Euro 2016: Iceland Knocks England Out In A Shocking Upset

Euro 2016 saw more than one upset today but the biggest by far was Iceland knocking England out of the competition with a score of 2 to 1. The shocking loss resulted in Manager Roy Hodgson resigning immediately after the game. While facing immense criticism for not having taken Iceland seriously, it was impossible to miss Hodgson’s mixed emotions at the loss, particularly when he flat out said in a press conference “I don’t really know what I’m doing here”.

The game started well for England after Wayne Rooney scored on a penalty kick four minutes in, but the lead did not last long. Iceland answered back just a minute later and then took the lead 18 minutes into the game. England was simply outplayed throughout the rest of the match.

With a population of 325,000, Iceland was clearly the underdog going into their fourth game at Euro 2016, but they certainly earned their spot in the quarter-finals. England is ranked 11th in the FIFA world rankings while Iceland was 34th going in to the game. Adding to the David vs. Goliath tale, Iceland’s coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is a part-time dentist back home, while England’s coach was the highest paid coach at Euro 2016, earning approximately $4 million.

While some media outlets are dubbing it the worst loss ever, England Captain Wayne Rooney admitted that he was embarrassed by the loss but he insisted that despite some rumors to the contrary, he is not retiring from the English National Football Team. Rooney also said that Hodgson spoke to the players before the official press conference and told them that he was resigning.

As will happen in these situations, fans took to social media to express their anger at England being knocked out of Euro 2016. In addition to the regular insults, there were also plenty of Brexit jokes, and the Iceland commentator for the game showed his excitement with a couple of digs and with a reaction that had social media blowing up.

Gummi Ben calls the last moments of Iceland’s win over England. Amazing, honest passion! #EMÍsland #Euro2016 #ISL

— Síminn (@siminn) June 28, 2016

In Iceland, thousands of fans gathered to support their team and were celebrating and cheering right along with the players when they won. The country’s former prime minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson even took to Facebook to state that Iceland’s goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson didn’t win the medal of honor he would give him his.

The fans are eager to cheer on their team with demand for flights to England for the team’s next game on Sunday going crazy. The country’s two official airlines are said to be desperately trying to schedule more flights to get fans to the game. According to World Soccer Talk, Icelandair has scheduled two additional flights to Paris to accommodate the rush. Not everyone is completely thrilled about the win though. The country’s national betting monopoly lost millions of dollars on the game when they were forced to pay out 3.7 times what they earned on the match.

The other surprise of the day, although not nearly as shocking as England’s departure from Euro 2016, was Italy putting an end to Spain’s quest to win their third straight European title. The Italian team struggled in the second half of the game, but a goal in added time put them comfortably up by two.

The Euro 2016 quarter-finals will see Poland taking on Portugal on Thursday, followed by Whales going up against Belgium on Friday, and then on Saturday Italy and Germany will go head to head, and on Sunday Iceland will face host country France. The final game will be played on July 10th and right now it seems to be anyone’s title.

[Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]