Iceland 2 v 1 Austria – Euro 2016 Group F

ISL 2:1 AUT – everything was on the line for these two teams in their final group game in the Stade de France, and it showed. The game seesawed one way then the other as both teams enjoyed dominant spells. Iceland started the livelier and in the opening minutes the man who has been so impressive for the Strákarnir okkarBirkir Bjarnason found Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson in space in the final third. His swerving 30 yard strike ferociously struck the upright in an early scare for the Austrians. Unsere Burschen did not learn from the early scare and when a huge long throw into the box was flicked on by defender Kári ÁrnasonKaiserslautern‘s Jón Daði Böðvarsson turned sharply to angle the ball past Robert Almer. It was the tall striker’s first goal in 19 international games, a timely end to the drought. Iceland fans reacted with pure delight. A lifeline for Austria just before half time when the referee spotted jostling in the box and penalised Ari Freyr Skúlason for a pull on David Alaba. Inexplicably Aleksandar Dragović side-footed his effort against the outside of the post and wide – a horrible miss! Iceland started to sit deeper and deeper in the 2nd half as they protected a precious lead that would see them through to the knockout stages. The introduction of Schalke 04‘s exciting young attacking midfielder Alessandro Schöpf brought the Austrians to life. A flash of individual brilliance from him, picking up the ball midway inside the Iceland half, beating two men and driving the ball low past Hannes Þór Halldórsson – a sensational strike. The last 20 minute were exhilarating – Austria threw everything forward to try find the goal to give them a chance of going through, whilst Iceland desperately tried to hold on to achieve what would be a a remarkable progression to the knockout stages. An Austrian corner in the last minute was cleared and suddenly Iceland were on the counter-attack. Substitute Theódór Elmar Bjarnason charged down the right and played a dangerous ball across the Austrian six yard box, it was met by fellow substitute Arnór Ingvi Traustason who forced the ball past a diving Almer. Incredible scenes as wild celebrations engulfed the goalscorer – every member of the Iceland bench celebrated in front of their fans. An unbelievable achievement for coaches Lars Lagerbäck & Heimir Hallgrímsson. They play England in the next round and fear no one.

Man of the Match: Kári Árnason
Best: Kári ÁrnasonBirkir BjarnasonAron GunnarssonHannes Þór HalldórssonAlessandro Schöpf,

#Euro2016 #ISLvAUT

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