Drawn into an intriguing group alongside France and Euro debutants Austria and Switzerland, Iceland knew they’d have some tough games in the Netherlands. Hit with injuries to two of their most experienced and important players the team stayed strong believing in their own abilities.
“We had a great feeling coming into the tournament, we have a really strong team, really strong defensively. [Against Switzerland] we gave up three shots on goal and two goals which is too much and I’m really sad about the result.”
The defeat to Switzerland comes just after another tight loss to tournament-favourites, France, and the loss served from the spot five minutes from time comes in contentious fashion. Not letting their heads hang low for long, the team went right back to work to ready themselves for the Swiss test.
“It was tough, it was a tough call but we’re a solid team, we have each other’s backs, it’s two days to prepare for the next game so we can’t sulk for too long but I think we picked up the pace in the days between but we still didn’t get any points out of this game.”
"Tough loss" to take
All eyes turned to their final group game against Austria who, at the time of interviewing after the match, had only just taken to the pitch against France. The draw they played out was enough to leave Iceland eliminated from the tournament with pride to play for in their next outing,
“It’s tough, it’s a tough loss but we still have one game and we have to refocus and give ourselves a couple of minutes to be sad and mad but we have to refocus and get some energy for the last game. We’re going to see our families now and they’re going to give us some energy for the Austria game.”
For those who made it to De Vijverberg, they were treated to a phenomenal atmosphere from the travelling Icelandic fans who made up the majority of the 5,764 strong crowd. Their thunderclap and constant cheering and chanting some of the warmest you could hope to find in the Netherlands. For the team, the travelling support means so much to them, more than proud to represent their country,
“Of course, over 3,000 came to the game to support us and it’s not just them, all of Iceland is watching and we feel it and we know it and we love it. But this is Iceland, this is how we are, it doesn’t matter who you are if you’re Icelandic or have Icelandic blood the nation will be standing behind you and that’s why I love them.”