Minnows Iceland stun England to enter Euro 2016 quarter-finals
Minnows Iceland beat England to enter their first quarter-final of a major competition and set a quarter-final date with France. England opened the scoring through Wayne Rooney’s spot-kick but their lead was cancelled out a minute later by Ragnar Sigurdsson then Kolbeinn Sigthorsson struck in the 18th minute to give Iceland a 2-1 lead. Iceland defence stood strong in the second half and repelled all of England attacks to rewrite the history books.
The spot kick, awarded for keeper Hannes Halldórsson’s foul on Raheem Sterling, was exactly the start Roy Hodgson’s men craved. It was a fourth-minute goal to coax Iceland out of their shell. What followed next, though, was as remarkable as it was unexpected from the debutants.
First, Aron Gunnarsson hurled the ball in, Kári Árnason out jumped Rooney and the unmarked Ragnar Sigurdsson planted the ball past Joe Hart.
Iceland did it again with Gylfi Sigurdsson feeding Jón Dadi Bödvarsson, who in turn found Sigthórsson. The Nantes forward’s shot from the edge of the box was not the most vicious, but it squirmed under the outstretched left glove of Hart nonetheless.
England huffed and puffed, often shooting from long range such was the barrier of blue jerseys before them. The 60th-minute introduction of Jamie Vardy had little effect. Indeed, Gunnarsson, denied by Hart, nearly extended
Man of the match, Ragnar Sigurdsson almost made it 3-1 with an audacious bicycle kick and produced a perfectly-timed tackle to preserve the lead when faced with the onrushing Vardy.
Ragnar Sigurdsson’s overhead bicycle kick not flown straight at Hart early in the second half, meanwhile, England would have had a mountain to climb.
But Sigthorsson’s goal was to prove enough, with Dele Alli hooking over and Kane heading straight at Halldorsson before the final whistle brought England’s players to their knees and sent the Iceland bench tearing onto the pitch in celebration.