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Iceland set up England showdown

Iceland 2 Austria 1

By Simon Peach

Published 23/06/2016

Ice and easy: Iceland’s Arnor Ingvi Traustason and Birkir Bjarnasonnation
Ice and easy: Iceland’s Arnor Ingvi Traustason and Birkir Bjarnasonnation

Iceland, the smallest country to ever grace a major tournament, will face England in the Euro 2016 last-16 after securing a remarkable late win against Austria.

Hailing from a tiny island of just 330,000 inhabitants and unable to play outside for large chunks of the year to due to the freezing conditions, it was remarkable that the North Atlantic nation even made it to the finals.

Iceland have upset the apple cart once again, though, securing a last-gasp 2-1 win against Austria, ranked 10th in the world, thanks to Arnor Ingvi Traustason's stoppage-time effort in Paris.

Their first-ever win at a major tournament sets up a fascinating last-16 clash on Monday in Nice against England - a country approximately 165 times the size of Iceland.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson opening the scoring smartly after 18 minutes but an improved second-half display from Austria produced a goal as substitute Alessandro Schopf scored a smart solo effort.

Marcel Koller's side not only failed to get the win they required but suffered a late defeat, with substitute Traustason finishing a stoppage-time break.

Iceland's Kari Arnason, who counts Plymouth, Aberdeen and Rotherham among his former clubs, said: "I've always supported England in big international tournaments, it's a dream come true. We're going to go into the game fully focused."

Belfast Telegraph

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