Chris Coleman's Wales to host Iceland

First published in Sport

THE Football Association of Wales has announced that Chris Coleman’s side will take on Iceland in a friendly in March.

The match will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday, March 5.

This will be the seventh meeting between to the two sides.

The first pair of games were in the qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup.

Wales won 4-0 in Reykjavik with two goals from Ian Walsh and one apiece from David Giles and Brian Flynn.

The sides then drew 2-2 in Swansea with Robbie James and Alan Curtis getting the home goals in a match that was memorable for a floodlight failure at the ground that almost caused the game to be abandoned.

The teams were drawn in World Cup qualifiers again for the 1986 tournament.

Iceland won 1-0 at home before goals from Mickey Thomas and Mark Hughes saw Wales win the return 2-1 at Ninian Park.

The last two meetings have both been friendlies, at Ninian Park in 1991 when a Paul Bodin penalty gave Wales the 1-0 win, then a similar result in Reykjavik in the summer of 2008 thanks to a goal from Ched Evans with his first touch in international football.

Iceland narrowly missed-out on qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2016 after a play-off defeat to Croatia. They had finished Group E in second place behind Switzerland.

They are currently ranked 49th in the FIFA World Rankings. Wales are in 56th place. They are coached by Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson.

Wales manager Coleman said: “Iceland has done very well to get to the brink of World Cup qualification and they will certainly provide us with a very good test for March.

“The fact that they are above us in the rankings means that it gives us a chance to rise if we can get a favorable result.”

He continued: “The game will form an important part of our preparation for the new European Championships that start in the autumn.”

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