#IcelandSmites: Turkey Smaught 2-1; Euro 2020 Looking Good

#IcelandSmites: Turkey Smaught 2-1; Euro 2020 Looking Good

Published June 12, 2019

Iceland’s mighty armada of deadly footballing wildlings visited unholy ruination upon the meek, scampering mice of Turkey yesterday in an emphatic 2-1 smiting on the way to Euro 2020 glory.

The game was considered a must-win for both teams, as the competition is fierce for the second qualifying spot, below World Champions and probably group winners France. Iceland and Turkey are both vying to come in second and progress to the tournament finals, making for a hotly contested match.

The two teams have previous; Iceland put Turkey out of contention for the World Cup last time they faced off. This, and some pre-game controversy, added some extra spice to this grudge match face-off as the starting whistle blew.

Steely-eyed vigour

The Icelandic warriors charged forth with steely-eyed vigour, strafing crosses across the Turkish goal from left and right. The Turkish defence was flat-footed and slow to react in the hot sun of the Laugardalsvöllur national stadium; the Icelanders energetic and focussed.

Birkir Bjarnason missed a glorious chance before, in the 21st minute, veteran defender Ragnar Sigurðsson sprang the offside trap and headed in a glorious first goal from a Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson free kick. A second came ten minutes later, when Ragnar headed in a loose ball from a swooping Gylfi Sigurðsson corner.

World domination

Turkey did pull one goal back in the second half—again—again, a header from a corner. They tried to pull up the energy level, but the Icelandic shield wall held firm; after five minutes of extra time, the final whistle blew, and Iceland celebrated as if the Euro 2020 trophy was theirs already.

The victory puts Iceland joint top in qualifying group H, drawn on nine points with France and Turkey. The next games are home against Moldova on September 7th, and away against Albania on the 9th; this is followed by home games against France and Andorra in October. The final group stage games take place in November, when away fixtures against Turkey and Moldova will decide the final result.

See our full live-tweeted commentary on this Twitter thread, and follow the account for match-day commentaries. Read more about Icelandic football here.

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