Iceland stun England

by

June 28, 2016
Iceland's Ragnar Sigurdsson (left) scores his side's first goal during the Euro 2016 round of 16 match between England and Iceland in Nice, France yesterday.

NICE, France (AP):

Iceland pulled off one of the biggest shocks in European Championship history by beating England 2-1 in the round of 16 on Monday, continuing the astonishing run of the smallest nation at the tournament.

England slumped to their most embarrassing loss in a generation after taking the lead in the fourth minute through Wayne Rooney's penalty.

Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson took advantage of defensive shortcomings by England to put Iceland ahead by the 18th minute, and the Icelanders defended superbly in the second half to earn the biggest victory in their history and a quarter-final match against France in Saint-Denis.

"They thought that this would be a walk in the park," Sigurdsson said. "We had faith in our ability."

Iceland, a country of 330,000 people, are featuring in their first ever major

tournament.

The England fans who booed the team off at half-time and full-time will likely have a different opinion.

England players head home early again for another post-tournament inquest. Their players slumped to the ground in front of their jeering fans after the final whistle, their heads in their hands.

Biggest humiliation

since US defeat

This defeat will probably go down as England's biggest humiliation since losing 1-0 to the United States in 1950 World Cup.

Even more so since they took the lead on a balmy night at the Stade de Nice after winger Raheem Sterling was clipped by goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson as he prodded the ball past him. Rooney converted the penalty into the bottom-left corner.

Iceland struck back immediately through Sigurdsson, volleying in at the far post after Kari Arnason's flick-on from a long throw. The long-throw routine has been a feature of Iceland's play this tournament.

Sigthorsson then took advantage of more slack defending by England, getting time and space to shoot from just inside the area. Goalkeeper Joe Hart got a hand to the effort but the ball squirmed over the line.

Other Sports Stories