If you thought it was pretty cool to see Wales and Iceland make it to the Knockout Stage of Euro 2016, then you really must love the results. Both of them are going to the Quarterfinals! Iceland pulled the upset over England…enter Brexit joke here…beating the Brits 2-1 on Monday. England, a team loaded with familiar names such as Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Harry Kane and Joe Hart, could not get an equalizer in the second half against tiny Iceland, who before this competition had nobody anyone knew. This is about par for the course in a year Leicester City, led by Vardy, wins the Premier League.
So humiliating was the loss, that England Manager, Roy Hodgson, resigned immediately after the match. England exited the EU earlier in the week, which will likely be a good move in the long run, and then exited Euro 2016 less than a week later. That one will sting for a while.
England came out like they meant business, scoring only four minutes into the match on a Rooney PK after Sterling was dragged down in the penalty area. But that lead lasted only two minutes when Iceland answered on a goal from Ragnar Sigurdsson to make it 1-1. Then in the 18th minute, Iceland scored what would be the game winner when Kolbein Sigthorsson snuck one past Hart to make it 2-1. England spent the rest of the match doing nothing much to tie the game.
Iceland fans have been celebrating like never before. They have never qualified for a World Cup and this is their first time qualifying for the European Championship. What a ride they are on now!
Wales got to the quarters by knocking off another underdog team in Northern Ireland 1-0 on an own goal in the 75th minute from Gareth McAuley of Northern Ireland. Gareth Bale’s pass in front of the goal found McAuley’s foot as he tried to intervene and went into the goal as if he was the intended target. Wales is now on to the quarters while England sits at home.
Iceland will now take on the host country France in the next round. That should be very interesting. Wales will take on Belgium, another team loaded with familiar names to Premier League fans. Wales beat Belgium in the qualifiers in what was at the time their biggest win in their history. Another win over Belgium and that will surpass that win by a long way.