Paris (AFP) – Republic of Ireland stunned Austria 1-0 in Vienna to climb top of their World Cup qualifying group but Iceland failed to replicate their Euro 2016 heroics in a 2-0 defeat in Croatia on Saturday. The Irish provisionally leapfrogged Serbia in Group D thanks to a James McClean strike three minutes after half-time, leaving Austria facing World Cup heartache. Wales host Serbia later Saturday in Cardiff in a game the home side — who like Iceland were giantkillers at Euro 2016 this summer — dare not lose. Croatia, first in Group I, took on Iceland with group supremacy ... Read more
Los Angeles (AFP) – Iceland will meet Mexico next February at Las Vegas to launch the 15th annual US tour for “El Tricolor.” The Mexican Football Foundation announced the friendly match Monday, the team’s first-ever visit to the US gambling haven coming February 8 at Sam Boyd Stadium. “Soccer is the world’s game and Las Vegas is the world’s city, so I can’t think of a better match for this event,” Las Vegas mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “Having the Mexican national team in Las Vegas is very exciting and of course we all watched Iceland’s amazing run in Euro ... Read more
Reykjavik (AFP) – Iceland will not feature in the latest FIFA video game due to a financial row between the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists and American game manufacturers Electronic Arts (EA). The Icelandic Football Association (KSI) has accused EA of showing them a lack of respect in their monetary offer to the European minnows. “We don’t accept bad treatment. They offered under two million Icelandic crowns (15,500 euros, $17,300). We made them a counter offer, which they did not accept,” KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson told AFP. The FIFA series of football video games are hugely popular with the latest version — ... Read more
London (AFP) – Painful memories of their humiliating Euro 2016 elimination by Iceland contributed to “nervous tension” during England’s opening World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia, according to new manager Sam Allardyce. England needed a 95th-minute goal by Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana to secure a 1-0 victory over 10-man Slovakia in Trnava on Sunday in Allardyce’s first match at the helm. It was their first outing since June’s traumatic 2-1 loss to tiny Iceland in France and with Allardyce retaining many of the same players, he conceded it was likely to have been on their minds. “I think they were ... Read more
Photo credit: AFP The world of sport has been truly blessed in the year of 2016, I don’t think anyone can argue that. But more importantly the game of soccer, the Beautiful Game if you will, has been completely transformed. Just like 2010 gave us tiki-taka, 2016 has given us hope. Whether you’re a player or a fan, the stories of this year have given us reason to believe! The question is, who is more of a cinderella story: Iceland or Leicester City? Iceland: The entire country of Iceland has a booming population of 332,000 (the size of Leicester), and ... Read more
Reykjavik (AFP) – Iceland’s footballers received a heroes welcome on returning home on Monday following their astonishing run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals in France. Their plane flew low over the capital Reykjavik before landing at Keflavik airport where the local fire services gave them a fire hose guard of honour with shooting water creating a rainbow. Striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who scored a consolation goal in the crushing 5-2 defeat to the hosts at the Stade de France on Sunday said he was happy to be home. “It was a dream come true to get that support,” he said of ... Read more
Paris (AFP) – A British supporter of Iceland’s team in the Euro 2016 football championship was stabbed in Paris, police said Monday, adding that the injury was not life-threatening. The assault occurred late Sunday near the Gare du Nord rail station, police said, adding that the victim underwent surgery at a Paris hospital and the assailant was arrested. Police said the assailant was “from the Indian subcontinent” and that investigators did not know the motive for the attack. The Paris daily Le Parisien quoted the victim’s girlfriend as saying there had been a “verbal dispute” before the assault.
Paris (AFP) – Gylfi Sigurdsson has promised Iceland will not be content to bask in the glory of their Euro 2016 heroics having had a taste of the highs and lows of tournament football. The smallest nation ever to take part in the European championship with a population of just 330,000 stunned England to reach the last eight. They received a reality check in a 5-2 thrashing by hosts France on Sunday. But Iceland’s cool blue replica shirts had already sold out before the France defeat. They have made their mark. “Of course this experience was (an) incredible, fantastic three ... Read more