Make us your home page
Instagram

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.

Semifinals

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

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  2. Baseball team's eclipse watch during game draws fans from far away

    Outdoors

    KEIZER, Ore. — They came from Hawaii, Rhode Island and Alaska, and as far as the Dominican Republic and Australia.

    Players for the minor-league baseball Salem-Keizer Volcanoes wear special eclipse jerseys Monday.
  3. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  4. 247Sports: Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere top OT in nation

    Footballpreps

    Berkeley Prep offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere already is widely considered the best player in Tampa Bay.

    Berkeley Prep rising senior defensive end Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) performs a pad drill during spring football practice at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2017.
  5. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …