Iceland confident of Croatia upset

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is optimistic about his side’s chances of progressing to the knockout rounds of the World Cup following their 2-0 defeat to Nigeria on Friday.

Having held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in their opener, a win over Croatia on Tuesday could be enough, unless Nigeria is able to beat Lionel Messi and Co in their final group game.

Hallgrimsson’s side was perhaps lucky to have picked up a point against La Albiceleste with Messi having missed a penalty.

They may also have been able to fight back against the Super Eagles, had Gylfi Sigurdsson not missed a second-half penalty.

But regardless, the Iceland coach is delighted with his country’s showing thus far and continues to dream.

He said: “It’s a strange fact that we are still in the race. We didn’t think we would go through this World Cup without a loss and losses are always difficult to swallow. But we only need to beat Croatia, which is possibly easier to say than do.”

Croatia has been excellent this tournament and defeated Nigeria 2-0 before humiliating Argentina 3-0.

Hallgrimsson acknowledged that it will not be easy, adding: “We’ve played Croatia four times in four years and we’ve often said we’re like a married couple trying to get divorced but we always meet up again.

“They’ve had two really, really good performances in the World Cup. The last one was a shining example of how good Croatia is, but that also gives us confidence because we were ahead of them in our (qualifying) group and have already beaten them once in Iceland.”