Iceland, the smallest country to ever grace a major tournament, will face England in the Euro 2016 last 16 after securing a remarkable late win against Austria.
Hailing from an island of just 330,000 inhabitants, Iceland upset the apple cart once again, securing a last-gasp 2-1 win thanks to Arnor Ingvi Traustason’s stoppage-time effort in Paris. Their first-ever win at a major tournament sets up a fascinating last-16 clash on Monday in Nice against England – a country approximately 165 times the size of Iceland.
The minnows threatened from the outset as Johann Gudmundsson’s thunderous early effort hit the goal frame, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson opening the scoring smartly after 18 minutes after officials missed Aron Gunnarsson stepping across the line when providing the mammoth throw that led to the opener. Aleksandar Dragovic wasted the chance for Austria to go in level after hitting a penalty against the post, but an improved second-half display brought a goal as substitute Alessandro Schopf scored a smart solo effort.
Marcel Koller’s side peppered the Iceland goal for the remaining 30 minutes yet suffered a late defeat, with substitute Traustason finishing a stoppage-time break.
Iceland defender Kari Arnason, who counts Aberdeen among his former clubs, said: “I’ve always supported England in big international tournaments, it’s a dream come true. We’re going to go into the game fully focused, we’re going in to get a result. We believe in our ability.”
ICELAND: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason, Gudmundsson (Ingason 86), Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason, Bodvarsson (T Bjarnason 71), Sigthorsson (Traustason 80). Subs not used: Kristinsson, Hauksson, Hermannsson, Sigurjonsson, Magnusson, Hallfredsson,Gudjohnsen, Jonsson.
AUSTRIA: Almer, Dragovic, Prodl (Schopf 46), Hinteregger, Fuchs, Ilsanker (Janko 46), Baumgartlinger, Klein, Alaba, Arnautovic, Sabitzer (Jantscher 78). Subs not used: Lindner, Garics, Okotie, Junuzovic, Harnik, Suttner, Wimmer, Hinterseer, Ozcan.