mid on Iceland, Bjarnason, reminds me a lot of Calvert-Lewin in that he works hard, puts himself in great positions for a number of chances, but has absolutely zero end product right now. He wasted so many chances throughout the tournament; Iceland probably goes through if he was more clinical.

Oh well, underdog story over and Gylfi returns healthy, looking like a world-class string puller in the midfield.

John G Davies
18 Posted 27/06/2018 at 13:46:07

That's only on your YouTube, Darren. Anyone else's shows the same technique. He took exactly the same amount of steps in the run-up to both penalties.

It's not off the cuff, you know. They do practice them with repetition.

Ray Robinson
19 Posted 27/06/2018 at 15:11:51
Darren, what on Earth does the number of steps have to do with it? It was a bad penalty, he missed it horribly – no need to analyse further. Can happen to any player. That must be one hell of a juicy bone, by the way.
Phil Sammon
20 Posted 27/06/2018 at 21:30:46

Just to humour you, I rewatched both penalties.

First: three steps, hit high, missed.

Second: three steps, hit high, scored. Into the roof of the net, no less.

I guess you can dream up stories of his lack of concentration and his ego getting the better of him... but you cannot rewrite the documented filmed footage of the guy taking three steps on both occasions.

Andy Crooks
21 Posted 27/06/2018 at 21:46:25
His first penalty was truly dreadful. The second one was almost truly dreadful. In fact, to me, the second one demonstrated that the first was not an aberration but simply proof that he should never take a penalty for our club.

David Barks
22 Posted 27/06/2018 at 21:47:00
Both penalties included exactly 3 steps. Left foot first, then right, then plant left foot and kick. Exactly the same set up, same number of steps. This is just ridiculous now.
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 27/06/2018 at 22:02:21
That's was my maths as well, David. Left, right, left and shot.

"Both penalties are available on YouTube for anyone to compare".




Petards are dangerous.

John Pierce
24 Posted 27/06/2018 at 22:16:02
Someone has been Tango’d!!! 😳😳😳
John Boon
25 Posted 28/06/2018 at 02:10:35
Watching the World Cup, I continue to be amazed by two particular aspects of the game that never occurred when I was playing football. I would be considered as an old timer and only an amateur player. However, the game itself was just as tough and when you got kicked, you just gritted your teeth and got on with the game.

1. The ridiculous rolling around by supposedly injured players. In all the time I played, I don't remember ever rolling about as though you had broken both of your legs in three places. Nor do I remember players on the opposing team acting like spoiled 5-year-olds screaming and actually crying.

2. The grabbing of bodies and shirts in the penalty area seems to be out of control. Corners now take twice as long to take as is actually needed.

One more thing. Far too much crying because your team lost. I might sound like a heartless bastard but so many of these happenings make me cringe. Neymar is a perfect example of a brilliant footballer who is basically a super gifted wimp.

Stan Mathews, Tom Finney, Duncan Edwards and a whole host of top-class players would be horrified to think that such melodramatic, overpaid football actors continue to scream, cry and roll around the hallowed turf of a football field. Just "Grow Up", or get a real job.

Darren Hind
26 Posted 28/06/2018 at 05:42:14
One last try

The evidence has been put up there for anybody to draw their own conclusions

Player takes longer first time than second time - check

Player strolls up to first and runs with purpose for second = check

Player has longer run up for second = check - The clue is in the distance between him and the ball. If you are still determined to see the same penalty, ask yourself why the guy actually disappears out of camera shot for the second.

Player leans back casually first penalty, does no such thing for the second.

I won't say any more than I have on this; if I respond to post directed at me, I will be accused of not letting it drop by the very people who posted them. So I will draw a line under my part of this debate and simply leave them to ponder the absurdity of their claim.

"The penalty was identical... It`s just that one nearly dislodged the net and the other nearly dislodged a beam in the stand above."

You might want to give that little pearl of wisdom a bit more thought.

John G Davies
27 Posted 28/06/2018 at 06:25:44
"Player takes longer first time than second time, check." Reason? The referee delays kick while clearing the edge of the area.

Player strolls up to first and runs with purpose for second. — No. He doesn't. Player takes same amount of steps backwards after placing the ball, both approaches are identical.

You're making it up as you go along.

Martin Nicholls
28 Posted 28/06/2018 at 08:04:05
I'll bet poor John MacFarlane Senior is getting mightily confused by all this! He has his own posts in relation to his own article restricted in number whilst Darren manages about 11 posts on the "Sigurdsson misses..." thread and continues on the same subject with three more on this one.
Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 28/06/2018 at 09:18:02
John. (#25), I think a lot of fans over 50 and certainly fans older than that would agree with all of your post. Most of this World Cup discussed by fans of my age has been about the ridiculous acting and whinging, and the poor quality of a large proportion of the teams involved.

It has to be said fans of all ages have been impressed by the way Russia has run the World Cup and the way the fans have behaved and mingled together. I hope this part of the World Cup continues.

Tony Waring
32 Posted 28/06/2018 at 10:02:16
It's noticeable that there have been no reports of hooliganism amongst the fans; the English louts have stayed at home and the Russian equivalent are presumably in Siberia somewhere!

The unacceptable behaviour has been reserved exclusively for some players and I just wish referees would do something about it. A yellow or red card would send out a warning to the guilty!

John McFarlane Snr
33 Posted 28/06/2018 at 11:38:14
Hi Dave [30], In years gone by, I would watch football of any level, from schoolboys to internationals, and I would find myself favouring a side maybe because they were the underdogs, or a player would catch my eye. I know that we look back through rose-tinted glasses, but I'm becoming a little disenchanted with the histrionics of today's players, the feigning of injury, the calling for opponents to be booked, and now the requests for the use of VAR at every opportunity.

I am on record on one of these threads, stating that I fully accept the goal line technology, because the decision is instant, but I do believe that it was the thin end of the wedge. I appreciate that it's vital that the correct decisions are reached, but where the referee was in sole charge of the game. we now have 3 or 4 others sitting in a studio, and instead of the referee requesting assistance if there is a doubt in his mind, these extra assistants are actually sowing the seeds of doubt.

People are now suggesting that teams be allowed to lodge X number of appeals, it won't be long before we have a situation where a player will be introduced to take a penalty kick, and then return to the bench to await another spot kick, or a free kick in a goal scoring position.

I think I'm borrowing this phrase from Star Trek, "It's football Dave, but not as we know it"

Brent Stephens
34 Posted 28/06/2018 at 11:58:55
Dave #30, John #33, I think we all detest the histrionics. Re the VAR debate, I'm attracted by the use of VAR in cricket where there are a limited number of appeals to VAR by each side; and by rugby where the question from a ref is, for example, "is there any reason why I cannot award the try"; unless there is clear evidence, then the original decision should stand.
Dermot Byrne
35 Posted 28/06/2018 at 12:39:52
Tend to agree Brent. Think the comparison with rubgy worth looking at. The discipline of players is far better and decisions are accepted. Perhaps that lack of discipline that is seemingly accepted in football is what is needed most of all.
Tony J Williams
36 Posted 28/06/2018 at 12:45:19
Well said Dermot, you have six foot eight fellas shying away from a diddy ref because they respect his decision and don't have the spoilt child mentality of, "If I scream and cry load enough I will get what I want"

I have always said that the easiest way to stop the in your face players is the referee to say, "If you were not directly involved in the incident or the captain, I will be booking you if you are still here in 5 seconds time"

Start waving the yellow about and they will get the message

Jay Wood

37 Posted 28/06/2018 at 12:52:17
As the song goes, I know my Everton history and can strongly identify with nostalgic moments from our past, the collective great teams we have produced, individual players and matches, individual moments of brilliance in a single game.

That said, I am not a prisoner to nostalgia.

Whilst Everton is and will always remain my truest and eternal first love in relation to football, I also love the game of football, per se. And I think the modern game, its players, its level of fitness and technique, are all truly remarkable. I could extend that to the quality of live TV broadcasts in which there is no hiding place from the all-seeing eye of the high-resolution cameras.

Yes, the play acting is a negative. But then, the previously mentioned TV cameras record and expose the attempted cheating (for that is what it is) and the culprits become 'known', the refs are wise to them and they receive the social ridicule they merit from the fans.

Yes, the tag team wrestling in the penalty area at corners and free kicks is a pain, but there are clear signs that VAR is exposing and punishing such infringements.

Yes, there have been some failings with VAR, principally, it seems to me, with the poor interpretation of the in-game referee when reviewing the call.

However, it is still a fledgeling system which the refs themselves have little or no experience of and so are 'learning on the job'. Bumps on the road are inevitable. But from initially questioning the validity and application of VAR (based on some really poor examples from last season's English FA Cup experiment), I'm now in favour.

As it is inevitably introduced to all the major leagues and competitions, incremental improvements and greater standardization will result. With that, as can already be seen at Russia 2018, current bad habits will be reduced with players knowing there is no hiding place for their sly cheating underhand methods.

There was resistance at every sport which introduced TV technology to replay and judge close calls. At cricket, tennis, rugby and others. All review systems are now widely accepted and embraced and indeed, add an extra dimension to spectator pleasure (or anguish!) as they wait on the video evidence decision.

Very quickly, I believe, VAR will follow the same path.

Nicholas Ryan
38 Posted 28/06/2018 at 13:21:09
Tony [36], As to the respect for Rugby refs. I remember the match where England won the Rugby World Cup. The ref (Andre Watson of South Africa) was 'miked up'. He gave a penalty against England. The six foot eight Martin Johnson, enquired politely about the penalty; the five foot eight Andre Watson, said "I wasn't aware this was a fucking debate!" and walked away: Ouch!!
John Pierce
39 Posted 28/06/2018 at 13:28:04
Brent, re VAR you echo some sound points. VA needs a framed question or set of questions to arrive at a prompt and consistent outcome. Rugby, cricket and hockey all use that style of referral. Hockey is especially good at it, worth watching it in action.

The emphasis leans on the players to choose when they wish to question a decision. Tactical that maybe however that is in part what the game is about, no? No less tactical than feigning injury or subbing to run the clock down.

It also reduces, nay, stops the behaviour of the players. If VAR is triggered by a referee and is open ended players will of course surround him. If they trigger the referral and could potentially waste it, they won’t be in the referees face.

And the game is about the players, so let them decide, if they burn their review the spotlight falls on them not the official.

If you cannot successfully frame an issue then it’s too subjective and should not be a candidate for VAR.

Offside is easy to frame and interpretation is clear nowadays for passive and phased play. This review type is bang on.

Handball despite the sagas we’ve had I believe can be framed more accurately. Using distances travelled, reaction times, what is an unnatural position for a player in the air, on the ground and in a normal stance.

Penalties for me still are too open ended and too subjective. Try to frame contact is a mugs game.

Many have said this aspect has produced more correct decisions, maybe so. Of the penalties that have been awarded via VAR have many IMO, for marginal decisions.

A referral system would eradicate this as the onfield decision would need significant evidence to over turn it and teams would be reluctant to use their referral on a fishing expedition.

It would help frame clear & obvious. It’s a great debate and really hope FIFA use the data from the World Cup to reboot a VA 2.0

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 28/06/2018 at 16:37:25
Jay (37), I agree with a lot of what you say about the modern game, the speed and technique and obviously the fitness. I don't think I'll ever come to terms with VAR; some of it, yes, but I think it is used too much for too many parts of the game, especially, as pointed out by John (#39). Penalties – depends on which team is awarded the penalty, as proved in the two Derby games at Anfield last season, fans of both teams had to adjust their thinking after watching both penalties.

Jay, as for TV catching cheats and pointing them out, well Niasse and one other player were supposedly exposed, even though the referee in Niasse's case refused to change his mind over the decision. Dozens of other players were deemed to be innocent even under extreme TV exposure.

By the way, Jay, what is your opinion of TV pundits? Do you rely on them / take any notice of them? As I know you watch a great deal of football on TV, especially as you need it to watch Everton over the season, you must have needed bags of patience to watch us last season.

Jay Wood

41 Posted 28/06/2018 at 22:55:39
Hi Dave - just seen your post addressed to me.

Your example of Niasse being 'done' retrospectively last season isn't really relevant to the VAR technology, which makes the calls 'in game'. There was never 'sufficient evidence' IMO on the Niasse incident to retrospectively ban him. The failing in that instance was by the panel who sat in judgement of Niasse and the FA for ignoring the referee's report that - as you stated - even after seeing the replay, he chose not to change his call.

As for TV pundits, of course I 'hear' them when watching Everton, both in-game, pre and post game, but 'rely on them' or take (much) notice of them? Nah!

Indeed, I really never understand people getting so worked up here on TW about what pundits say. There are some good ones, but in the main, they utter cliches and make trite observations. It is more about maintaining a 'persona' and creating 'controversy' rather than offering great insight into games.

Indeed, I recall describing said 'personas' of your UK-based pundits during last season which reflected how I feel about them.

Curiously, here in Brazil, they don't heavily rely on former players as their pundits. There is one ex-player who does feature frequently by the name of Casagrande ('Big House') who I referenced recently. A fearless, pacy, powerful centre-forward in his day who could club a ball with either foot and was very good in the air - a real Andy Gray type player.

He is George Best-like in his history: turned to alcohol and drugs once his football career ended to compensate for the lack of an adrenalin rush that playing football gave him. Been through re-hab a couple of times and like all reformed addicts is all too aware he could have a relapse at any time.

I mention him because he pulls no punches. He incurred the wrath of the nation earlier this year when criticizing Neymar's theatrics, saying the media and the public were in danger of creating a 'monster' for ignoring and not condemning the less savoury side of Neymar the footballer.

I like Casagrande as I liked the late great Carlos Alberto – the captain of the great 1970 Brazilian side who scored that wonderful team goal in the final. He also featured a lot as a (rare) ex-player pundit on TV and also didn't pull any punches.

What about yourself, Dave? I can't imagine someone as learned and knowledgeable about the game such as yourself being either particular enamoured or reliant on pundits to form your opinion on matters related to footy.

Andy Crooks
42 Posted 28/06/2018 at 23:11:47
Jay, do you recall pundits of 1970? The first great panel as we called them A convention of monster egos. Malcolm Allison, Bob McNab (who?), Derek Dougan (God Almighty), Paddy Crerand, and Clough. There were many others. They set the standard for punditry and they set the bar low.

Does anyone on here recall the magnificent Alan Mullery v Malcolm Allison spat. A great day in the history of punditry.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 29/06/2018 at 09:20:08
Jay (#41), thanks for your reply. No, Jay, I take little notice of pundits, envy them a bit for the ridiculous money they earn (?), but loads of fans quote them in arguments in the pub to back whatever point of view they have as if it makes them right.

Going back in the past but I liked it better when there was one commentator, David Coleman or Kenneth Woltheshome, and you were left with your own point of view.

Anyway, Jay, this is where you earn your money – give us your take on Colombia? They look a small team to me, physically, but beatable.

Jay Wood

44 Posted 29/06/2018 at 12:46:16
Colombia, Dave. Tricky one.

What I'm enjoying most about this World Cup is – other than the tankings Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Panama suffered at the hands of Russia, Belgium and England respectively – most games have been close affairs, teetering on a knife-edge until late in the game, regardless of the respective rankings of the two teams.

Look at the final group standings. There were some desperately close – and cruel! – finishes with late, late goals promoting one team to the knockout stage over another.

With such fine margins and no truly outstanding team to date (although I like how Croatia and Belgium have played, and England until yesterday), any game over 90 or 120 minutes & penalties can really go either way.

I don't think Colombia is quite as strong as they were 4 years ago in Brazil when they were one of the most exciting teams in the competition, but they are no mugs.

They have exceptional talent up front in Jame Rodriguez, Falcao and Cuadrado, although Rodrigues is not fit and may not even make the game against England. That's good for England! Falcao is not the beast he was 4 years ago, but he is better than his spells in England with Man Utd and Chelsea. Cuadrado is playing extremely well and needs to be watched.

Yes, they lost the first game against Japan, but that was after losing a player to a red card and conceding a penalty in the first 3 minutes of the game. Playing the rest of the game with just 10 men, they were at least the equal of Japan, equalised, but then lost another goal.

And in Mina (Barcelona) and Sanchez (Spurs) at the heart of their defence, they've got height and strength. Ospina (Arsenal) is a decent keeper.

Although they won yesterday, for a good deal of the game it was the poorest they played in this World Cup to date, but they got the job done. Without doubt, playing Colombia is more of a challenge than playing Japan. It really will come down to how individuals and the team play on the day and which player wins his personal battles.

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 29/06/2018 at 13:43:30
Jay (#44), thanks.

I'm not clued up on a lot of the teams in the World Cup so glad for your summary on Colombia. As you say, it is how they perform on the day and Rodriguez could be the difference between the two teams. The team's might show more nerves and tension in these "lose and you're out" situations.

There are no teams I would really fancy to finish as World Cup winners. I'm still waiting for France to knit together and prove they are capable to lift the trophy.

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