In a stilted first-half, Iceland and Switzerland battled across the pitch, taking chunks out of each other at every chance, the foul count rising, the shot count barely able to take flight. Both having suffered a defeat in their respective opening games both came into the match full of purpose, desperate for their first points this summer and some kind of retribution for their losses four days ago.
The better team going forward, Switzerland consistently looked to work the Nordic back three, Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir with her hands full on the right side, calm in a challenge as red shirts advanced. Not having as much joy getting forward, a sublime ball from Dagný Brynjarsdóttir proved to be the shot in the arm Iceland needed.
The ball from midfield whipped into the final third, curling ahead of Jana Brunner to drop perfectly for Fanndís Friðriksdóttir to run onto. Immediately in a one-on-one with Gaëlle Thalmann who had been unworked up until that point, Friðriksdóttir remained calm as she strode into the box and picked out the far corner to give Iceland the lead ten minutes before the break.
A goal to the good, Iceland had the better of the next few exchanges but Switzerland soon settled and re-found their footing, getting more bodies forward saw a swift equaliser. Red and blue going for the ball in the box, the defence pulled apart as a blue shirt tumbled to the ground, the ball suitably poked home by Swiss captain, Lara Dickenmann.
Swiss step up
A fast start to the second-half saw a solid half-chance for Iceland before Switzerland fell back into step, bossing the ball and penning the Norse side back, their second of the game well worked as the ball flashed across before Ramona Bachmann buried it past Guðbjörg Gunnarsdóttir.
Once more the onus changed, Iceland found the next year as they chased an equaliser, a clash of knees kept Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir off the pitch at a corner before the resulting melee saw Thalmann and Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir clash horribly. A lengthy spell of treatment followed for Thalmann, the players doing their best to stay limber throughout. The break enough to swing the pendulum back in favour of La Nati. The physical nature of the first-half returned as more and more bodies on the pitch became bloodied and bruised, things routinely let go as the frustration levels rose.
The half-chances continued, the stilted feel to the game refusing to let anything fully develop, a player downed as they tried to build.
With a full eleven minutes of stoppage time announced, Iceland (fuelled by their fans) once ore mounted a charge but it was of no consequence and the Swiss soon found the ball once more. Bachmann had a chance to put the match to bed half way through stoppage time, her trademark scything running and cut in spared the finish as her whipped ball caught the bar and stayed out. But there was still another chance with oh so much stoppage time left, an uncleared corner kept alive and flicked goalwards by Gunnarsdóttir, Thalmann bright to make the diving save.
For Iceland the drive was all too late, the equaliser begged but despite the lengthy, lengthy stoppage time there just wasn’t the time for Iceland to find a goal, the Swiss team working as one to keep them out and keep their dreams of a quarter final alive.