Ice­land

World Soccer - - European Season Review -

With three clubs still in ti­tle con­tention go­ing into the fi­nal game of the sea­son, Valur re­tained their crown with a 4-1 vic­tory at home to Ke­flavik. Af­ter a decade of in­sta­bil­ity and mid-ta­ble per­for­mances, they were wor­thy win­ners. Beaten fi­nal­ists in 2012 and 2013, St­jar­nan won the cup for the first time, beat­ing Brei­d­ab­lik in the Fi­nal on penal­ties af­ter a goal­less draw. Valur will en­ter the Champions League in the first qual­i­fy­ing round. Brei­d­ab­lik, St­jar­nan and KR all start in the first qual­i­fy­ing round of the Europa League. FH, Ice­land’s most dec­o­rated team for the last decade and a half, missed out for the first time in 16 years.

For­mer gi­ants IA were pro­moted along with run­ners-up HK. They re­place Fjol­nir and Ke­flavík, who were by far the weak­est team with just four points from 22 games. Dan­ish striker Pa­trick Ped­er­sen had a great sea­son with Valur. As well as cel­e­brat­ing a champions’ medal, he topped the scor­ing charts with 17 goals in 22 games. For­mer na­tional coach Ola­fur Jo­han­nes­son took charge of Valur in 2015 and re-en­er­gised a team that for a decade had suf­fered from mul­ti­ple changes of coaches. In four sea­sons the club has now been champions twice and won the Ice­landic Cup twice. Brei­d­ab­lik’s 20-year-old de­fen­sive mid­fielder Wil­lum Thor Wil­lums­son is an un­der-21 in­ter­na­tional and the son of a for­mer player and coach who now is a mem­ber of the Ice­landic par­lia­ment.

Re-en­er­gised ...Ola­fur Jo­han­nes­son

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