Euro 2016: France vs Iceland… Live!

by | Jul 3, 2016

Good evening everybody, and welcome to the last of the four quarter-finals at Euro 2016, between France and Iceland. We may learn something about the nature of fairy tales this evening. Iceland have already knocked Russia and England out of this year’s competition, but tonight they face their biggest test yet, a match against the hosts of the competition – and one of the strongest in the world at the moment – France at the Stade de France, just to the north of Paris.

Iceland have got this far sticking relentlessly to a game plan that has served the team well, so far. In their second round match against England, they overcame going a goal down early on and bounced back with two goals in fourteen first half minutes to snatch the lead. They’ll need all their reserves of energy this evening, though. France had a patchy start against Romania, but they won their group comfortably and, although they had to work hard for it, were eventually comfortably in beating Ireland in their second round match. The winners of the match will play Germany in the semi-finals for a place in the final against Portugal or Wales. So first of all, here are this evening’s teams – we’ll be back shortly before kick-off to take you through the match.

France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Giroud.

Iceland: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Amason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason; Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson.

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Mark July 3, 20167:50 pm

Logic would suggest that tonight will be a step too far for Iceland. However, with about half the French team having Premier League experience, who knows how they will cope with the pressure of warm favouritism combined with the vocal expectancy of the St Denis crowd. I mean, Oliver Giroud is no Harry Kane and…no…I’ll stop there. France to win but some fun to be had upon the way.

Mark July 3, 20167:53 pm

Iceland in white. Was that the subject of a coin toss?

Ian July 3, 20167:55 pm

Much as you said, Mark. Beating England was a wonderful achievement, but this is a differ matter altogether. France occupy a different plane to England and it’s difficult to believe that France will make the same mistakes or play with the same complacency.

Ian July 3, 20167:57 pm

The weather in Paris, by the way, is absolutely terrible. It’s pouring with rain and has been for much of the day. No roof they can quickly slap on here, either.

Mark July 3, 20167:58 pm

“Iceland are not meant to be here…not by tournament statistics” (Tyldesley).Iceland have beaten the Czech Republic, Turkey, The Netherlands (twice), Austria and England in qualifying to get to France and in France. THEY are the tournament “statistics” that matter when it comes to meaning to be here.

Mark July 3, 20167:58 pm

Dull national anthem, though.

Ian July 3, 20167:59 pm

Yup, they definitely need a new national anthem. I suggest “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara.

Mark July 3, 20168:01 pm

That’s a bizarrely good idea, Ian. Not that good ideas from you are “bizarre”…

Didn’t hear the ITV studio “analysis.” Did anyone dare start a sentence with “If France can get an early goal…”? 🙂

Mark July 3, 20168:02 pm

Stop biting your nails, Antoine Griezmann. Wonder if that is a portent of something?…oh wait…Glenn Hoddle’s talking…

Mark July 3, 20168:04 pm

Ref needs to have a slightly less straight arm and open palm when pointing in the direction of free-kicks.

Ian July 3, 20168:05 pm

The pitch, as could be seen from the first foul of the evening, is absolutely saturated. I haven’t been completely sold on France yet. I don’t think they’ve really been tested yet. And this is a test, I reckon.

Mark July 3, 20168:06 pm

Gylfi Sigurdsson of the Premier League with the first shot, although Hugo Lloris had to wait a bit for it to arrive…

Mark July 3, 20168:07 pm

The red socks on French legs are wrong…just WRONG. If they win tonight and its level after 120 minutes against Germany in the semi-final, the Germans should go through on that alone, rather than penalties.

Ian July 3, 20168:08 pm

It’s not the socks, Mark it’s the shorts. France should be wearing blue shirts, white shorts and red socks.

Mark July 3, 20168:08 pm

Payet rolls one at Iceland’s cool keeper Halldorsson who, unusually, spills it a bit. Giroud is ready to pounce on the reboun…ha, no, only joking.

Mark July 3, 20168:10 pm

Yes, good flag-based point. Still a semi-final decider, though…

Ian July 3, 20168:11 pm

I think Iceland fancy this, tonight. That’s three times they’ve worked themselves into good attacking positions, breaking from midfield and having a run at the French full-backs.

Mark July 3, 20168:12 pm

What was that about Lars Lagerback getting votes in an election in which he wasn’t standing? Idiotic voting??? What a thing, eh?

Mark July 3, 20168:13 pm

Wonder if Schteve McLaren is on SKY tonight?

Mark July 3, 20168:14 pm

Giroud 1-0!!! TOLD YA!!!

Mark July 3, 20168:14 pm

My first guess is offside, unless the left-back was lazy…

Ian July 3, 20168:14 pm


Mark July 3, 20168:15 pm

My second guess is offside. Anyway, long throw for Iceland…

Mark July 3, 20168:16 pm

“Lets see if the French have learnt anything from our mistakes?” says Hoddle. Well, they’ve learnt one thing. Don’t make them.

Mark July 3, 20168:18 pm

Great ball from Ma Tweedy for the goal, though.

Hoddle insists that France defended that Iceland long throw by “learning from England.” I reckon they might…just MIGHT have defended it properly without Kyle Walker’s help. Still, its all about England, isn’t it?

Mark July 3, 20168:20 pm

Iceland “play in boxes”, says Hoddle, explaining why they have defied pundits by refusing to tire. Can’t wait for him to be England boss again…

Mark July 3, 20168:21 pm

2-0 Pogba header from Griezmann corner.

Mark July 3, 20168:22 pm

France “learning from England” by scoring twice before Iceland can equalise. Good climb AND hang time from Pogba. “Like Tommy Lawton”, the old ‘uns might say.

Ian July 3, 20168:22 pm

It didn’t look offside to me. Have to admit that the laws on this sort of thing seem to change so quickly I can barely keep up, but they do still benefit the attacking player, don’t…

Ian July 3, 20168:22 pm


Mark July 3, 20168:24 pm

My guess might easily be wrong, although that benefit of the doubt rule didn’t seem to apply last season. Looks like it might not matter, though. Alas.

Ian July 3, 20168:24 pm

I saw a television interview with Tommy Lawton recorded not that long before he died. Now, there was a man who knew the value of a pound. (Insert joke here.)

Mark July 3, 20168:26 pm

If only Iceland had a man on the post for that second goal…oh wait…they did…and he had a football-sized hole in him. Unlucky, that.

Mark July 3, 20168:27 pm

Ooooh. France forget to learn from England…long-throw flicked on and a shot over. “Absolute replica of the goal against England” notes Hoddle, forgetting one key detail.

Mark July 3, 20168:29 pm

Tyldesley recalls that Iceland came from two-down to level at 2-2 against France “in this very stadium” in a 1999 Euro qualifier. Iceland lost but its a useful bit of research. I bet Mark Lawrenson would have accused Tyldesley of being a nerd for knowing that.

Mark July 3, 20168:29 pm

France won the Euros in 2000, after that victory BTW. So, concede twice here but win anyway and the tournament’s yours. That would be fun.

Ian July 3, 20168:30 pm

Are there *really* people who think that Hoddle should be the next England manager?
That’s crazy.

Mark July 3, 20168:32 pm

So…that’s 52% of the voting population who might… (Only joking, “leave” voters).

Mark July 3, 20168:35 pm

Ian Wright still calls him “gaffer.” Not sure what point I’m making with that information.

France controlling the match now.

Ian July 3, 20168:37 pm

Kind of feels as though Iceland need a Plan B at the moment. Nick a goal before half-time if they can, but it’s critical that they don’t concede again. Get to half-time at 2-0 and they’re still just about in the game and can reorganise.

Mark July 3, 20168:38 pm

Patrice Evra bloody whingeing again. Tackled by Gudmunsson, he reckons he should have had a free-kick or a corner but got neither…bloody whinger…oh wait…he’s right. France’s night, alright. They remain much the likelier next scorer.

Mark July 3, 20168:41 pm

ITV have had slightly the worst of the quarter-finals, especially if this match peters out after a third French goal. Hence the extra glee in Tyldesley’s voice when he announces that Wales/Portugal is on ITV. Echoing the thoughts of a nation, though. For obvious former Leicester City midfielder reasons.

Mark July 3, 20168:41 pm

No, NOT Keith Weller…

Mark July 3, 20168:44 pm

3-0 Payet left-foot

Ian July 3, 20168:46 pm

And that, I rather suspect, is that.

France 3-0 Iceland – Dimitri Payet shoots low into the corner after Giroud knocks down a cross and Griezmann touches the ball into his path. Probably the player of the tournament so far, Payet.

Mark July 3, 20168:46 pm

Iceland not employing a blanket defence and regretting it. Griezmann picks up a half-cleared cross and sets up the West Ham man who has the time to engineer a perfect finish…and uses it. Premier Leaue’s the best in the world again.

Oh, f**k 4-0

Ian July 3, 20168:47 pm

Bloody hell, another one. Griezmann released through the centre and chips the ball over Halldorsson. All a little bit easy for them, now.

Mark July 3, 20168:48 pm

Griezmann now the tournament’s top scorer, dinking the ball over Halldorsson. “Messi-like” notes Hoddle, as if no-one has EVER dinked a ball over an on-rushing keeper before.

Half-time. 4-0. France have learnt a LOT from England…

Ian July 3, 20168:51 pm

Half-Time: France 4-0 Iceland. Yes yes yes, 320,000 people. Yes yes yes, part-time players. BUT. This is a European Championship quarter-final and France were outstanding in the first half. They had to weather a little bit of possession and conceded a couple of half-chances, but otherwise they’ve completely controlled this game and looked like potential champions this evening. Germany in the semi-final is going to be a fascinating match.

Mark July 3, 20168:55 pm

See. SEE!!!! “Half-a-boot” offside, says Dixon of France’s first goal. Mind you, the graphic accompanying his analysis suggests Giroud was onside.

Mark July 3, 20168:59 pm

Always makes me laugh when a football commentator suggests “it could be a cricket score.” What…320 for 6? 190 for 9? 485 for 7 declared? Jose Mourinho once lambasted a Spurs/Arsenal game for producing “a hockey score” (it was 5-4 to Arsenal). Seems the obvious analogy. However, that will almost certainly be the last time I concur with the Portuguese prima donna. Publicly anyway. Probably. Promise.

Mark July 3, 20169:07 pm

Damage limitation starts here. Hopefully. Two Iceland interval changes. Bodvarsson replaced by Finnbogason. Ingason on for Arnason.

Mark July 3, 20169:09 pm

Payet fires over as France look to have Euros records further forward in their thoughts than potential semi-final suspensions.

Mark July 3, 20169:10 pm

For instance, Giroud is a mistimed tackle away from missing the semis. And without him, where would France be?

Ian July 3, 20169:10 pm

Yes, you’d hope so, though the first five minutes haven’t given much impression of France intending to slow down at all. I presume that cumulative fatigue has got something to do with why Iceland have been off the pace this evening. Well, that and the fact that France actually move around rather than acting as if they’re rehearsing for a sleeping lions competition, like a certain bunch did the other night.

Mark July 3, 20169:12 pm

Netherlands 6 Yugoslavia 1 is the biggest Euro finals win, in 2000, the tournament during which Yugoslavia beat Spain 5-4, a game one Irish journo reportedly described as having “everything except full-frontal nudity.”

My memory has Yugoslavia wearing black shirts in the 6-1 defeat. If so, a fair result…

Ian July 3, 20169:14 pm


Mark July 3, 20169:14 pm

4-1 Sigthorsson. THE…COMEBACK…IS…ON…

Mark July 3, 20169:17 pm

Just as Iceland fans were welcoming their team into plucky territory with a stirring song or two.

Good goal. Sigurdsson’s cross was good and Sigthorsson’s finish was…well, better than one mishit but on-target shot I could mention.

Mark July 3, 20169:17 pm

Bugger. 5-1, Giroud.

Ian July 3, 20169:17 pm

Flat. Track. Bully.

Mark July 3, 20169:18 pm

Great free-kick by Payet. “You have to put some swazz on it” says Hoddle…which could soon be an England team-talk, remember.

Mark July 3, 20169:21 pm

Giroud is subbed before he can get a hat-trick…or, more importantly, booked for a second time in the finals, thus missing the Germany game.

The lumbering but semi-skilful Gignac is on, hoping for some more Payet Swazz, no doubt. Not a phrase I ever imagined typing when I set out on a journalistic career.

Mark July 3, 20169:22 pm

Lloris saves superbly from Ingason’s header. The odds on 5-5 flattened for a split second.

Iceland firmly in plucky territory.

Ian July 3, 20169:23 pm

Agreed, was a brilliant save by Lloris. Poor old Iceland. A chink of light for a couple of minutes. The game is starting to get stretched now, which I suspect suits France more.

Mark July 3, 20169:23 pm

Mind you, so many teams have been in plucky territory in these finals, it might soon need a town planning department.

Mark July 3, 20169:24 pm

That line sounded better in my head.

Ian July 3, 20169:26 pm

Half-way through the second half and we’re all square since half-time.

Mark July 3, 20169:26 pm

Its in these situations that Ireland’s fans start banging out “Fields of Athenry.” So be grateful for that sinister-sounding Icelandic clap-chant, which Tyldesley informs us is “a Motherwell thing.”

Mark July 3, 20169:28 pm

Lots of slightly sad but philosophical-looking Icelandic fans about the place. Again an astonishing proportion of them are attractive blonde women.

Ian July 3, 20169:30 pm

Well as you know, Mark, I am firmly of the opinion that the young, excitable women in the crowd that are picked up by the big screen camera operators are plants.

Mark July 3, 20169:32 pm

Nope. Definitely human…

Mangala on for the near-suspension Koscielny. A window of opportunity for Iceland, the way Mangala sometimes plays.

Ian July 3, 20169:32 pm


Mark July 3, 20169:34 pm

🙂 🙂

The “old-fashioned arm-against-arm is alright,” Hoddle explains, after an Iceland foul. Hope he employs a defensive coach when he becomes England boss again…

Mark July 3, 20169:35 pm

14 minutes left and Iceland still pluckily pushing forward. Probably IS their best form of defence at the moment, mind.

Ian July 3, 20169:37 pm

I can’t get the word “swazz” out of my head, now.

Ian July 3, 20169:38 pm

Mark July 3, 20169:39 pm

Swazz, swazz, swazz, swazz, swazz, swazz…I’m not helping, am I?

Payet coming off for surely one of the very few French Kingsleys…Coman. France think they have this won…

Swazz, swazz…etc…

Mark July 3, 20169:40 pm

“Eidur Gudjohnsen’s going to come on in a minute”, Tyldesley tells us. Iceland think France have this won.

Mark July 3, 20169:41 pm

“Coman goes on,” says Tyldesley, presumably winning a bet in the process…

Ian July 3, 20169:41 pm

France’s last substitute:

Mark July 3, 20169:41 pm

Bjarnasen header. 5-2.

Ian July 3, 20169:42 pm

Well, you can’t fault them for not keep pushing away. Nice downward header from Bjarnasen and the deficit is back to three goals again.

Mark July 3, 20169:43 pm

Gudjohnsen comes on for his, second, international retirement. And within seconds…

Mark July 3, 20169:43 pm

Five minutes plus stoppo for Iceland to take this into extra-time.

Mark July 3, 20169:45 pm

The tournament’s goals-per-game ratio must be catching up fast with Italia ’90 after the quarter-finals goal-fest. And there’s been half-chances at both ends while I’ve been typing this.

Ian July 3, 20169:46 pm

Nearly! Lloris was drawn from his goal by Sigurdson’s run forward, and Mangala has to clear. Iceland are finishing the game with their tails up, and you can only wonder how different this might have been had France not bagged those two quick goals before half-time.

Mark July 3, 20169:48 pm

“These players for Iceland are not playing at the very top level, you know” (Hoddle). Yes, Glenn. We know.

Mark July 3, 20169:49 pm

If Antione Griezmann had a right-foot with any football ability in it, it would be 6-2. But he hasn’t. So it isn’t.

Mark July 3, 20169:50 pm

Only two minutes stoppo, we are told 90 seconds into them. The ref saving France there…

Mark July 3, 20169:51 pm

“France to win but some fun to be had along the way,” I typed pre-kick-off. And, for once, I was right.


Mark July 3, 20169:52 pm

Iceland, of course, “won” the second half.

Mark July 3, 20169:57 pm

A hockey score, then.

You suspect that if France needed a six-goal victory, they’d probably have got it. Very impressive.

A pair of semi-finals to look forward to. A tournament which could yet go down in history as “not bad, overall, really.”

And Wales with 24 hours more rest before the final 🙂 , especially advantageous when France/Germany goes to penalties.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Ian July 4, 20161:30 pm

Full-Time: France 5-2 Iceland – A job satisfactorily done for France,
though conceding two goals in the second half might be a small concern
to Didier Deschamps ahead of the semi-finals. Iceland leave the
tournament having (and no matter how patronising this may sound it
doesn’t make it any less true) outstripped what anybody believed them to
be capable of. They’ll likely be disappointed that they couldn’t make
more of a game of it, but they’re surely capable of making a serious
fist of challenging to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals. We’ll have
some words on the tournament so far (I did England and Wales this
morning) over the next couple of days, then it’s all off to the semi-finals.