Previous
Juventus
Malmo FF
2
0
FT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid
3
2
FT
Game Details
Liverpool
Ludogorets Razgrad
2
1
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
FC Basel
5
1
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen
1
0
FT
Game Details
Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
0
2
FT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal
2
0
FT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Anderlecht
1
1
FT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Leeds United
1
3
FT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday
0
2
FT
Game Details
Blackpool
Watford
0
1
FT
Game Details
Brentford
Norwich City
0
3
FT
Game Details
Cardiff City
Middlesbrough
0
1
FT
Game Details
Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Wigan Athletic
0
0
FT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion
2
0
FT
Game Details
Bolton Wanderers
Rotherham United
3
2
FT
Game Details
Reading
Millwall
3
2
FT
Game Details
Colchester United
Sheffield United
2
3
FT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town
0
0
FT
Game Details
Gillingham
Peterborough United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
1
2
FT
Game Details
Notts County
Leyton Orient
1
1
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bristol City
0
3
FT
Game Details
Preston North End
Chesterfield
3
3
FT
Game Details
Rochdale
Walsall
4
0
FT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Coventry City
2
1
FT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Oldham Athletic
2
2
FT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra
1
1
FT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Burton Albion
3
0
FT
Game Details
Bury
Stevenage
2
1
FT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Exeter City
1
2
FT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Southend United
0
1
FT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Morecambe
1
0
FT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Hartlepool United
5
1
FT
Game Details
Oxford United
Accrington Stanley
3
1
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers
0
1
FT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Dagenham & Redbridge
3
0
FT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Carlisle United
1
0
FT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Newport County
0
0
FT
Game Details
York City
Luton Town
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Braintree Town
1
3
FT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
AFC Telford United
3
2
FT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Nuneaton Town
3
1
FT
Game Details
Chester City
Southport
2
0
FT
Game Details
Dartford
Dover
2
1
FT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Forest Green Rovers
2
2
FT
Game Details
Halifax
Grimsby Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham
4
0
FT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Gateshead
1
1
FT
Game Details
Torquay United
Woking
1
0
FT
Game Details
Welling
Lincoln City
2
0
FT
Game Details
Barnet
Wrexham
0
1
FT
Game Details
Rangers
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
1
0
FT
Game Details
Waterhouse
DC United
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Chorrillo FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Olimpia
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Terán
Cerro Porteño
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Caracas F.C.
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Deportivo Cali
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Guadalajara
Tijuana
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Atlante
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Necaxa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
UNAM
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Joinville
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
AA Ponte Preta
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Vila Nova-GO
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Santa Cruz FC
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Al Hilal
Al-Ain
3
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Amazulu
Postp
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg Utd
Postp
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Michael Yokhin
Aug 19, 2014

Tiny Stjarnan making big waves

Stjarnan have accounted for Bangor City, Motherwell and Lech Poznan so far in their Europa campaign. Next up -- Inter Milan.

Four years ago a tiny team from Iceland suddenly became a huge hit on YouTube.

Stjarnan, an outfit that was absolutely anonymous until then, made the headlines by providing extremely imaginative goal celebrations. Fishing, swimming, bobsleighing, ballet dancing and many more -- you name it!

- Zanetti: Inter won't underestimate Stjarnan

They've done it all, and became hugely popular with the neutral fans all over the world, who might never have heard of football in Iceland before.

The fame, however, was rather short-lived.

At a certain point, Stjarnan players stopped inventing new celebrations. As Vidir Sigurdsson, a leading football journalist from Iceland, explains: "They realized it would be difficult to carry on for a long time. More importantly, they decided it was better to try to focus on winning something, rather than being only regarded as non-serious clowns."

Thomas Thor Tordarsson of 365 channel added: "Everyone got tired of it because their games were more about celebrations than football."

The immediate result was that Stjarnan were quickly forgotten outside their country, but changing their attitude has certainly helped them in the long run. Having finished third last season and qualified for Europe for the first time in their history, Stjarnan are sensationally leading the table this term, unbeaten after 15 games, probably on their way to an improbable title triumph.

In addition, they are taking the continent by storm as well. A very small club even by local standards, Stjarnan became the first ever Icelandic team to win three European ties in a row, versus Bangor City, Motherwell and Lech Poznan. On Wednesday they face Inter in the biggest game in the club's history. Some would say it's a dream come true, but that will be an understatement. In reality, none of the players even dared to dream of such an opportunity.

Stjarnan's progress is simply phenomenal. They were playing third-division football just nine years ago. Promoted to the top flight in 2009, they continued to play at the small Stjornuvollur stadium, just south of Reykjavik, that has only one stand for about 1,000 spectators.

Rolf Toft was recruited from Denmark's AaB, and has gone on to become a Stjarnan fan favourite.

Prior to their celebrations fame, they were known locally thanks only to Bjarni Benediktsson, a prominent politician who currently serves as the finance minister, having played for them in his young days, excelling both in football and handball. Nowadays, their name is on everyone's lips, and they even overcame an injury crisis to achieve some of the best results in Iceland's football history.

Bangor City, thrashed 8-0 on aggregate, might not have been the strongest opposition, but nobody expected Stjarnan to overcome Motherwell. The Scots were clear favourites and duly took an early 2-0 lead in the first leg. Stjarnan managed to salvage a draw thanks to two penalties, and then took the return leg into extra time when Danish star Rolf Toft, recently signed from Aalborg, made it 2-2 again on 85 minutes.

With the shootout looming, there came one of the best goals you'll see anywhere this season. Atli Johansson's superb strike made the Icelandic commentator go absolutely wild and lose his voice.

Next came Lech Poznan, who finished second in Poland twice in a row, and they were also stunned by the islanders, who managed to keep a clean sheet for 180 minutes and went through thanks to another Toft goal in Iceland.

Ingvar Jonsson was spectacular in goal, proving his impressive talents once again. "He was the best in the league last season, and improved even more this year," Tordarsson said.

Jonsson's progress is partly due to the great work by Stjarnan's goalkeeping coach, Henrik Bodker. The Dane is playing a very important part in the club's success because his ties in his homeland enable the club to sign Danish players. Players like Toft, Martin Rauschenberg, Nicklas Vemmelund and especially captain Michael Praest are leading by example, having been underrated in Denmark.

Twenty-eight-year-old defender Praest, for example, spent most of his career in lower divisions, but has become an ultimate leader at Stjarnan. His cruciate ligament injury two weeks ago was a desperate blow for the team, but they managed to continue winning in the league nevertheless.

Facing Inter without their best player will naturally be even tougher for Stjarnan, but the excitement is enormous. The game was moved to the national stadium in Reykjavik and all 10,000 tickets were sold out almost immediately. The players, who are mostly part-timers -- a mixture of students, janitors and engineers -- can hardly believe their luck. Next week they are going to San Siro, one of the most famous stadiums in Europe. Having watched the likes of Nemanja Vidic on TV on a weekly basis, they will now share the field with their idols.

Overcoming the Italian giants to reach the group stages might be too much to ask of them, but Stjarnan are certainly capable of making life difficult for the illustrious opponents, and maybe scoring another great goal.

Wouldn't that be the perfect timing to invent another celebration? Fans around the world would surely appreciate that.

Michael Yokhin

Michael is an experienced European football writer, who contributes to ESPN, Blizzard, Champions and FourFourTwo, amongst others.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.