Football: Iceland sent packing from Euro 2016 after big loss to France

Olivier Giroud (C) of France in action during the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland. Photo / Getty Images.
Olivier Giroud (C) of France in action during the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland. Photo / Getty Images.

The party felt like it was over, much like the game, before the end of the first half.

But a couple of goals at the Stade de Paris by Iceland and the general good nature of their supporters had the Icelandic capital celebrating as if the country on the rim of the Arctic Circle had won through to the Euro 2016 semifinal.

But that was not the case.

France dominated the quarter-final clash with Iceland, ending the feel-good story of the European championship by defeating the Nordic island 5-2.

The French side rarely looked troubled as they completely outplayed their opponents to book their semifinals clash with Germany.

Iceland, who sensationally beat England 2-1 to reach the last eight for the best result in the tiny nation's football history, were 4-0 down at one stage but gave another never-say-die performance to claw back a more respectable scoreline.

But in the end they were clearly outclassed by a for once united French side, every player at their best, notably striker Olivier Giroud who netted two goals and set up a third.

The party in Iceland's capital began hours before the match with the streets festooned with flags and face-painted fans, shops closing early, bars filling and a giant screen erected at the central Arnarhol park for an estimated 15,000 fans.

From there, several "Volcano claps" were practised, thousands "hoo-hooing" and clapping as one.

As the game was lost, most of the crowd stayed on anyway and with the help of the midnight sun partied on well into the early morning.

"I think everyone is just so happy we got this far in the tournament," said one fan, Lars.

"We are not going to be known as the underdogs anymore, [now] we are just Iceland."

- news.com.au

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