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03.06.2014, 09:44
Iceland count on French will power
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PREVIEW: Qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 is not entirely in Iceland's hands but nevertheless still a good possibility
 

Iceland count on French will power

Even though second-placed Slovakia are four points ahead of third-ranked Iceland in Qualification Group 2 for the Women's EHF EURO 2014 in December, it will probably be enough for Iceland to win their last two matches to grab a place at the final tournament.

France lead the group with eight points and are already qualified, but while Slovakia still have to face them, Iceland play Finland first - who have not won a match yet - and then a potential decider against Slovakia.

Iceland's reasoning is the following: A victory in the match against Finland is a must. At the same time Iceland hope that France despite the fact that they have already qualified will beat Slovakia so that Iceland keep their chances to qualify for the EHF EURO 2014.

Slovakia beat Iceland by just one goal, 19:18 in October 2013. Hence it can be enough to beat Finland and win against Slovakia by two goals or more – or just by one goal if the score is at least 20:19.

However, some of Iceland's key players such as Rut Jonsdottir, Stella Sigurdardottir, Gudny Jenny Asmundsdottir are injured and will not play against Finland and Slovakia. 

And it is not only goalkeeper Asmundsdottir, who is out, but also Iceland's second goalie Florentina Stanciu - this is most likely going to be chance for Iris Bjork Simonardottir, who played a good season with Grotta, to showcase her skills.

On court Karen Knutsdottir is without doubt going to play a key role, and Iceland also have to count on Birna Berg Haraldsdottir who recently won the Swedish national championship with Sävehof.

Back in the team is line player Anna Ursula Gudmundsdottir, who together with her line player colleague Arna Sif Palsdottir is likely to strengthen Iceland's defence.

Iceland missed the World Championship 2013 in Serbia, but competed at the EHF EURO events in 2010 and 2012 and the World Championship 2011.


TEXT: Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson / ts
 
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