Fri | Jan 19, 2018

England booted by Iceland

Published:Tuesday | June 28, 2016 | 12:00 AM

NICE, France (AP):

After voting to leave the European Union last week, the English left the soccer European Championship in similarly surprising fashion yesterday in what will go down as their most embarrassing loss in a generation.

Iceland, whose population of 330,000 makes them the smallest nation ever to compete at the tournament, pulled off one of the biggest shocks in European Championship history by beating England 2-1 in the round of 16.

"This is probably going to be a day that we will talk about for the rest of our lives," said Iceland joint coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who runs a dentist surgery in his spare time.


David Cameron stepped down as British prime minister after the results of last week's referendum that unsettled the country and the whole of Europe. England coach Roy Hodgson did the same after overseeing yet another humiliating campaign in a major tournament.

"Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry and extremely talented group of players," Hodgson said. "They have been fantastic."

Captain Wayne Rooney put England ahead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute after Raheem Sterling was clipped by Hannes Halldorsson as he prodded the ball past the goalkeeper.

Crucially, Iceland struck back within two minutes through Ragnar Sigurdsson.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson then took advantage of more slack defending by England, getting time and space to shoot the winner from just inside the area after intricate build-up play.

Meanwhile, Spain's era of dominance at the European Championship came to an end yesterday when Italy beat the two-time defending champions 2-0.