KR Reykjavik boss compares Celtic game with Iceland’s shock victory over England

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Second Qualifying Round – Second Leg – Celtic v KR Reykjavik – BT Murrayfield Stadium
(Image credit: Alan Rennie)

KR Reykjavik boss Runar Kristinsson believes victory over Celtic would compare with Iceland’s famous win against England.

Iceland shook European football when they beat the Three Lions 2-1 in the last-16 of Euro 2016 in Nice.

Icelandic outfit KR Reykjavik arrived in Glasgow for the one-legged Champions League first qualifying round at Celtic Park on Tuesday night.

Kristinsson, the former Iceland captain who won 104 caps, conceded that an unlikely win over the Hoops would be on a par with arguably the country’s finest footballing hour.

“I think it would be similar, yes,” said Kristinsson, who was in his first spell as KR Reykjavik boss when they lost 5-0 on aggregate to Celtic in a Champions League qualifier in 2014.

“These are results that our club and also the Iceland international team have got every now and then.

“It is not only Iceland beating England once, also taking points from Portugal in the Euros, we have beaten the Dutch, we have beaten Spain – a lot of big teams.

“So there are a lot of games that we can take positives things from and I can tell my players that this is possible, although they know it.

“There is always a chance in football. Football is maybe the only sport in the world that you can sometimes surprise people and do something special.

“It won’t happen at basketball or handball or whatever other sport, if a top division team plays a third division team.

“In other sports, you can guarantee that the first division team will win it but it is not like that in football.

“We know that from history. We have seen that from Iceland, we have seen it with lower league teams going all the way to the semi-finals or finals of the cup competitions.

“We have to take something out of that and believe and hope that we can surprise them a little bit.”

Kristinsson admits it should do his side no harm for the match to be played behind closed doors.

He said: “It’s not going to be so hectic to play with no supporters, so I think it will help us a little bit.

“It will be easier for the boys to come out with no supporters and not have to worry about that.

“Hopefully it will give us a bit of an advantage. It is just a question of getting a good start in the game and defending well.

“We know we are going to sit back and defend a lot and hopefully we can get some positive things from our defending at the beginning that gives us belief in what we are doing.

“But we know that if we concede early it is going to be much tougher for the boys to keep that belief.”

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