Tomlinson Furniture
KAABOO – Generic
NFL Pick’ems

Italy, Iceland pull upsets to clinch Euro 2016 quarterfinal berths

Http iframes are not shown in https pages in many major browsers. Please read this post for details.

Italy and Iceland Monday (27 June) each pulled stunning upsets to earn quarterfinal spots in the 2016 European Championship.

Holders Spain were knocked out of Euro 2016 in a 2-0 defeat by Italy after goals by Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle set up a quarterfinal matchup with world champions Germany.

Chiellini opened the scoring after 33 minutes while Pelle wrapped up the victory in stoppage time to end Spain’s reign as European champions which covered the 2008 and 2012 tournaments.

Chiellini’s strike was the first goal Spain conceded in a knockout match at a European Championship or World Cup since Zinedine Zidane scored for France at the 2006 World Cup.

Spain’s goalkeeper David De Gea had saved a number of spectacular shots including an overhead kick by Italy’s Chiellini and a header by Pelle.

Spain’s best chances in the last 16 tie came late in the game when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon parried strikes by Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique but Italy deserved their win.

Iceland pulled off one of the biggest shocks in European Championship history when they stunned England 2-1, leading losing manager Roy Hodgson to resign.

Although the soccer pedigrees of the two sides could not be more different, Iceland looked the better team in just about every aspect of the game and fully deserved to extend their dream run on their first tournament appearance.

After falling behind to a fourth-minute Wayne Rooney penalty they levelled almost immediately through Ragnar Sigurdsson and struck again in the 18th with a shot by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

They then survived without great distress as England struggled to build any sustained pressure and barely tested goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

Iceland are the smallest country ever to appear in a major tournament and their reward is a quarter-final against hosts France in Paris on Sunday 3 July, with the prize for the winner being a semifinal against European heavyweights Germany or Italy.

England will be watching from home – again – after a defeat that extends their miserable run in the Euros where they have won one knockout match, on penalties at home to Spain in 1996.

It all looked so different for England at the start when Raheem Sterling was hauled down by Halldorsson, allowing Rooney to smash them ahead from the penalty spot.

The lead lasted less than two minutes, though, as Iceland, who had talked up their long throws as a weapon, scored from just that source.

Aron Gunnarsson’s throw was flicked on by Kari Arnason to Ragnar Sigurdsson who was left completely unmarked to sweep home the equaliser.

If the England defending was bad for that goal it was disastrous for the second as Iceland were allowed all the time and space they wanted to neatly ping the ball between themselves on the edge of the box to set up Sigthorsson.

His low shot was crisp enough although well within range for Joe Hart but the England keeper got only half a glove on it and watched in horror as it dribbled over the line.

England looked shell-shocked and spent the rest of the half struggling to make any inroads, their front men and attacking midfielders static, and were booed off by their own fans.

The last time the sides met England won 6-1 in 2004 but this is a very different Iceland, who beat Netherlands home and away in qualifying for France and at the finals have held Portugal, were unlucky to concede a late own-goal equaliser to Hungary and then defeated Austria to finish second in their group.

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment
Kirk Freeport – January 2019
Eclipze Generic
%d bloggers like this: