Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Host France ends Iceland's underdog run at European Championships

Paul Pogba, center, celebrates after scoring France’s second goal. The hosts led Iceland 4-0 at halftime and cruised from there.

Associated Press

Paul Pogba, center, celebrates after scoring France’s second goal. The hosts led Iceland 4-0 at halftime and cruised from there.

SAINT-DENIS, France — Olivier Giroud scored twice to lead France to an emphatic 5-2 victory over Iceland on Sunday, sending the hosts into a European Championship semifinal with Germany.

It was a humbling but far from embarrassing exit for Iceland, which progressed much further than expected in its first international tournament.

France contests its first major semifinal in a decade Thursday in Marseille.

Giroud, an Arsenal striker booed by French fans in May, is proving to be essential for Les Bleus, netting his team's first and last goals of the day at the Stade de France. Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann also scored in the first half as France led 4-0 at halftime, the first team ever to score that many in the first 45 minutes of a Euros match.

Griezmann, small for an attacking player at 5 feet 9, scored with an excellent finish — a chip over the head of 6-3 goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson — and set up two more goals.

"It will be great if he carries on being the top scorer in the competition," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "He's a very efficient player and is excellent technically. We'll need more of the same from him on Thursday."

However, like its raucous fans, Iceland wasn't done. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Birkir Bjarnason had second-half goals for the smallest nation ever to make the Euros — population 330,000; the Paris metropolitan area alone has about 33 times that — which leaves this competition having impressed many and written an underdog's tale for the ages.

"We are massively disappointed," Aron Gunnarsson, Iceland's captain, said. "But we are also incredibly proud." It showed, as the Icelandic fans lingered well past the end while the French filed out.


Wales vs. Portugal, 3 p.m. Wednesday

France vs. Germany, 3 p.m. Thursday

TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

Host France ends Iceland's underdog run at European Championships 07/03/16 [Last modified: Sunday, July 3, 2016 10:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville


    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  2. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  3. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight



  5. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts


    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]