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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeSportsBeaten but not put to shame: Poland 2-0 Faroe Islands

Beaten but not put to shame: Poland 2-0 Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands succumbed to a brave 2-0 defeat at the hands of Poland in Warsaw on Thursday evening, thanks to a double from Robert Lewandowski.

Landsliðið set up in a defensive 5-4-1 with the hope of containing the dangerous Polish attack; this tactic worked flawlessly for the first quarter, with little for goalkeeper Mattias Lamhauge to deal with.

In fact, striker Jóan Símun Edmundsson had the game’s first chance, heading at Polish keeper Wojciech Szczęsny from an exquisite Sølvi Vatnhamar cross.

Poland responded with two chances of their own, both headers from Arkadiusz Milik and Bartosz Bereszyński, which Lamhauge skillfully handled. 

But the two nations went into half-time level, with the organized structure of the away side frustrating the agitated Poles, with the home fans demonstrating their dissatisfaction with a chorus of boos.

Just after half-time, talismanic captain Robert Lewandowski had his first sight of goal, crashing the bar with a powerful header from a corner. But the Faroe Islands continued to thwart the disgruntled home side. 

However, with just 17 minutes to go and thoughts of a famous draw lingering in every Faroese mind, Poland were awarded a penalty kick after Odmar Færø handled the ball in the box. But it must be said a completely in-deliberate one, a harsh decision, to say the least. Lewandowski cooly converted the resulting kick, sending Lamhauge the wrong way. 

10 minutes later, Lewandowski showed why he’s one of the best strikers in the world, superbly curling the ball into the top corner past the helpless Lamhauge. And that was game over.

Back to winning ways?

Despite ceasing to defeat, it was still a performance every Faroese player can be proud of and take a lot of heart from, with Poland kept at bay for significant periods of proceedings thanks to the hard-working and spirited set-up of the team, an impressive feat considering the 103 UEFA places between the two nations. In addition, there were 54,000 Polish fans in the Stadion Narodowy, which is the equivalent of the entire population of the Faroe Islands, illustrating the enormity of the task at hand for the brave Faroese souls. 

Here are my player ratings:

23) Mattias Lamhauge — 9/10 (MOTM)
3) Viljormur Davidsen — 7.5/10 (C)
5) Sonni Nattestad — 8.5/10
15) Odmar Faero — 8.5/10
13) Hørður Askham — 8/10
14) Gilli Rólantsson — 7/10
7) Jóannes Bjartalíð — 7/10
16) Gunnar Vatnhamar — 7/10
20) René Shaki Joensen — 6/10
10) Solvi Vatnhamar — 6.5/10
9) Jóan Símun Edmundsson — 7.5/10
8) Brandur Olsen (61st minute for Jóannes Bjartalíð) — 7.5/10
11) Klæmint Olsen (61st minute for Jóan Símun Edmundsson) — 5.5/10
22) Jakup Andreasen (74th minute for René Shaki Joensen) — N/A
2) Jóannes Danielsen (74th minute for Gilli Rólantsson) — N/A
18) Stefan Radosavljevic (88th minute for Gunnar Vatnhamar) — N/A

Coach Håkan Ericson — 7/10. After conceding so many goals against stronger opponents in recent years, it was refreshing to see a much improved defensive performance, with Poland restricted to only 7 shots on target, due principally to the impressive structure and organisation of the backline. Yet, at the opposite end of the pitch, the Faroes had just one shot on target. Furthermore, the substitution of Klæmint Olsen was a poor one at a vital juncture in the game when the Faroes required energy, pace, and someone to stretch the play up the pitch. To bring someone with Klæmint’s attributes on was the wrong decision in such circumstances. 

Reflecting on the match, winger Jóannes Bjartalíð stated: “We played an alright game, and a great result was appearing till the last quarter. We were good defensively and okay offensively in the first half but not so much in the second half. Now we must focus on Moldova and hope we take the three points on Sunday.”

Captain Viljormur Davidsen added: “We played a good first half and followed the game plan. We defended well, but unfortunately, they got a penalty after a VAR decision and scored.”

The Faroe Islands will look to get back to winning ways when they host Moldova at Tórsvøllur on Sunday, with kick-off at 17:00 BST.

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