Iceland's Sigthorsson out of World Cup playoff return

Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:00am EST
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By Zoran Milosavljevic

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Iceland striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson will miss the World Cup playoff second leg against Croatia on Tuesday with an ankle injury, said coach Lars Lagerback.

The Ajax Amsterdam player's absence is a big blow for Iceland after the first leg in Rejkyavik ended in a goalless draw.

"I always try to find solutions to problems rather than lament over them," Lagerback told a news conference on Monday.

"We are in a win-win situation because we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We have to make changes and adapt to Croatia but we'll try to stick to our own style as much as possible."

Lagerback, 65, previously guided his native Sweden to five major championships and led Nigeria to the 2010 World Cup.

Former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, now plying his trade for Belgian side Club Bruges, is likely to step in for Sigthorsson.

Gudjohnsen, 35, came on as a substitute when Sigthorsson was carried off on a stretcher in Friday's first leg.

The versatile Eggert Jonsson, who can play as a central midfielder or defender, should come in for the suspended Olafur Skulason who was sent off on Friday.   Continued...

Iceland's Kolbeinn Sigthorsson celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup qualifying football match against Norway at Ullevaal stadium in Oslo, October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Erlend Aas