Euro 2016: England 1-2 Iceland - 5 talking points
Iceland progressed to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, causing one of the biggest upsets in history as they defeated England 2-1 at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice on Monday. England got an early goal as Wayne Rooney scored from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson. Iceland though responded almost immediately through Ragnar Sigurdsson.
The minnows then took the lead just ten minutes later through Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, a goal that proved decisive as Roy Hodgson’s side got knocked out of the tournament.
Here are five talking points from the game:
1) Solid defending and effective counterattacking win it for Iceland
Iceland were quite comfortable in the game from the very beginning. The players did not play like underdogs, trying to chase the ball in order to win possession and let the opposition have their time on the ball instead.
And the English played right into their hands. Iceland’s defence stayed tight, asserting aerial dominance whenever and wherever needed. As Hodgson’s men adopted a more direct approach during the course of the game, this very aerial presence helped neutralise England’s attempts to get back into the match.
Center-halves Kari Arnason and Ragnar Sigurdsson were like brick walls in defense as they successfully contained Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the later parts of the game. The pair also contributed in attack as Arnason set-up Sigurdsson for the Iceland’s first goal of the game.
Both of Iceland’s goals came as a result of a swift counterattacking play, which enabled them to catch the English back-four off-guard twice.