Gylfi Sigurðsson

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UEFA World Cup qualifying: Gylfi stars for Iceland; Kolarov leads Serbia (video)

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Spain and Serbia moved to almost assure places in the 2018 World Cup, while Group I remains as tight as ever.

[ WATCH: Honduras vs. USMNT on Telemundo ]

Here’s where three European groups stand after the final day of qualifying for this international break.

Liechtenstein 0-8 Spain

Spain finishes the break three points ahead of second-place Italy, with a mere 17 goals of differential advantage thanks to braces from Iago Aspas and Alvaro Morata. Sergio Ramos, Isco, David Silva, and an own goal completed the scoring in Vaduz.

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia

Aleksandar Kolarov‘s 55th minute goal means Serbia will finish no lower than the playoffs, and Orlovi would need to really fall apart to miss out on Russia.

 

Iceland 2-0 Ukraine

The darlings of the EURO have joined Croatia on the most points in Group I following a brace from Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Turkey 1-0 Croatia

Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun has Group I quite congested after scoring the lone goal in this one. Turkey and Ukraine have 14 points, two points behind Croatia and Iceland.

Opponents remaining:
Croatia – vs. Finland, at Ukraine
Iceland – at Turkey, vs. Kosovo
Turkey – vs. Iceland, at Finland
Ukraine – at Kosovo, vs. Croatia

Elsewhere
Austria 1-1 Georgia
Moldova 0-2 Wales
Italy 1-0 Israel
Macedonia 1-1 Albania
Kosovo 0-1 Finland

VIDEO: Gylfi Sigurdsson’s takeaway turned 40-plus yard audacious bomb

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If there’s a $57.8 million goal, this is it.

In terms of aesthetics, style, and difficulty, Gylfi Sigurdsson will probably never improve on his first Everton goal.

The Icelandic star midfielder did it all, and just out of the break.

[ MORE: UCL congestion hammers Spurs ]

Sigurdsson forces a turnover and then, depending on whether you want to count the steal, uses his first or second touch to blast a 40-plus yard shot over the ill-positioned backstop to level the second leg of Everton’s Europa League tie with Hajduk Split at 1.

Oh, it also made Hajduk’s chances moot on aggregate. Everton went on to finish off the Croatian side and will learn its opponents for the UEL group stage come early Friday morning.

UEFA Europa League wrap: Everton, Marseille, AC Milan move on

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Gylfi Sigurdsson marked the first start of his Everton career with a bang, hammering a goal over the keeper from just past half as the Toffees advanced to the UEFA Europa League’s Round of 16.

[ MORE: UCL congestion hammers Spurs ]

Elsewhere, Marseille and AC Milan moved on, Ajax was sent home, and USMNT prospect Ethan Horvath had a busy and rough night between the sticks in Greece.

Hajduk Split 1-1 (1-3 agg.) Everton

Josip Radosevic hit a rocket just before halftime to pull to within one of Everton, but new Toffees midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson sank the drama with a 46th minute marker.

The goal came from more than 40 yards out and meant Hajduk would need a three-goal win. The hosts got a prime chance to get one back when Ashley Williams felled his mark inside the 18, but Jordan Pickford robbed Said Ahmed Said with a quality diving stop of his penalty attempt.

AEK Athens 3-0 (3-0 agg.) Club Brugge

American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was under siege, with the Greek hosts outshooting Brugge 14-4. Lazaros Christodoulopolous scored in the 27th minute and Andre Simoes nabbed two goals in the win.

Shkendija 0-1 (0-7 agg.) AC Milan

No six-spot this time, just Patrick Cutrone’s 13th minute finish to book Milan’s place in the group stage.

Marseille 3-0 (4-1 agg.) Domzale

Valere Germain scored twice and ex-Newcastle United attacker Florian Thauvin nabbed an 85th minute finish to ease the heavily favored Ligue 1 side into the next stage.

Elsewhere
AEK Larnaca 0-0 (1-3 agg.) Viktoria Plzen
Dynamo Kiev 3-1 (3-1 agg.) Maritimo
Oleksandria 1-2 (2-3 agg.) BATE Borisov
Red Bull Salzburg 4-0 (7-1 agg.) Viitorul Constanta
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-2 (3-2 agg.) Rheindorf Altach
Ostersunds 2-0 (3-3 agg.) PAOK Salonika
Sheriff Tiraspol 0-0 (1-1 agg.) Legia Warsaw
Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-0 (2-1 agg.) Utrecht
Austria Wien
0-1 (2-2 agg.) NK Osijek
Crvena Zvedzda 2-1 (4-4 agg.) Krasnodar
Braga 3-2 (5-3 agg.) FH Hafnarfjordur
Rosenborg 3-2 (4-2 agg.) Ajax
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 (4-2 agg.) Panathinaikos
Videoton 0-4 (0-4 agg.) Partizan Belgrade
Skenderbeu 0-0 (1-1 agg.) Dinamo Zagreb
Midtjylland 1-1 (3-4 agg.) Apollon Limassol
Suduva 0-0 (0-2 agg.) Ludogorets Razgrad
Fenerbahce 1-2 (1-4 agg.) Vardar

Clement says Sigurdsson fee could leave Swans better off

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Many have feared the worst for Swansea City following the sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton, but fortunately the club’s boss isn’t too worried about the departure of his Icelandic star.

Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente were nearly all of Swansea’s attack last season as the Welsh side barely avoided relegation. The club’s third coach of the season, Paul Clement, was instrumental in that change of fate.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday ]

He’s not worried about the absence, though, because he feels the approximately $60 million coming into his transfer kitty can leave the squad better than it was before Sigurdsson was sold to Everton.

“We want to improve our playing squad, we want to improve our style we want to win more games we believe that with the funds we have available we can strengthen the squad and end up being a better team.”

And, Clement said, now agents and managers know Swansea has the money to do some business. He says they won’t panic because sometimes the deals improve right before the deadline.

“Yesterday various people who work here at this club, their phones were going, the texts were coming in, the emails were coming in from agents all over the world, because they know we’ve done the Gylfi deal and want to do business and bring players in.”

What do you think? Could Sigurdsson’s fee be the goodbye gift that keeps on giving for a Swans side which is considered a relegation candidate?

Everton confirm Gylfi Sigurdsson medical ahead of move

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Everton’s $57.8 million club-record move for Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson is almost complete.

[ MORE: Danny Rose to Chelsea?

Toffees boss Ronald Koeman was speaking to the media ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Europa League playoff against Hajduk Split on Thursday, and he confirmed Sigurdsson has undergone a medical at their Finch Farm training ground without any hiccups.

He also stated that Sigurdsson, 27, could make his Everton debut away at Manchester City on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) if everything goes to plan.

“I have seen the doctor and there is no problem,” Koeman said. “Still he needs to sign, but I saw him in the Blue! Normally we will do the business today.”

This news will be a relief for everyone concerned. Everton. Sigurdsson. Swansea. Koeman. Absolutely everyone. This has taken over six weeks to sort out but the end game is near and Swansea will at least get a huge profit as they bought Sigurdsson for Spurs in 2014 for $11.5 million, but did send Ben Davies and Michel Vorm in the opposite direction. Spurs also have a 10 percent sell-on clause in this deal.

The Icelandic playmaker scored nine goals and added 13 assists in the Premier League last season as he kept Swansea in the Premier League but the former Reading, Hoffenheim and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will now link up with Koeman at Goodison Park.

Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen will all be tasked with chipping in with double figures in terms of goals this season to counteract the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for $96.5 million earlier this summer.

In his prime and ready to be a key piece of Everton’s attacking unit for the foreseeable future, it appears that Sigurdsson has landed in the right place. This is a massive blow for Swansea but for Everton it’s magnificent news.

Sigurdsson will have a large transfer fee hanging over his head and some suggest he prefers being a bigger fish in a smaller pond a la Swansea compared to his time at Tottenham.

We are about to find out if he can handle the pressure of leading a top four charge for the Toffees. Given his incredible assist record last season (only Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen provided more in the PL) he should slot in just fine at Everton.