Substitute Arnor Ingvi Traustason’s last-minute goal gave debutants Iceland a 2-1 victory over Austria at the Stade de France here on Wednesday, with Iceland finishing second in the group and advancing to the knockout stages.
Traustason, who had come on shortly before, tapped in at the far left post in stoppage time.
The smallest nation ever in a Euro tournament led 1-0 up against Austria at halftime.
In the 18th minute, the long throw-in ball launched by Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson landed at Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s feet. The striker controlled the ball and tucked it into the net.
“This is what we stand for. We fight for our country, and this team of ours is just an incredible team,” said Gunnarsson. “I don’ t fully understand how we’ve managed to do this. Before the game four or five of us were unsure, but we continued.”
Austria equalized on 60 minutes when substitute Alessandro Schopf collected midfielder David Alaba’s pass and slided the ball into the bottom right corner of the net after he got past two Iceland players with a series of dribbles.
In addition, Austria created several other good opportunities for goal but failed to score. On the 11th minute, midfielder Marko Arnautovic slipped as he was about to tap the ball into the net and Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson cleared it.
In the 26th minute, Arnautovic launched a left-footed strike from a tight angle towards the near post, which was saved by the keeper.
Dragovic isn't having the best of tournaments, picks up a red card first game and now misses a penalty on his return pic.twitter.com/fcKOSvLR74
— From The Stands (@FromTStands) June 22, 2016
Austria also missed a chance when Aleksandar Dragovic lost a penalty after Alaba was tugged back.
“We had big plans, but we struggled to score goals in these three matches, not taking our chances,” said Austria captain Christian Fuchs. “In defence we made individual mistakes with our marking and with the second balls, for instance from the throw-in for Iceland’s first goal.
“But we must not focus on little details. Basically, it can be said that we haven’t lived up to our expectations, for whatever reason. We will be analysing that in the next few months. But the disappointment is really huge.”
After the match, Iceland placed second on goal difference behind Hungary, while Austria are out with one point.