Culture
Match Review—Politely Gifting First Half To France, Iceland Win Second 2-1

Match Review—Politely Gifting First Half To France, Iceland Win Second 2-1

Published July 4, 2016

So there it is—Iceland’s improbable, exciting run at Euro 2016 came to an end with a truly glorious fixture. After beating England, they’d earned a glamorous quarter final showdown with the former World Cup-winning hosts at the Stade de France in Paris.

Even the wisest soothsayers can read the omens wrong: maybe that washed up whale in Los Angeles was a bad thing after all. And that fog that descended over France? Loki. For sure.

It was, as they say, a game of two halves. Iceland, ever the gracious guests, decided ahead of time to let the French enjoy four first half goals. As well as being polite, this would have the added effect of making up for the awful Germany-Italy fixture with some high drama. This strategy was based around the staging of crowd-pleasing late comeback, during which Iceland would score five goals in the final five minutes.

In the end, this plan backfired slightly—Iceland only won the second half 2-1, not 6-0. This led, ultimately, to a brave and spirited 5-2 loss to a majestic French team who showed the assured form of title contenders.

For the final time in Euro 2016: here’s how it all went down.

Preparations were underway.

The last minute omens were good.

What an occasion: goosebumps, pride and tears in our eyes even on the way to the game.

During the anthem, when players traditionally mumble the worlds and look a bit bored, Aron looked like a man approaching a moment of destiny.

Optimism prevailed.

After a bruising early challenge from Aron, the ref set a promising tone for the game.

Suddenly, France cut through the defence and put one away.

Iceland weren’t just spirited defence: they were making us proud with the quality of their football.

2-0 France.

3-0 France.

4-0 France.

Whispers from inside the Iceland camp.

The plan was working.

The second half began. We sent on reinforcements.

Iceland continued the build the drama perfectly by not scoring.

Secret game plan rumours circulated.

Iceland’s old champion got to run out, even if he didn’t get the goal we all wanted for him.

After the final whistle, there were no tears in Reykjavík: just appreciation and smiles.

The congratulations were heartwarming.

Thanks for the fun times, you guys!

Wikinger-Alarm-in-Ahlen-Cardiff-City-mit-Islands-Kapitaen-Aron-Gunnarsson-im-Anmarsch_image_630_420f_wn

OTHER EURO 2016 ARTICLES:

Also Read: Match Review: Let England Shake—2-1 To Iceland

Also Read: We Spoke To Iceland’s New President About His Experience At The #ENGISL Game

Also Read: What Was The Commentator Who Lost His Mind Actually Saying?

Also Read: In Depth—”Football On The Edge Of The World: Icelandic Football Comes Of Age”


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