Surprise package Iceland eliminate dismal England

Iceland's romantic Euro 2016 saga continued Monday with a surprise 2-1 comeback defeat of dismal England, in an eventful round of 16 clash.

Veteran captain Wayne Rooney gave England an early lead from a penalty only for Iceland to immediately hit back with goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

It was one of England's most humiliating defeats since losing to minnows United States at the 1950 World Cup, and will almost certainly lead to manager Roy Hodgson leaving his post.

Iceland - who are playing at their first ever major tournament - will face hosts France in the quarter-finals Sunday.

Their shock win was celebrated wildly by their thousands of fans present in Nice, while the English fans slunk away after the latest in a series of disappointing exits from their team at big tournaments in recent years.

The game made a dramatic start with three goals within the first 18 minutes, which is something of a record at Euro knockout matches.

Rooney gave England the lead from a penalty in the fourth minute, after Raheem Sterling had been clumsily pulled down by Iceland keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson.

Remarkably, Iceland were level within a minute, when Sigurdsson took advantage of poor marking by Kyle Walker after a long-throw had created confusion in the England defence.

And in the 18th minute Sigthorsson made it 2-1 with a soft left-foot drive which England keeper Joe Hart inexplicably let under his body.

It was Hart's second serious blunder of the tournament - the first came in the 2-1 defeat of Wales - and it left England chasing the game and painfully short on confidence.

England dominated possession from then on - with Iceland content to sit back and defend in depth - but lacked the craft and precision to create any clear chances to equalize.

Last update: Mon, 27/06/2016 - 23:25


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