Euro 2017 - France 1-0 Iceland: Le Sommer's late goal enough to seal the win

Euro 2017 - France 1-0 Iceland: Le Sommer's late goal enough to seal the win

An 85th minute penalty was enough for Les Bleus to earn the three points.

rosiefilby
Rosie Filby
FranceSarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Amandine Henry, Clarrise Le Bihan (Kadidiatou Diani, min. 40), Jessica Houara-D'Hommeaux, Eugénie Le Sommer, Camille Abily, Élodie Thomis (Delie, min. 77), Élise Bussaglia (Gaetene Thiney, min. 63), Sakina Karchaou
IcelandGudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, Sif Atladóttir, Ingibjörg Sigurdardóttir, Glódis Viggósdóttir, Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, Sigrídur Gardarsdóttir (Thornsteinsdottir, min. 75), Dagný Brynjarsdottir, Hallbera Gísladóttir, Agla Marie Albertsdottir, Fanndís Fridriksdóttir (Elin Jensen, min. 82)

Tilburg hosted the second game of Group C which resulted in spectacular fashion with France getting the three points against Iceland, as the UEFA Women's European Championships approaches full-swing.

It was Eugenie Le Sommer's 85th minute penalty which proved to be the difference between two sides.

Fluent France

An entertaining match began as expected with France dominating proceedings from the kick-off. Olivier Echouafni's side played aesthetic football, with some one-touch play that even Iceland fans could appreciate. 

On the ninth minute mark the deadlock was almost broken; beautiful combination play resulted in a long-range effort from Clarrise Le Bihan, however it wasn't accurate enough to hit the target of Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir's goal. 

It was Amandine Henry who was next to get in on the action. A free-kick given at least 25 yards out saw a short lay-off to the midfielder, with the resulting powerful strike a routine save for Gunnarsdottir.

Both sides provided an impressive display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A promising and eventful first half for Le Bihan was cut short due to injury in the latter stages of the first 45 minutes. However, her replacement, Kadidiatou Diani, showed off the immense depth and talent throughout the squad.

With the first half coming to an end, it appeared as if Fanndís Fridriksdóttir had been fouled in the penalty box by a clumsy challenge from Laura Georges - the referee saw nothing doing. The majority of the Icelandics chances were granted through set-pieces, but Fririksdóttir in particular looked dangerous for the side in white.

Despite the evident class in which the French demonstrated, it was the Iceland backline that was due credit with many crunching tackles and brave blocks which created a frustrating first half for France. Credit should also be due to the incredible Iceland fans, who certainly played a big role in the atmosphere of the match.

Chances galore

France were gifted with the earliest chances of the second half, but once again, failed to score. A free-kick whipped in by Camille Abily drifted past all of her teammates to create an awkward bounce, but Gunnarsdottir managed to parry the ball away to concede a corner.

Captain Wendie Renard showed her attacking capabilities; her run from deep almost paid off in the 51st minute, yet a cross in from Elodie Thomis was lofted too much even for the height of Renard. This was shortly followed by a scramble in the box as Le Sommer and Elise Bussaglia both had chances to break the deadlock.

Iceland also had promising chances. Gunnhildur Jonsdottir most notably had a good chance from inside the box, yet she failed to make contact with the ball after losing her marker. With every France opportunity, the underdogs looked even stronger and more eager to cause an upset, with the match becoming even more open and exciting.

The unpredictability and surprising stunts of Sarah Bouhaddi paid off with almost 30 minutes to go. The goalkeeper came outside of her box in an attempt to clear up the ball, however Fririksdóttir was closer than expected and managed to make weak contact with an outstretched foot, therefore she was unable to challenge the goalkeeper, to Bouhaddi's relief.

With 10 minutes remaining it was anyone's game - the battling and desire of Iceland threw France off on occasion, whereas the skill and world-class talent of the French made it convincing that a goal for them was going to be scored at any second.

The latter was true. A penalty was given only five minutes before the end of the game after a push in the box. Le Sommer stepped up to take up the penalty, and a cool, calm finish sent Gunnarsdottir the wrong way. 

Despite the three points, France will aim to be more clinical in future matches. Their style of play was unsurprisingly pleasing to the eye and exciting to watch, as they make it their eighth win out of 10 matches against the Scandinavian side.

Iceland frustrated

The Iceland fans played the part of the 12th man impeccably

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The result will be excruciating for the Icelanders. Their desire to defend and attack against such talented opposition was worthy of more than a loss. Nevertheless, they'll look to duplicate this performance for their next matches against Switzerland and Austria, as the second place spot looks up for grabs.

 

VAVEL Logo