Sports

 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: France 5-2 Iceland highlights

France boss Didier Deschamps says his team will be facing the “best side in the world” when they meet Germany for a place in the Euro 2016 final.

Hosts France beat Iceland 5-2 in Sunday’s quarter-final at the Stade de France to set up a last-four tie with the world champions, who beat Italy on penalties on Saturday after a 1-1 draw.

Thursday’s semi-final takes place at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

“It will be a huge match, and we have to give our all,” said Deschamps.

“We’re going to really go for it against the best side in the world. They had a few problems against Italy, but Germany are Germany.”

Olivier Giroud scored the opening goal as France built a 4-0 half-time lead in Paris, with the Arsenal striker adding his second between Iceland’s consolation goals.

Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann also scored for the host nation.

“Are we confident? No, because Germany are the world champions and favourites,” said Giroud. “But we’d like to write another chapter in French football history.

“We’re very pleased with our performance. We scored five goals, and although we did concede a couple we had a lot of fun. We came out fighting right from the start, which we’d been struggling to do since the start of the tournament.

“We’re going to try and erase a few of those small defensive mistakes though, because against Germany we’d pay a heavy price.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Iceland and France unite in saluting fans

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: France 5-2 Iceland highlights

France scored five to brutally extinguish the Iceland fairytale and set up an intriguing Euro 2016 semi-final against world champions Germany in Marseille on Thursday.

There was almost a stunned disbelief around the Stade de France at the break as the host nation walked off with a 4-0 advantage, two of them coming in the closing minutes of the half.

Olivier Giroud’s low strike and Paul Pogba’s powerful header from a corner had settled early French nerves and put their side in control.

Dimitri Payet scored his third goal of an increasingly memorable tournament for the West Ham playmaker with a precise low strike from 20 yards that skidded across the greasy surface before Antoine Griezmann deftly lifted the ball over Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

After the restart Kolbeinn Sigthorsson stabbed home at the near post from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross as Iceland refused to give in before France restored their four-goal advantage when Giroud headed in a free-kick.

Still, there was more to cheer for the excellent Iceland fans when Birkir Bjarnason headed a second for his side in the final stages of what has been a remarkable tournament debut for their team.

France show their hand

Antoine Griezmann’s goal came after 14 passes – the third longest pass sequence before a goal at Euro 2016

Didier Deschamps’ side had only conceded twice in the tournament before meeting Iceland – both penalties – but they had not scored in the opening half of a match and only really shown in flashes that they can reproduce on the pitch the ability they appear to have on paper.

That changed at a wet but atmospheric Stade de France on Sunday.

Griezmann had not scored in 648 minutes of football for France at this ground but he ended that with his composed, delicate finish.

In some ways the goal was everything that was best about France; a patient 14-pass move that ended with a moment of invention to open up the opposition. A raking ball forward was superbly dummied by Giroud, completely bamboozling the Iceland defence and giving Griezmann a clear run at goal.

The goal took Griezmann to four in the tournament and he is now the highest scorer at Euro 2016, with Payet and Giroud among several players one behind.

But even though France were very comfortable winners, it was far from a flawless performance.

Iceland created several decent chances – Jon Dadi Bodvarsson shot over from a good position in the first half and Hugo Lloris made a brilliant save to stop a Sverrir Ingason header after the restart – in addition to their two goals.

After defeating the Republic of Ireland and Iceland in the knockout stages, France will face a very different challenge against a German side with a lot more attacking capability.

Iceland’s great adventure ends

Media playback is not supported on this device

Iceland and France unite in saluting fans

Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo rather sourly remarked that Iceland would “not go on to do anything” after their 1-1 draw at the start of the group stage. How wrong he was.

Their exploits at Euro 2016 have not only done wonders for spreading the word about Iceland’s modest population (329,000 in case you had not heard) but captivated a nation and been one of the feel-good stories of a tournament that has desperately needed them.

They not only defied the odds by qualifying from the group stage – including a dramatic late winner against Austria – but also deservedly eliminated England in a match that they will surely never forget before running into a red-hot France.

Under the calm and steady joint stewardship of part-time dentist Heimir Hallgrimsson and former Sweden boss Lars Lagerback they showed what can be achieved through determination and organisation.

Even after they were on the wrong end of a 4-0 half-time scoreline against Les Blues, they showed the character and passion to ‘win’ the second half 2-1, cheered all the way by their magnificent fans, who gave the tournament the incredible hand clap.

Man of the match – Antoine Griezmann

Media playback is not supported on this device

Antoine Griezmann scores France’s fourth goal of the night against Iceland

Inventive, alert and always involved, the Atletico Madrid star buzzed along and just behind the front line and was at the heart of so many good things for the French.

What the players said

Iceland striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson: “Our defending didn’t work out as we wanted, but it’s not strange that we’re tired after so many games with the same squad. We got back into it in the second half, we showed a lot of character to do that, and we’re really happy that we won the second half.”

Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson: “We are disappointed but incredibly proud. It’s been an amazing experience. A lot of hard work has gone into this and the fans have been fantastic.

“[Speaking after the final whistle] They are still singing, it’s unbelievable. The French have all left. They are still here. It just shows what we put into this.

“The first half was terrible, we managed to play better after the break. We decided we could not leave like that. We will learn from this. We are just starting.”

France midfielder Dimitri Payet: “We managed to score a lot of goals, we scored quickly compared to previous fixtures.

“We have a lot of quality going forward. This was our best performance. We worked all week on Iceland’s strengths, we were aware of that.”

France striker Olivier Giroud: “We’re very pleased, we scored five goals. Although we did concede a couple, we had a lot of fun and are pleased with our performance. We’re going to try to erase a few of these small defensive mistakes, because against Germany we’d pay a heavy price.”

What’s next?

It was not the end they wanted but Iceland can nevertheless return home with a lifetime of memories and a whole heap of new friends. They can look forward to World Cup qualifying in a group that contains fellow Euro 2016 sides Ukraine, Turkey and Croatia.

France can look forward to that tasty semi-final against Germany in Marseille. The winner of that faces Wales or Portugal back at the Stade de France.

The game in numbers

12: France are still unbeaten in games with Iceland (W9 D3 L0).

17: France have not lost in their last 17 major tournament games played on home soil, winning 15 and drawing two.

5: France have scored five headers at Euro 2016 – a record by a team in a single European Championship.

4: France are the first team to score four in the first half of a European Championship game.

10: Olivier Giroud has scored 10 goals in his last nine starts for France. He has netted seven goals in eight games for Les Blues in 2016.

5: Iceland attempted more shots on target in this game than all four of France’s previous opponents at Euro 2016 combined (three).

5: Iceland became the first team in history to name an unchanged starting XI in their opening five games of a Euros.

1: Samuel Umtiti was the first outfield player to win his first cap for France in a major tournament since Gabriel de Michele at the 1966 World Cup. He ended with a 100% pass accuracy from 77 passes.

Live Text

Match ends, France 5, Iceland 2.

Second Half ends, France 5, Iceland 2.

Corner, France. Conceded by Sverrir Ingi Ingason.

Attempt blocked. Antoine Griezmann (France) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André-Pierre Gignac.

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

Attempt missed. Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Iceland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Johann Berg Gudmundsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Eliaquim Mangala.

Attempt missed. Moussa Sissoko (France) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Attempt saved. Kingsley Coman (France) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Goal! France 5, Iceland 2. Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ari Freyr Skúlason with a cross.

Substitution, Iceland. Eidur Gudjohnsen replaces Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

Foul by Eliaquim Mangala (France).

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, France. Kingsley Coman replaces Dimitri Payet.

André-Pierre Gignac (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ari Freyr Skúlason.

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (France).

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Samuel Umtiti (France) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Samuel Umtiti (France).

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Antoine Griezmann (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

Substitution, France. Eliaquim Mangala replaces Laurent Koscielny.

Corner, France. Conceded by Hannes Thór Halldórsson.

Foul by Paul Pogba (France).

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Antoine Griezmann (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland).

Bacary Sagna (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland).

Attempt blocked. André-Pierre Gignac (France) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

Attempt saved. Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Iceland) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Johann Berg Gudmundsson with a cross.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Jul 042016
 
Antoine Griezmann is Euro 2016’s top scorer with four goals

Euro 2016 hosts France scored five to brutally extinguish the Iceland fairytale and set up an intriguing semi-final against world champions Germany in Marseille on Thursday.

There was almost a stunned disbelief around the Stade de France at the break as the host nation walked off with a 4-0 advantage, two of them coming in the closing minutes of the half.

Olivier Giroud’s low strike and Paul Pogba’s powerful header from a corner had settled early French nerves and put their side in control before the two quick goals.

Dimitri Payet scored his third goal of an increasingly memorable Euro 2016 for the West Ham playmaker with a precise low strike from 20 yards that skidded across the greasy surface before Antoine Griezmann deftly lifted the ball over Hannes Halldorsson.

After the restart Kolbeinn Sigthorsson stabbed home at the near post from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross as Iceland refused to give in before France restored their four-goal advantage when Giroud headed in a free-kick.

But shortly after that goal Giroud and Laurent Koscielny – the two French players a booking away from a suspension – were withdrawn and there was more to cheer for the excellent Iceland fans when Birkir Bjarnason headed a second for his side in the final stages of what has been a memorable tournament debut for their team.

Full report to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, France 5, Iceland 2.

Second Half ends, France 5, Iceland 2.

Corner, France. Conceded by Sverrir Ingi Ingason.

Attempt blocked. Antoine Griezmann (France) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André-Pierre Gignac.

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

Attempt missed. Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Iceland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Johann Berg Gudmundsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Eliaquim Mangala.

Attempt missed. Moussa Sissoko (France) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Attempt saved. Kingsley Coman (France) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Goal! France 5, Iceland 2. Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ari Freyr Skúlason with a cross.

Substitution, Iceland. Eidur Gudjohnsen replaces Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

Foul by Eliaquim Mangala (France).

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, France. Kingsley Coman replaces Dimitri Payet.

André-Pierre Gignac (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ari Freyr Skúlason.

Paul Pogba (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (France).

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Samuel Umtiti (France) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Samuel Umtiti (France).

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Antoine Griezmann (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

Substitution, France. Eliaquim Mangala replaces Laurent Koscielny.

Corner, France. Conceded by Hannes Thór Halldórsson.

Foul by Paul Pogba (France).

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Antoine Griezmann (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland).

Bacary Sagna (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland).

Attempt blocked. André-Pierre Gignac (France) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

Attempt saved. Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Iceland) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Johann Berg Gudmundsson with a cross.

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Jul 042016
 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Fear ‘overrated’, says Wales boss Coleman

Wales boss Chris Coleman has dismissed the notion of succeeding Roy Hodgson as England manager.

Hodgson resigned after Iceland sent England out in the second round of Euro 2016.

Coleman’s stock has soared after guiding Wales to their first semi-final, and is contracted until the end of Wales’ 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

“It’s not something I think I would get offered, but I would never rule it in to be honest,” said Coleman.

“Roy has lost his job so England will search again, but it’s not something that would ever enter my thinking.

“I’m a Welshman through and through and, at international football, it was only Wales, and it would only ever be Wales.”

Having beaten Belgium 3-1 in Friday’s quarter-final, Wales face Portugal on Wednesday for a place in the European Championship final.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Wales 3-1 Belgium highlights

They are the first home nation to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament since England at Euro 1996.

Despite beating Wales last month, England finished second behind Coleman’s men in Group B.

They were expected to brush aside Iceland in the last 16, but their 2-1 defeat led to Hodgson’s resignation.

Chief executive Martin Glenn has said the Football Association will appoint “the best person, not necessarily the best Englishman”, but Coleman laughed off suggestions he could be a candidate to succeed Hodgson.

As well as managing Fulham and Coventry, Coleman has also worked abroad in Spain and Greece.

Portugal hope Cristiano Ronaldo can help them beat Wales on Wednesday

He had short spells at Real Sociedad and Greek club Larissa, but those experiences have not dissuaded him from managing abroad again sometime in the future.

“I think my next job after Wales, whenever that is, will be abroad,” said Coleman.

“I quite fancy the chance of going abroad again, because I think that’s my best chance of managing in the Champions League.

“When you’re talking about Champions League football in the Premier League, you’re talking about the top clubs – the massive clubs.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Incredible Robson-Kanu goal puts Wales ahead

“It’s not something I think I’d get linked with, so my best chance of managing Champions League football would be abroad.

“It’s an ambition of mine. But to manage another country? No, I wouldn’t. That’s not something I would consider.”

After their victory over a Belgian side ranked second in the world, Wales are preparing once more for the biggest game in the country’s football history.

But Coleman insists there is no pressure on his side ahead of their semi-final date with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Lyon.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Sam Vokes header seals historic Wales victory

“The bigger countries have got to get into the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final,” said Coleman.

“We didn’t. We had to come and perform for us, for inside our camp.

“I thought we had a good chance of getting to the quarter-final, but I never came out and said to the players, ‘that is what we can do’.

“Other countries who’ve been there before – the pressure is different for them.

“I’ve not really got any interest in other countries, whether that’s England, Spain or whoever.

“My interest is Wales and we just take it game by game.

“We don’t think we’ve got to win this one to get to this stage or that stage three games down the line.”

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Jul 042016
 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Incredible Robson-Kanu goal puts Wales ahead

Wales’ unattached striker Hal Robson-Kanu says he has received several offers following his goal in the Euro 2016 quarter-final win over Belgium.

The 27-year-old was released by Reading at the end of the 2015-16 season.

He has shot to prominence after scoring two goals at Euro 2016, including an inspired turn and finish against Belgium which helped Wales reach their first-ever semi-final.

“There’s offers from around the world,” Robson-Kanu told BBC Sport.

Robson-Kanu scored five goals in 35 appearances for Championship side Reading last season and has not ruled out a move to the top flight when he returns from international duty.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Fear ‘overrated’, says Wales boss Coleman

“I’ve made no secret of my desire to play in the Premier League and if that’s the best place for me then I’ll be there,” he continued.

“I made a decision to run my contract at Reading down. I’ve been there 12 years, given a lot of service and felt it was the best decision for myself and my career to decide where I go next.

“I’ve been aware of clubs coming in for me in the past, bigger clubs and for whatever reason it didn’t happen so it’s probably one of the best decisions of my life.

“It’s funny, a lot of people are making a big deal of it. I had offers before the tournament started. Good offers from good, progressive clubs, but I made a decision to wait until after the tournament.”

Robson-Kanu’s goal against Belgium was only his fourth in 34 appearances for Wales, but his industrious displays have made him an important figure in attack.

He was an injury doubt for the European Championship – Wales’ first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup – which meant he started the campaign on the bench.

Hal Robson-Kanu made more than 200 appearances for Reading in nine years with the club

But the former England youth international came on as a substitute to score the winning goal in Wales’ opening game against Slovakia.

Robson-Kanu then started in the defeat by England, lost his place to Sam Vokes for the wins over Russia and Northern Ireland and returned to the starting line-up in spectacular fashion against Belgium.

“That’s the crazy nature of football – it shows how quickly things can turn,” said Wales manager Chris Coleman.

“It could have been very different for Hal, he could have missed the tournament, without a contract for next season, and that’s not a good position for a player to be in.

“But he made the tournament and worked extremely hard on his fitness. He has come in and played in huge games before, and showed he can play at this level and has a lot to offer.

“I’d imagine there’s a lot of interest and he deserves it. But he knows there’s work to be done here.”

Hal Robson-Kanu has scored four goals in 34 appearances for Wales

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed