Tag: Iceland

France beats Iceland 5-2, setting up semifinal with Germany

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Iceland celebrates biggest victory with win over England

Iceland celebrates biggest victory with win over England

NICE, France (AP) — Aron Gunnarsson, every inch the bearded Viking, ran shirtless toward the Iceland fans & led them in their victory chants.

Beating England at the European Championship was more than just Iceland's greatest sporting success. Monday was a moment of national triumph in a country where the team's improbable progress from the group stage had already outshone coverage of Saturday's presidential election.

The Scandinavian nation of just 330,000 people, by the far the smallest country to qualify for a European Championship, inflicted a shattering 2-1 defeating on England – the country that has been the model for Icelandic football for decades.

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Iceland fans fired up by team's European adventure

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — When Iceland took on Portugal in their European Championship opener, the tiny Scandinavian nation virtually ground to a halt as thousands of fans packed into a central Reykjavik square.

When Birkir Bjarnason scored a second-half equalizer to earn Iceland a shock 1-1 draw in its first match at a major international tournament, the nation known for its active volcanoes erupted in patriotic joy.

Watching sport has always been popular among Icelanders, the team's captain Aron Gunnarsson said Friday. ''When they've received a team actually playing there, it's going absolutely mental.''

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Iceland prepares to face Hungary in 2nd match at Euro 2016

Iceland prepares to face Hungary in 2nd match at Euro 2016

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — The smallest nation ever to play at the European Championship is gearing up for its next match knowing a victory just might be enough secure a spot in the knockout round.

Iceland came back to surprisingly hold Portugal to a 1-1 draw in its debut on Tuesday, & the team will next face Hungary on Saturday in Group F.

''Now there are two games left,'' Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson said. ''One win will probably be enough to advance, yet we want to complete it as shortly as possible & win the next game to make sure of it.''

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Soccer-Platini purrs as underdogs enjoy Euro expansion

Soccer-Platini purrs as underdogs enjoy Euro expansion

By Mike Collett

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – UEFA's decision to expand the European championship to 24 teams six years ago was condemned by many yet millions of fans across the continent are delighted with that choice now as the Euro 2016 qualification race draws to a gripping finale.

One English newspaper said the idea was "mad", while a global broadcaster dismissed it as a "terrible, horrible, no-good idea", which would ruin the "perfect" 16-team format that had been in place since 1996.

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Soccer-Platini purrs as underdogs enjoy Euro expansion

Soccer-Platini purrs as underdogs enjoy Euro expansion

By Mike Collett

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – UEFA's decision to expand the European championship to 24 teams six years ago was condemned by many yet millions of fans across the continent are delighted with that choice now as the Euro 2016 qualification race draws to a gripping finale.

One English newspaper said the idea was "mad", while a global broadcaster dismissed it as a "terrible, horrible, no-good idea", which would ruin the "perfect" 16-team format that had been in place since 1996.

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Iceland reaches Euro 2016 for its biggest soccer achievement

Iceland reaches Euro 2016 for its biggest soccer achievement

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — When Lars Lagerback took over as Iceland coach in 2010, he set huge targets for a tiny nation that had never qualified for a major football tournament.

''Lars told me that the team was strong enough to qualify for the (2014) World Cup,'' said Heimir Hallgrimsson, who shares coaching duties with Lagerback. ''I thought he was crazy.''

That proved just beyond Iceland – it lost to Croatia in a tight playoff – yet the European Championship will do just fine as a second prize.

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Iceland reaches Euro 2016 for its biggest soccer achievement

Iceland reaches Euro 2016 for its biggest soccer achievement

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — When Lars Lagerback took over as Iceland coach in 2010, he set huge targets for a tiny nation that had never qualified for a major football tournament.

''Lars told me that the team was strong enough to qualify for the (2014) World Cup,'' said Heimir Hallgrimsson, who shares coaching duties with Lagerback. ''I thought he was crazy.''

That proved just beyond Iceland – it lost to Croatia in a tight playoff – yet the European Championship will do just fine as a second prize.

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Iceland qualifies for Euro 2016 but Wales has to hold on

Iceland qualifies for Euro 2016 yet Wales has to hold on

Iceland made it to its first major tournament on Sunday yet Wales will have to wait a little longer to secure a place at the 2016 European Championship after Belgium grabbed a late winner in Cyprus.

Iceland's goalless draw against Kazakhstan was a drab affair, yet it was enough to guarantee the tiny nation a place as one of the top two finishers in Group A, along with the Czech Republic.

Wales was moreover held to a goalless draw by Israel in Group B & now needs one point from its final two matches in October to make it to France next year.

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Dutch defeats leave nation wondering what went wrong

Dutch defeats leave nation wondering what went wrong

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The same Netherlands team that humiliated Spain early in last year's World Cup is fading – & fading fast.

After losses to Turkey & Iceland over the last few days, the Dutch are on the brink of missing out on next year's European Championship in France – a tournament expanded to accommodate 24 teams.

The Netherlands lineup that lost to Iceland 1-0 at home on Thursday & then 3-0 at Turkey on Sunday is virtually unchanged from the one that overwhelmingly defeated the defending World Cup champions 5-1 last year in Brazil & ended up finishing third.

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