Iceland rue penalty miss in draw to Belgium

Iceland were left to rue a missed penalty in a 1-1 draw with Belgium in their women’s European Championship Group D match on Sunday after Berglind Thorvaldsdottir’s opener was cancelled out by Justine Vanhaevermaet.

In front of just 3,859 fans at the Academy Stadium, Iceland had the opportunity to take the lead in the first half when Belgium conceded a penalty for a handball but Thorvaldsdottir’s tame effort was easily saved by goalkeeper Nicky Evrard.

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Thorvaldsdottir made amends in the second half, however, when she connected with Karolina Lea Vilhjalmsdottir’s looping cross at the far post, heading home from an acute angle to give Iceland the lead before wheeling away in celebration.

But minutes later, Elena Dhont won Belgium a penalty with a clever touch in the box to draw a foul and midfielder Vanhaevermaet made no mistake from the spot as she sent goalkeeper Sandra Sigurdardottir the wrong way.

Tessa Wullaert nearly gave Belgium the win with a curling effort headed for the top corner but Sigurdardottir anticipated the shot well and dived full-stretch to deny the Belgian skipper.

Sigurdardottir had her heart in her mouth in the 89th minute when she brought down Janice Cayman who was through on goal, inside the box. But as soon as the referee awarded a penalty, she changed her decision after the offside flag went up.

Belgium next play France while Iceland play Italy, with both matches taking place on Thursday.


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