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05.06.2015, 15:29
Petersson ruled out for Iceland’s final qualifiers
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PREVIEW: Iceland face first Israel and then Montenegro as the delicately poised Group 4 enters the last two rounds of the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
 

Petersson ruled out for Iceland’s final qualifiers

Last week he led KIF Kobenhavn-Kolding to the championship title in Denmark, now Aron Kristjansson is keen to lead Iceland to the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland.

But the coach with the double position in club and national team handball has to replace an important cornerstone for the crucial qualifiers against Israel on 10 June and against Montenegro four days later: Alexander Petersson. The right back of German side Rhein-Neckar Löwen is ruled out with a hernia.

Because of the delicate standings in Group 4, with Montenegro on six points and Iceland and Serbia on five points, Iceland’s game on 14 June against the current leaders is likely to be the decisive one.  

Iceland are aware of Montenegro, as they played another decisive match against a team from former Yugoslavia exactly a year ago – and lost.

After a close defeat at Bosnia-Herzegovina and a draw on home court, Iceland failed to qualify for the World Championship 2015 and eventually only made it to Qatar courtesy of wild card granted by the IHF.

Iceland’s second reason to stay on high alert is that they lost the first game at Montenegro 24:25. But thanks to a clear win at home and a lucky away draw against Serbia, Kristjansson’s team has the fate in its own hands again.

Two of Iceland’s stars will arrive in opposite moods to the national team: On the one hand left wing Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson just won the VELUX EHF Champions League with FC Barcelona for the first time in his long career.

At Cologne, many thought he would face his national teammate Aron Palmarsson in the final, but in his last international matches for THW Kiel (he plays for MKB-MVM Veszprem next season), the playmaker lost twice at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 to eventually only finish fourth ranked.

One Icelandic coach has already booked his ticket for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland; Kristjansson can be one of up to three more to follow.

Gudmundur Gudmundsson already led Denmark to Poland 2016. Besides Aron Kristjansson, Dagur Sigurdsson (Germany) and Patrekur Johannesson (Austria) are also in the race, but as Germany and Austria face each other, it is like that only a trio of Icelandic coaches will be at Poland.

At the Qatar World Championship the entire quartet was present.

The Icelandic squad for the EHF EURO Qualification matches against Israel and Montenegro:

Goalkeeper: Aron Rafn Edvardsson (Eskilstuna Guif), Björgvin Pall Gustavsson (Bergischer HC)

Field players: Arnor Atlason (St. Raphael), Arnor Thor Gunnarsson (Bergischer HC), Aron Palmarson (THW Kiel), Asgeir Örn Hallgrimsson (HBC Nimes), Bjarki Mar Gunnarsson (HC Aue), Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (FC Barcelona), Gudmundur Arni Olafsson (Mors Thy Handball), Kari Kristjan Kristjansson, (Valur Reykjavik), Olafur Andres Gudmundsson (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Robert Gunnarsson (PSG Paris Handball), Runar Karason (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Snorri Steinn Gudjonsson (Selestat Alsace HB), Stefan Rafn Sigurmannsson (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Tandri Konradsson (Ricoh HK), Vignir Svavarsson (HC Midtjylland)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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