England equal unwanted 70-year record after loss to Iceland just days before EURO 2024 kicks off

England Training Session & Press Conference
England have equalled an unwanted 70-year record after their 1-0 loss to Iceland

England equalled a 70-year unwanted record after suffering a 0-1 loss at the hands of unfancied Iceland at Wembley on June 7, just days before EURO 2024 kicks off. Gareth Southgate's side have become the first English national team to concede the opening goal in three consecutive international games at Wembley since November 1954.

Iceland winger Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson scored the only goal of the game in the 12th minute, sweeping it past Aaron Ramsdale at the near post. England created just one clear chance later on in the game, with Harry Kane volleying a close-range effort over the crossbar from a Cole Palmer cross.

Prior to this fixture, England had already conceded the opener in friendly games held at Wembley against Brazil and Belgium in March 2024. Real Madrid-bound wonderkid Endrick scored an 80th minute winner for the Selecao (1-0), while Aston Villa midfielder Youri Tielemans (11') opened the scoring in the second game (2-2).

Earlier in the week (June 4), the Three Lions cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina at St. James Park. However, the shock defeat against Iceland has put their tournament preparation in jeopardy.

With superstars like Cole Palmer, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Declan Rice, and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the squad, England are still one of the pre-tournament favorites to lift the title.

They have been drawn into a tricky group alongside Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia, sides that have surprised the footballing world at major tournaments in the past. With their opening fixture against Serbia set to take place on June 16, the next week will be crucial for Southgate to figure out the perfect balance in his lineup.

"We were too stretched" - England manager Gareth Southgate analyzes shocking loss to Iceland

England manager Gareth Southgate delivered a detailed analysis of his side's surprising 1-0 defeat to Iceland in a pre-European Championship international friendly on June 7.

In his post-match press conference, the 53-year-old claimed that there were positives to take from the game, but that there were many areas to improve upon. He praised his team's ability to create chances, saying:

"I thought in the opening spell we actually moved the ball really well then the goal went in and we didn't keep that belief. There are things we've got to learn with the ball, but that being said I think we actually created good enough chances to win the game."

Southgate then rued the erratic pressure and sluggishness off the ball, but maintained that they will be able to set them right in time for the tournament.

The bit that wasn't right tonight and needs to be better was without the ball. Collectively as a team we were too stretched, didn't have enough intensity in our pressing, and so they are the things we've got to look back at... We know we can get better with those things. I think some players needed the game as well," he said.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now