Iceland beat Austria 2-1, exceeding all hopes, in today’s EURO2016 game in Paris. Iceland is now through to the final 16.
Tension was high right from the beginning, since both teams were fighting for a chance to move on in the championship. Austria needed to beat Iceland to move on, but a draw was all Iceland needed to continue. Iceland started strong: only two minutes into the game Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson took aim and sent the ball towards to goal, hitting the post from a distance.
Jón Daði Böðvarsson scored the game’s first goal during the 18th minute, driving fans wild.
Austria got a penalty kick at the 36th minute, almost giving the Icelandic sports announcers a heart attack, but Aleksandar Dragović’s ball landed hit the post.
There was a close call at the 47th minute when the ball was brilliantly kept out of the Icelandic goal by defender Kári Árnason.
Austrians came in strong in the second half, increasing the pressure on the Icelandic team. Alessandro Schöpf scored for Austria 60 minutes into the game, making the score even.
A clash of heads occurred in the 80th minute, sending two players off the field.
At the very last minute, Arnór Ingvi Traustason scored the victory goal for Iceland.
The game had been awaited with much anticipation. This is the first time the Icelandic men’s national football team participates in the Euro Cup. Their two previous games both ended in a draw, 1-1, the first one against Portugal, the second against Hungary.
Businesses closed early in Iceland today to give the nation a chance to watch the live broadcast of the game. Financial firms, insurance companies, a clothing store for older women, and fishmongers were among those which closed early. Some preschools asked that parents pick up their children early. Traffic was heavy between 3 and 4 pm, but during the game, streets were deserted.
The Icelandic team meets England in Nice on Monday.