Iceland produced one of the biggest shocks in England’s history, knocking them out of the Last 16 of Euro 2016.
Their first goal came from precisely the kind of long-throw routine that had apparently been uppermost in England’s thoughts during their training sessions. The second was another reminder that the modern-day England side simply do not have the outstanding centre-backs of previous tournaments and, once again, it was a personal ordeal for the increasingly accident-prone Joe Hart.
Wayne Rooney put England ahead with a fourth-minute penalty, it looked as though Iceland had a mountain to climb if they were to extend their stay in France.
But, in a dramatic opening to the game in Nice they found themselves ahead inside 20 minutes as Ragnar Sigurdsson equalised before Kolbeinn Sigthorsson benefited from another costly Joe Hart mistake.
England hardly threatened Iceland. The problem is that Roy Hodgson had Wayne Rooney in central midfield, Daniel Sturridge playing wide on the right, then brought on Rashford to play wide on the left. Later Rooney and Sturridge were deep and Gary Cahill was pushed forward. The team structure was a mess and no wonder they couldn’t get through.
One moment summed it up midway through the second half. England had a free-kick 40 yards out and Harry Kane insisted on shooting from an almost implausible distance, aiming his effort harmlessly wide. Again, there was voluble dissent from the England fans packed behind their goal. Kane had looked well short of his best, in keeping with how he has played throughout the tournament.
Alli blazed wildly over from Sturridge’s deflected cross on the hour, but as the game wore on England’s play became more frantic and they were unable to put the Iceland backline under any concerted pressure.
Kane headed weakly at Halldorsson with 11 minutes remaining, while Hart saved smartly from Gunnarsson at the other end.