Iceland clinch memorable victory

Debutants Iceland booked their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2016 with a dramatic 2-1 win over Austria at Stade de France on Wednesday.

  • Iceland 2 Austria 1
  • Bodvarsson opens the scoring
  • Dragovic misses from the spot
  • Schopf equalises with solo goal
  • Traustason nets dramatic winner

Match Summary

The Nordic nation only needed a draw to qualify for the last 16 and they got off to a good start when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson opened the scoring on 18 minutes.

Marcel Koller’s side squandered the chance to restore parity before half-time as Aleksandar Dragovic failed to convert from the spot, but they equalised on the hour mark with a fine solo goal from Alessandro Schopf.

Iceland defended manfully as the Austrians threw everything at them and they even found a late winner through Arnor Traustason as he capped off a swift counter-attack which sees the tiny nation finish second in the group, behind Hungary on goal difference.

Full Report

Iceland almost made a flying start to their final Group F clash as Johann Berg Gudmundsson cracked a shot against the crossbar from 25 yards out in only the third minute.

Austria were nearly gifted with the opener on 11 minutes when Hannes Halldorsson was caught dwelling on the ball after receiving a backpass, but having dispossessed the keeper, Marko Arnautovic then slipped with the goal at his mercy and the danger was gone.

Strakarnir Okkar threatened again four minutes later as a deep in-swinging corner was kept in play by Aron Gunnarsson at the back post and Kari Arnason sent a volley inches over the crossbar from 20 yards out after the ball came out to him.

And they took the lead through their next attack on 18 minutes with a long throw-in from Aron Gunnarsson flicked on by Arnason into the path of Bodvarsson, who took one touch before firing the ball across Robert Almer into the bottom corner of the net.

Iceland were defending doggedly for the most part to keep Austria’s chances down, although Arnautovic should have done better on the half-hour mark as he steered a header way over from eight yards out after getting on the end of Julian Baumgartlinger’s deep cross.

Das Team were then handed a golden opportunity to draw level on 36 minutes when Ari Freyr Skulason was penalised for tugging on David Alaba inside the area, but Dragovic saw his spot-kick strike the outside of the upright.

Ragnar Sigurdsson gave his side a scare on 40 minutes when his skewed clearance from a cross was claimed by Halldorsson under his crossbar, before the keeper was forced to tip over a curling 25-yard shot from Baumgartlinger in the final action of the first half.

The second half started with a flurry as Bjarnason hooked the ball over on the turn from another long throw, before Alaba was denied by a goalline clearance from Arnason moments later at the other end.

The chances continued to come as Gylfi Sigurdsson volleyed wide of the far post after breaking into the area on 49 minutes, while Schopf sent a venomous shot straight at Halldorsson from just outside the area on 55 minutes.

Five minutes later Austria were back in the contest as Alaba laid a square ball off to Schopf, who beat two defenders on route to goal before finding the bottom corner from 14 yards out.

Iceland looked to respond and Sigurdsson drew a sharp save out of Robert Almer from inside the area from Bodvarsson’s low cross on 65 minutes, but they were hanging on as the Austrians cranked up the pressure after the break.

Marc Janko turned a Marcel Sabitzer cross just wide of the near post on 69 minutes, while Schopf was denied at point-blank range by Halldorsson three minutes later after being played in by the substitute.

Halldorsson was called into action again on 80 minutes as he tipped Alaba’s curling free-kick over the crossbar and their resolute performance was rewarded in stoppage time when Teddy Bjarnason broke away down the right flank and carried the ball into the area before crossing to the back post, where Traustason pounced to seal a memorable win.

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