Euro 2020, qualifying, group F: Another comprehensive looking defeat on paper won’t tell the story of a spirited and courageous Faroese performance.
A first-half goal from Andersson and two in the second from Svanberg and Guidetti won the tie for Sweden, but the Faroe Islands caused problems throughout. With Nordfeldt making a stunning save from Davidsen when the scores were level, and Rólantsson seeing his effort to draw the scores level go agonisingly wide when through on goal, thanks to some heroic last-ditch defending from Gagliolo.
Some sloppy defending cost the Faroe Islands for the first and third goal, with the second coming in large thanks to a rather cruel deflection, but yet again this campaign the final scoreline did not reflect an overall even contest between the two nations.
Below are my player’s ratings:
1) Gunnar Nielsen 7 – debatable if he could have done better for the first goal, but thereafter made a few outstanding saves, and faultless for the two late goals.
3) Viljormur Davidsen 7 – good game for the Vejle man, always dangerous going forward and kept talented winger Sema quite throughout, so much so he was eventually substituted.
4) Atli Gregersen 6 – last match for the Faroese legend, and he was solid, brave and a real leader on the pitch throughout, qualities that encapsulate the great man. However, would have been disappointed for losing his man for the Sweden third goal.
6) Heini Vatnsdal 6 – much better performance today from Heini, who showed why he has become first choice centre back in this campaign. Dealt with everything that came his way solidly.
8) Brandur Hendriksson Olsen 8 – Faroe Islands MOTM, Brandur’s best performance in some time, a joy to watch on the ball today, and the Swedish midfield struggled to contain him. Unlucky not to score, being thwarted by a fine save, and also set up a glorious chance for Davidsen with a sublime run and cross.
9) Gilli Rólantsson Sørensen 7 – always looked dangerous going forward, and so unlucky not to score, thanks in large to some fine last-ditch defending. As probably the Faroe Islands fastest player, his pace is a vital assist going forward.
10) Sølvi Vatnhamar 5 – quiet match for again for Sølvi, but his work-rate and tracking throughout were commendable, and he made some crucial defensive interceptions.
11) Klæmint Andrasson Olsen 5 – gave the Faroese front-line a much needed physical presence, but cut an isolated figure and struggled to get into the game, against 2 very robust defenders in Jansson and Helander.
13) Rógvi Baldvinsson 5 – looked far more natural back in defense rather the midfield. Still would have been frustrated for losing his man in Sweden’s opening goal.
14) Jóan Símun Edmundsson 5 – it wasn’t Edmundsson’s day today, who cut a frustrated figure throughout the contest, battled hard, but with little service or impact.
20) Jóannes Bjartalíð 5 – as always with Jóannes, he worked hard and always willing, without little impact on proceedings today. Was substituted at half-time.
Kaj Leo í Bartalsstovu 7 (45 minutes) – really impressive half from Kaj, a constant threat down the left-hand side, linking up very well with Davidsen, in addition to some eye-catching skills.
Patrik Johannesen 5 (16 minutes) – Patrick late introduction added energy, but was an extremely tough period of the match to come in and make a meaningful effect.
Árni Frederiksberg n/a (1 minute) – not enough time on the pitch to get a mark.
Lars Olsen 6 – much better tactical display from the Faroese coach, with a more direct and organised approach, in his last match in charge. Olsen set the team up to play a lot more to the Faroese physical strength, as well as playing further forward, rather than dangerously passing about in the Faroes half, with little forward movement or tempo, like against Norway.
The introduction of Bartalsstovu worked out well and his side was very unlucky not to draw level. But yet again this campaign, poor individual errors result in an extremely harsh final scoreline.
But that won’t deter from the many outstanding memories under Lars Olsen’s tutelage, which will forever see him remembered so fondly in the Faroe Islands.
Sweden-Faroe Islands 3-0 (1-0)
1-0: Sebastian Andersson, 29
2-0: Mattias Svanberg, 72
3-0: John Guidetti, 80
Group F, Matchday 10:
Sweden-Faroe Islands 3-0
Group F, Standings:
1. Spain 26 points
2. Sweden 21
3. Norway 17
4. Romania 14
5. Faroe Islands 3
6. Malta 3
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