England 1-2 Iceland: Euro 2016 – as it happened

Last modified: 09: 16 PM GMT+0

Iceland came from behind to subject England to one of the greatest humiliations in their history, prompting Roy Hodgson to resign

Roy Hodgson has resigned ...

He gives a gracious farewell speech to the media, refuses to take questions and goes on his way. The search for a new England manager is on.

Roy Hodgson looks down during the match.
Roy Hodgson looks down during the match. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images


Iceland are through to play France ...

Which at leaves solves Roy Hodgson’s dilemma over whether or not to pick Joe Hart for that particular game. They’ve played brilliantly tonight, but England made it quite easy for them.

Iceland celebration !!! What a moment in @UEFAEURO . Anything possible! pic.twitter.com/EuFCoxV8Ww

— Glenn Davis (@GlennDavisSoc) June 27, 2016

Here's Daniel Taylor's match report from Nice ...

ITV pundit Ian Wright isn't happy ...

“It was embarrassing, man,” he says. “It was terrible. The ball going under people’s feet.” He goes on to say that Marcus Rashford was the only player to show any composure and wonders why he wasn’t brought on earlier.

“Some of those players are part-time,” says his fellow pundit Peter Crouch. “It’s embarrassing, there’s no dressing it up.”

Birkir Bjarnason celebrates as England’s Joe Hart and Gary Cahill fall to the ground.
Birkir Bjarnason celebrates as England’s Joe Hart and Gary Cahill fall to the ground. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters


England's players are a picture ...

They look dazed, embarrassed, ashamed, angry and full of disbelief and self-loathing as they wander the field, not quite knowing what to do or where to go. This is a total humiliation and their fans are letting them know in no uncertain terms that they’re not best pleased with this result.

Iceland’s, by contrast, are celebrating, but not quite as wholeheartedly as you might expect. They worked incredibly hard for their win, but the game can be summed up that their goalkeeper had little or nothing to do in the second half, so atrocious were England’s efforts to secure an equaliser. Their passing was awful, their deliveries were awful, they were bereft of ideas and gave the ball away cheaply. Roy Hodgson is going to have some explaining to do in the wake of this shambles and will surely be out of a job very, very soon.

Joe Hart, Dele Alli and Gary Cahill hit the ground at the final whistle.
Joe Hart, Dele Alli and Gary Cahill hit the ground at the final whistle. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters


FULL-TIME: England 1-2 Iceland

It’s all over! England have been eliminated from Euro 2016 by Iceland. For the second time in a week, England suffer an ignominious exit from Europe. They’ve been awful tonight and thoroughly deserved to lose. Hats off to Iceland, though. They’re a limited team, but played to their own strengths and thoroughly deserved their win.

Harry Kane reacts after another miss.
Harry Kane reacts after another miss. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/AMA/Getty Images


90+3 min: Sturridge crosses from the right, Vardy’s hardy is skimmed out for a corner.

90+3 min: Another good sally down the left flank from Rashford, but Gylfi Sigurdsson takes the ball off his toe and hacks it clear for a throw-in.

90+2 min: Joe Hart launches the ball forward towards makeshift centre-forward Gary Cahill. Iceland clear and get the ball up the field.

90+1 min: Rashford beats his man down the left again, but the ball’s taken off his toe and put out for a throw-in.

Marcus Rashford shows some rare England urgency.
Marcus Rashford shows some rare England urgency. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters


90 min: Good work from Rashford who beats two men down the left and wins a corner. He tales it himself, but Vardy puts the ball out for a goal kick. We’ll have three added minutes.

89 min: England win a throw-in, deep inside their own half. It’s taken, Gary Cahill is penalised for a foul and Iceland have a free-kick which is played towards Bjarnasan in the corner.

88 min: Iceland substitution: Jon Dahl Bodvarsson off, Arnor Trautason on.

87 min: England win a free-kick, wide on the left deep inside the Iceland half. Harry Kane takes it and sends the ball soaring over the penalty area and straight out of play. That is absolutely pathetic.

86 min: Iceland win a free-kick inside their own half, which is played long to the corner. England win a throw-in, but make a substitution before it’s taken: Marcus Rashford on for Wayne Rooney.

85 min: The camera cuts to Roy Hodgson on the England bench. He’s deep in conversation with his No2 Ray Lewington, but looks completely frazzle, bearing the countenance of a man who has no idea what to do next.

84 min: Aron Gunnarson sprints through the centre on the counter to pick up a through ball from deep. Jack Wilshere is in hot pursuit, but can’t prevent the Iceland captain from unleashing a surface to air drive from a narrow angle. Joe Hart saves, but the ball was fired straight at him.

Aron Gunnarsson shoots straight at Hart.
Aron Gunnarsson shoots straight at Hart. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters


83 min: Danny Rose is the latest England player to lapse into headless chicken mode, running straight down a blind alley in his own half. Now it’s Harry Kane’s turn to miscontrol a simple pass and gift possession to Iceland.

80 min: England have 10 minutes and added time to save their own blushes and avoid the tidal wave abuse that will flood their camp if they lose this match. Actually, even if they win this match, I expect they’ll get slaughtered by the press. They’ve been so poor tonight, but let’s not take anything away from a heroic Iceland effort. They’ve played to their strengths and are making England look very ordinary indeed.

79 min: England win a free-kick, which Jack Wilshere floats into the penalty area. Harry Kane steers a clean header straight into the arms of the relieved Hannes Haldorson. Iceland substitution from a few moments ago: Elmar Bjarnason on for Kolbein Sigthorsson.

Harry Kane heads straight to Haldorson.
Harry Kane heads straight to Haldorson. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images


78 min: “I’m sure the rest of Europe watching on won’t be remembering this game for a very long time,” says ITV commentator Clive Tyldeseley, by way of reflection on the quality of the play. I think you’re mistaken, there Clive. I think if Iceland can hang on the rest of Europe watching on will remember this game for a very long time.

76 min: In the Iceland penalty area, a backpedalling Jamie Vardy manages to head the ball towards the edge of the six yard box. It doesn’t drop kindly for Harry Kane and Halldorson the goalkeeper claims possession and gives his team-mates a breather. It’s much needed - they’re all huffing and puffin heavily. Puffin ... geddit? Taxi!

74 min: Dire stuff from England, as first Rooney gives the ball away deep inside his own half, then moments later Kyle Walker follows suit. England need some cool heads out there, to get somebody composed on the ball. It’s not happening for them.

73 min: Johan Gudmondsson gets forward for Iceland and shoots on goal. Over the bar, but not by much.

72 min: Sigurdsson clearing tackle went for a corner, which was only cleared as far as Wayne Rooney. He sends a cross high over the box and everyone in it. Woeful.

69 min: Jamie Vardy is put through on goal down the inside left by Dele Alli, but his first touch is poor. He chases the ball into the penalty area, but is dispossessed by a wonderfully timed tackle by Ragnar Sigurdsson. That is astonishingly good defending. England appeal for a penalty, but don’t get one.

Ragnar Sigurdsson’s well-timed tackle stops Vardy.
Ragnar Sigurdsson’s well-timed tackle stops Vardy. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


68 min: While there a certain inevitability about France eventually getting an equaliser against the Republic of Ireland yesterday, there’s no such sense about England here. They’re keeping Iceland pinned back and under a lot of pressure, but haven’t forced Halldorson into a save yet in this half, that I can recall.

67 min: Rooney picks up the ball on the right flank, shapes to shimmy past Gylfi Sigurdsson and runs straight into him. Crikey. He does win a throw-in, from which nothing comes.

66 min: England win a free-kick from about 30 yards and Harry Kane’s effort is appalling. It sails well wide of the right upright. Aron Gunarsson was booked for the foul that led to the free-kick.

Poor from Harry Kane as his free-kick goes harmlessly wide.
Poor from Harry Kane as his free-kick goes harmlessly wide. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images


64 min: Those who were touting Wayne Rooney as the second coming of Andres Iniesta earlier in this tournament may need to revise their opinion. Beyond scoring the penalty from which England took their lead, his impact has been negligible. He’s shouting a lot, telling his team-mates to move the ball quicker, but doing little else.

63 min: Another overhit, speculative ball from deep into the Iceland penalty area, wafted in the direction of a well marked Jamie Vardy. Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorson mops up at the back once again.

62 min: Kyle Walker attempts to cross into the Iceland penalty area from the right. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kolbein Sigthorsson are back to block and clear the ball. Good defending.

60 min: A deflected Daniel Sturridge cross from the right bounces up for Dele Alli. He swings his right foot and shins the ball over the bar. Poor effort.

60 min: England substitution: Raheem Sterling off, Jamie Vardy on. England have a throw-in deep in Iceland territory, which Danny Rose takes.

59 min: If you can’t beat them, join them. England win a throw-in deep in Iceland territory and Kyle Walker chucks it long into the penalty area. It’s cleared.

58 min: With an almost an hour gone, England are embarrassing themselves here. Their movement is ponderous and predictable and if anything, their performance in this second half is even worse than the shift they put in before the interval.

56 min: Chance! From the corner, the ball breaks for Ragnar Sigurdsson, who blasts the ball straight at Joe Hart with a spectacular bicycle kick from the edge of the six-yard box. Good save, although it was straight at Hart and it’s difficult to know quite how much he knew about it.

Ragnar Sigurdsson shoots with a bicycle kick which is blocked by Hart.
Ragnar Sigurdsson shoots with a bicycle kick which is blocked by Hart. Photograph: Mohamed Messara/EPA


54 min: Iceland win another throw-in halfway inside the England half. Gunarson’s throw-in reaches Sigurdsson in the penalty area and he wins a corner. He could have had a penalty, truth be told: Chris Smalling was holding his shirt.

54 min: Dele Alli picks up the ball on the halfway line, scurries forward a few metres and gives it away.

53 min: Jack Wilshere plays another long ball into the Iceland penalty area for Dele Alli to chase. It’s a decent delivery, but Hannes Halldorson is, once again, first to the ball.

Hannes Halldorsson grabs the ball ahead of Dele Alli.
Hannes Halldorsson grabs the ball ahead of Dele Alli. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP


52 min: Rooney plays it wide to Sturridge on the right. He handles the ball, but gets away with it. He’s unable to get away from Ari Skulason, however, and is forced to play the ball backwards.

51 min: Jack Wilshere floats the ball back into the Iceland box, but overhits his effort and goalkeeper Hannes Halldorson clutches it gratefully to his bosom.

50 min: Danny Rose wins a free-kick to the left of the Iceland penalty area after drawing a foul from Gudmondsson. Harry Kane stands over the ball and whips it into the penalty area, where Sigthorsson heads clear.

49 min: Johan Gudmondsson is penalised for offside as Iceland threaten outside the England penalty area.

48 min: Another Iceland throw-in, deep in England territory. This one’s played short to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who didn’t seem to be expecting it and is immediately dispossessed.

47 min: Daniel Sturridge is fouled for a foul on Ari Skulason as he attempted to control a misplaced, overhit pass from Wayne Rooney.

Daniel Sturridge appeals but is booked for a foul on Skulason.
Daniel Sturridge appeals but is booked for a foul on Skulason. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters


47 min: Wayne Rooney sends a cross from the inside right towards Dele Alli on the edge of the Iceland six-yard box. It’s cleared.

Second half: England 1-2 Iceland

46 min: Iceland get the second half under way. Jack Wilshere is on for England, with Eric Dier making way. Considering his clear lack of match fitness and how badly he played against Slovakia, that’s a big gamble. Let’s see how it goes.

During ITV’s half-time analysis: The assembled pundits said that Roy Hodgson has a decision to make: does he drop Joe Hart for the quarter-final? No misplaced arrogance there.

An email from Marty O'Connor

“This tournament must be the end of the ‘Joe Hart is one of the top two or three keepers in the world’ thing, surely,” he says. “Neuer, Courtois, Lloris, De Gea are all vastly better. Germany and Spain have reserve keepers I’d choose over Hart.”

To be honest, England have two reserve goalkeepers I’d pick over Hart. It’s a drum I’ve been banging for a long, long time and one that’s invariably met with a torrent of abuse.


Half-time: England 1-2 Iceland

Despite being gifted an early lead from the penalty spot after a Hannes Halldorson foul on Raheem Sterling, England have somehow contrived to traipse in for their half-time brew losing by two goals to one. Ragnar Sigurdsson equalised within two minutes, pouncing on the flick-on from an Aron Gunarsson long throw. After 19 minutes, Joe Hart’s latest rick gifted Iceland the lead, when he failed to prevent an eminently saveable Kolbein Sigthorsson shot from trundling over the line. England are facing the mother of all embarrassments here, but at least have 45 minutes to put things right.

Much to do for Roy Hodgson at half-time.
Much to do for Roy Hodgson at half-time. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli walk off at half-time.
Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli walk off at half-time. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters


45 min: Iceland win another throw-in deep in England territory, but the danger of another long one from Gunarsson is averted by the referee’s whistle. It’s half-time.

44 min: Another ball from the right, this time from Kyle Walker, to Rooney on the edge of the penalty area. He attempts to volley the ball goalwards, but succeeds only in shinning it over the bar.

43 min: Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorson cathes comfortably when a long ball from Daniel Sturridge on the right towards Dele Alli in the penalty area is overhit.

42 min: Birkir Saevarsson attempts to play the ball ... well, I’m not sure what he was attempting to do with it, to be honest. Under no pressure whatsoever, he sends a cross-field pass to nobody in particular into the stands.

38 min: Gylfi Sigurdsson in the thick of the action again, getting booked for a needless foul on Danny Rose. From the ensuing free-kick, Harry Kane hoists the ball towards the far post, where Chris Smalling is unable to direct his header goalwards. Replays show his marker was holding his shirt - England could have had a penalty there. On the touchline, several England substitutes are warming up.

Chris Smalling’s shirt is pulled by Gunnarsson as tries to head the ball.
Chris Smalling’s shirt is pulled by Gunnarsson as tries to head the ball. Photograph: Tolga Bozoglu/EPA


37 min: On ITV, co-comms man Glenn Hoddle makes the point that Iceland had five men forward when Gylfi took that shot, but Joe Hart’s dilly-dallying over his kick-out meant they were all able to get back in position before England got back on the ball.

36 min: Now Gylfi Sigurdsson tries his luck from distance, but doesn’t trouble Joe Hart unduly.

35 min: Wayne Rooney shoots from distance, but his effort is high and wide. Are England reduced to relying long shots from distance already? A worrying state of affairs if that’s the case.

Wayne Rooney’s shot is high and wide.
Wayne Rooney’s shot is high and wide. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


33 min: Iceland win another throw-in deep in England territory. Aron Gunarsson throws it long into the box again, but it’s cleared. The ball drops for Ari Skulason who hits it on the half-volley from outside the penalty area. His effort curls a couple of feet wide of the left upright. Joe Hart looked to have it covered anyway, although on current form that’s no guarantee he’d have saved it.


32 min: England, as you’d expect, are dominating possession but struggling to break down a dogged Iceland side. Sturridge attempts to play Harry Kane through on goal with a neat dink from the edge of the box, but the Spurs striker is crowded off the ball and Iceland clear.

*Pulls shutters down* #ENGICE

— Iceland Foods (@IcelandFoods) June 27, 2016

29 min: Assorted England players ping the ball around the outskirts of the Iceland penalty area. The ball eventually falls to Danny Rose, who’d made a good overlapping run into the Iceland penalty area, but his shot from close range is deflected into the arms of Iceland goalkeeper Halldorson off a defender.

28 min: England continue to move the ball quickly, with Dele Alli playing it out wide to Daniel Sturridge. His cross is aimed at Harry Kane, who tries a shot on goal with a ferocious volley. Hannes Halldorson is equal to his effort and tips the ball over the bar for a corner. Good effort, good goalkeeping. Nothing comes of the corner.

Harry Kane fires in a volley, which is well saved by Halldorson.
Harry Kane fires in a volley, which is well saved by Halldorson. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters


27 min: Sterling and Johan Gudmondsson contest a ball down the left wing. Good tracking from the Iceland winger, who puts the ball out of play for a goal-kick off the England man’s shins.

26 min: Eric Dier plays the ball long from deep for Kyle Walker. It sails out of play. England are rattled here and so they should be.

23 min: Iceland win another throw-in in Gunarsson territory. This time, England mange to celar courtesy of Harry Kane, but the ball is immediately returned to penalty area. Joe Hart leaps to contest the ball with Sigurdsson and fails to get it, but spares further blushes by getting a free-kick.

Joe Hart is fouled by Sigurdsson.
Joe Hart is fouled by Sigurdsson. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


21 min: England really have nobody but themselves to blame for what could amount to a shambles. Like Iceland’s first goal, this too came from a long throw. Gunnarson’s hoist was initially cleared, but unconvincingly. The ball fell to Sigthorsson on the edge of the penalty area, he shimmied left and right, before unleashing a low drive. Hart got down and got a hand to the ball, but could only watch in horror as his rubber wrist allowed the ball to roll slowly over the goal-line.

Dele Alli looks dejected and England’s defence looks a shambles.
Dele Alli looks dejected and England’s defence looks a shambles. Photograph: BPI/Rex/Shutterstock


GOAL! England 1-2 Iceland (Sigthorsson 19)

Iceland take the lead and Joe Hart has had another shocker. He got a firm hand to Kolbein Sigthorsson’s low shot, but was unable to prevent it trickling over the line and inside the foot of his left upright. We’re almost 20 minutes in and England are being beaten by a supermarket.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson fires in the second for Iceland.
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson fires in the second for Iceland. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Joe Hart fails to stop that shot from Sigthorsson.
Joe Hart fails to stop that shot from Sigthorsson. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Sigthorsson celebrates after scoring to put Iceland ahead.
Sigthorsson celebrates after scoring to put Iceland ahead. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images


17 min: Raheem Sterling cuts into the penalty area behind Kari Arnason to get on the end of a Harry Kane dink into the penalty area. He appeals for a penalty, claiming he was being held by the Icelandic defender, but none is forthcoming.

16 min: Harry Kane attempts a shot from just outside the penalty area after a Raheem Sterling slalom into the penalty area comes to naught. Over the bar.

15 min: Rooney takes the corner and again, his delivery is good. Kari Arnason heads the ball up in the air, it drops and is half cleared as far as Dele Alli, who shoots high and wide, but not by a great deal. This is helter-skelter, pell-mell football at its very best. Massively entertaining stuff.

14 min: Gary Cahill plays a cross-field pass from deep for Kyle Walker to chase up the touchline. He just about keeps it in play (translation: he didn’t keep it in play) and England end up with a corner.

12 min: England win a corner, which Wayne Rooney takes from the right. His delivery is good, but Chris Smalling’s attempt to attack the ball results in him meeting a forehead full of fresh air.

10 min: Hats off to Iceland, who equalised within less than two minutes. Gunnarsson launched the ball into the penalty area from a throw-in, Kari Arnason won the flick-on and Ragnar Sigurdsson was quickest to react.

9 min: Let’s briefly return to the penalty from which England scored their opener. Raheem Sterling got in behind the Iceland defence to latch on to a wonderful ball over the top from Daniel Sturridge. He nudged the ball past Halldorson, who promptly brought him down, prompting referee Damir Skomina to point to the spot.

7 min: Wow! What a start! And what a face-palm moment for England. Aron Gunnarsson’s ability to Delap the ball into the penalty area from throw-ins has been well documented, but England concede from his very first effort. He hurled the ball long into the box, Iceland won the flick on and an unmarked Ragnar Sigurdsson was able to volley low past Joe Hart from the edge of the six-yard box.

GOAL! England 1-1 Iceland (R Sigurdsson 5)

5 min: Iceland equalise, with Sigurdsson shooting from the edge of the six-yard box after an Iceland long throw.

Kyle Walker fails to track his man and Ragnar Sigurdsson fires in the equaliser.
Kyle Walker fails to track his man and Ragnar Sigurdsson fires in the equaliser. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Sigurdsson celebrates after scoring that immediate equaliser.
Sigurdsson celebrates after scoring that immediate equaliser. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters
Ragnar Sigurdsson


Goal! England 1-0 Iceland (Rooney 4pen)

Wayne Rooney shoots England ahead, driving low and hard into the bottom left-hand corner. Halldorson dived the right way, but couldn’t reach it. That’s a great penalty.

Wayne Rooney fires the ball low past Halldorson and England have the early goal.
Wayne Rooney fires the ball low past Halldorson and England have the early goal. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters


Penalty to England

Raheem Sterling is brought down by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorson.

Raheem Sterling goes down under the challenge of Iceland’s goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson.
Raheem Sterling goes down under the challenge of Iceland’s goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images


3 min: England are blitzing Iceland in the very early stages, barely giving them a touch or a moment to settle on the ball. There’s a real urgency about their play.

2 min: Another ball out to Sturridge on the right touchline - already a pattern emerges. He cuts inside, plays the ball to Dele Alli and receives it back in the centre, from where he shoots low, hard and wide of the right upright.

1 min: Kyle Walker gets forward early doors, squaring the ball from the right. Iceland clear.

England v Iceland is go ...

1 min: England get the ball rolling, with Wayne Rooney immediately hoiking the ball forward and out for a throw-in as he attempted to pick out Daniel Sturridge on the right flank.

The players line up in Nice and the scene is set.
The players line up in Nice and the scene is set. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA


Not long now ...

Both sets of players line up in the tunnel, with Wayne Rooney ready to lead out England and Cardiff City’s Aron Gunnarsson wearing the armband for Iceland. Iceland’s players wear their customary home kit of Blue shirts with a red and white stripe down the left side, blue shorts and blue socks. England’s wear white shirts with light blue shoulders, white shorts and red socks.

Roy Hodgson speaks ...

Talking to ITV before the game, he has this to say about the inclusion of Raheem Sterling: “We need width in our team tonight playing against Iceland,” he explains. “We’re anxious to get two players on the field who can beat a man and stretch the opposition.” He also stresses the need to move the ball quickly and says he thinks “we’ve got the capabilities and ability” to win tonight’s game.

Iceland fans
The Uttoxeter branch of the Iceland supporters’ club gather in Nice Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

An email from Adrian: “Barney’s tweet’s a bit harsh, no?” he writes. “Maybe I’m missing something.” Maybe you are, Adrian. A sense of humour?

An England fan
An England fan makes Jamie Vardy an offer he’ll almost certainly be able to refuse. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Barney Ronay reports from Nice ...

Iceland fans making various interesting noises. Lot of them here for a nation with a population of 417, mainly cave-dwelling elves

— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) June 27, 2016

An Iceland fan
A particularly regal Iceland fan. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

England v Iceland line-ups

England: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose, Alli, Dier, Rooney, Sturridge, Kane, Sterling.

Subs: Forster, Milner, Lallana, Vardy, Clyne, Henderson, Stones, Wilshere, Barkley, Bertrand, Rashford, Heaton.

Iceland: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Skulason, Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson.

Subs: Kristinsson, Hauksson, Hermannsson, Ingason, Finnbogason, Sigurjonsson, Theodor Elmar Bjarnason, Magnusson, Hallfredsson, Traustason, Gudjohnsen, Jonsson.

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

Damir Skomina
Slovenian ref Damir Skomina is in charge of tonight’s match between England and Iceland. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


An email from Kári Tulinius

“Today I was watching a video about the Icelandic team made by L’Équipe,” he says. “It showed clips of kids training in the 90s on gravel pitches and muddy fields. I’m a bit older than most of the players in the team, but I remember well how poor the conditions were for practicing in Iceland in the 80s and 90s. Things changed around the turn of the century when the Icelandic football authorities and the government decided to put their money into building indoor football pitches. As a kid I used to think it was near impossible for Icelanders to excel at football, now I know that if you give dedicated, passionate kids the opportunity to train in good facilities all year round, anyone can get there. Now I get to watch Iceland in the round of 16, against England. England! Icelandic footballers have gone from being nobodies to the knockouts.”

Iceland fans
Over one tenth of Iceland’s 350,000 strong population (not all pictured) are in Nice for their team’s match against England. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Meanwhile at the Stade de France ...

Italy have beaten Spain 2-0, with goals from gorgeous Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle teeing up a quarter-final against Germany next weekend.


CONFIRMED: The official #ENG teamsheet for tonight's #Euro2016 clash with #ISL pic.twitter.com/HrBccwGxK9

— England (@England) June 27, 2016

An Iceland fan
An Iceland supporter poses for the cameras. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Euro 2016
There’s always one ... Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

England team news ...

Having been roundly effed and jeffed at for making six changes to the England team that beat Wales ahead of their scoreless draw against Slovakia, Roy Hodgson is expected to make several more for tonight’s game. The return of Raheem Sterling has been loudly trumpeted and it will be interesting to see if this tournament’s designated fan scapegoat, 21, will get the same support from his own country’s fans as he has from his new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney also looks certain to return to the side in midfield, along with Dele Alli, while Spurs full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are also expected to start after being rested against Slovakia. Harry Kane is also likely to return to the side as the focal point of a front three, with Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.

High up there on the disciplinary tightrope, Gary Cahill is the only England starter treading gingerly while holding a pole for balance, while substitute Ryan Bertrand is also on a yellow card.

Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling
Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling at Nice’s Allianz Riviera Stadium yesterday. Photograph: Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images,

Iceland team news ...

Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson have picked the same starting XI for each of Iceland’s three group games and barring any late injuries, look certain to field the same team again. They managed to get through the group stage without picking up any suspensions, but have seven players - Birkir Bjarnason, Johann Gudmundsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Thor Halldorsson, Ari Skulason, Kari Arnason and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson - on yellow cards, which tournament rules dictate will not be wiped until after the quarter-finals.

Iceland co-manager Lars Lagerback speaks

On his prediction of how the game will unfold: “I would expect England to have more possession, but you never know,” he said. “It’s very hot. It may depend on the temperature how the match develops. We’ll see if we can step up a bit when it comes to that part of the game.

On covering every eventuality and his familiarity with his opposite number: “We’ve practised penalties – some were good, some not so good,” he laughed. “I’ve known Roy since 1976 and we met each other often in Sweden. We’ve been in contact now and then for many years, although not as much in recent times when we’ve been around the world.”

On his own team’s fitness: “The starting XI [from the Austria match] have had three days to reload physically and mentally,” he said. “They are looking forward to the game and in the team meetings we’ve started to focus more and more on taking another step.”

Lars Lagerback (right) and Heimir Hallgrímsson
Iceland’s head coaches Lars Lagerback (right) and Heimir Hallgrímsson. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

England manager Roy Hodgson speaks

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the England manager had this to say of this evening’s encounter. “Tomorrow’s result will be significant [for me], but most of all for the team and the country,” he explained. “We want to stay in the tournament, we’re good enough, but we must get results and that starts tomorrow.”

On the subject of his strikers. “I’ve been happy with the strikers I’ve gone with,” he said. “You never know how someone is going to play, but you do know what you’re selecting. You see them in training and you try to choose the best possible players for that game. I’m fortunate that if something isn’t functioning as I would like, we have options on the bench.”

On today’s opposition. “The experience and wisdom of Lars Lagerbäck and Roland Andersson [part of the Iceland staff] and their ability to organise a team and get the maximum out of them, and to engender a work ethic, they owe a lot to that,” he said. “I don’t know Iceland as well as the other Nordic countries, but the character of the Icelandic people and their determination and ability to survive hardships will have been a major factor in their progress.

“We have to accept the title of favourites, and they will be the underdogs, but regardless it will be a difficult game and they will be hard to beat.”

Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson looked relaxed and in good form when he addressed the media yesterday. Photograph: Handout/UEFA via Getty Images

Banana skins rarely come with more "potential" ...

Despite going through the group stages of Euro 2016 unbeaten, England shipped some surprisingly savage media criticism along the way: Roy Hodgson’s tactics were all wrong, his team selections were indecisive and his players weren’t scoring enough goals ... and yet here they are in the knockout stages facing Iceland, with a place in the quarter-finals against the tournament hosts up for grabs.

Of course previous pelters hurled England’s way will pall into insignificance compared to the tsunami of vitriol that will swamp the camp if they go out against the minnows of Iceland, who have proved, both in qualifying and their progress through the group stages, beyond all reasonable doubt that they are no mugs. In truth, short of subjecting Lars Lagerback’s team to an emphatic hiding, this is one of those games England can’t really win.

Having already been the subject of stern polemics regarding their inability to break down resilient, well organised teams who sit deep and soak up their pressure, now they must face one of the most obdurate of them all. Kick-off is at 8pm BST, but we’ll have team news and build-up well before that.

England fans
Some England fans set about their occupation of Nice city centre. Photograph: Darko Bandic/AP



Barry Glendenning

The GuardianTramp

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