Gunns out as Iceland rout Liechtenstein
Iceland delivered a dominant performance and cruised their way to victory with a comfortable 7-0 thrashing of minnows Liechtenstein, giving the Scandinavian side the bounce-back effort they needed after their loss to Bosnia earlier this week.
Iceland only needed three minutes to show why they entered this game as heavy favourites and opened the scoring through Davíð Kristján Ólafsson, who left Benjamin Buchel helpless with a shot that deflected off a defender. The visitors wouldn’t step their foot off the gas and took advantage of Liechtenstein’s passive defending to continue generating chances, but neither Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, who missed the target from outside the box, or Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson, who failed to tap the ball home from close range, managed to double the team’s lead.
Liechtenstein showed signs of life after being completely outmatched through the opening 15 minutes, but their approaches were not enough to threaten Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson. The Scandinavian outfit fought hard to add another goal, and while they struggled with accuracy at times, they ultimately doubled their lead a few minutes before HT via Hákon Arnar Haraldsson. The 19-year-old starlet took advantage of a perfect cross from Aron Gunnarson to slot the ball out of the keeper’s reach, giving Iceland a 2-0 lead at the break.
Iceland repeated the same formula of the first half and only needed a few minutes to score another goal. A corner from the right side found Gunnarson, and the defender nodded the ball home with a perfect header at the near post to make it 3-0, scoring his first international goal in more than eight years. The one-sided show continued as the second half progressed, and by the 60th minute, Liechtenstein should’ve felt they were earning a moral victory after being down by just three goals. Gunnarson made it 4-0 with another header from the near post in the 68th minute, and the defender completed his hat-trick with a penalty kick shortly after that. Not happy with that, Iceland kept pushing the lines forward and found a sixth and seventh goals in the final minutes via Andri Guðjohnsen, the son of former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eiður Guðjohnsen, and Mikael Egill Ellertsson, respectively.
The strength of the opposition needs to be taken into account, but Iceland looked as dominant as they were in their glory days from last decade, and this win should represent a massive confidence booster for the Scandinavian side following their 3-0 loss vs Bosnia in their qualifying opener. Liechtenstein couldn’t have wished for a worst start to their EURO campaign, conceding 11 goals in their opening two matches and showing just how far behind they remain from other European squads.