Euro 2016: All four of Swansea City's representatives progress to the last 16

The Swans have been enjoying good fortunes in France, and all will play a fourth match with their nations.

Euro 2016: All four of Swansea City's representatives progress to the last 16
Ashley Williams celebrates with clubmate and countryman Neil Taylor following the latter's rare goal against Russia. (Photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

While the majority of Swansea City's players start to get back into the swing of things, with their holidays coming to an end and pre-season around the corner, four Swans are currently in France representing their country at Euro 2016.

Following the conclusion of the group stages on Wednesday evening, it was confirmed that all four will be sticking around for longer too as their respective nations all made it to the last 16.

Williams leads Wales to top spot, with Taylor on target

While domestic football has been on a break, the majority of Swansea fans have been occupying themselves by supporting Wales at their first major tournament since 1958.

Chris Coleman selected two Swans in his 23-man squad, captain Ashley Williams and fellow defender Neil Taylor. Both played key roles as Wales topped their group too, playing every minute of the three games.

Drawn in Group B alongside fellow home nation England, the Dragons kicked their tournament off with a 2-1 win over Slovakia, with goals from Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu, taking them to the summit as Roy Hodgson's men drew with Russia.

However, it was game number two that everyone was looking forward to. After a few jabs here and there from both camps in the build-up, England and Wales faced off in Lens.

Wales took the lead through yet another Bale free-kick, but it wasn't to be. Despite Williams and Taylor sharing 18 defensive actions between them, England scored twice - their equaliser seeing the Swansea captain inadvertently supply Jamie Vardy with a fortuitous assist, from the view of the Leicester City man anyway.

Daniel Sturridge then netted a late, late winner for Hodgson's men as they went into round three top of the table.

The Dragons bounced back though and in style. While England could only manage a goalless draw against Slovakia, Wales battered Russia 3-0 in a splendid performance, with Williams guiding his team to a clean sheet and Taylor, not only helping at that end, scoring his first goal for his country - a collector's item for the left-back, who has still not scored for Swansea after 156 appearances.

Coleman's men qualify as winners from Group B as a result and will face home nation Northern Ireland in the last 16, who qualified from Group C as one of the best third-placed teams. The winner will face Hungary or Belgium in the quarter-finals.

Neil Taylor is congratulated by Ashley Williams, as well as James Chester and Joe Ledley, as he scores against Russia. (Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Neil Taylor is congratulated by Ashley Williams, as well as James Chester and Joe Ledley, as he scores against Russia. (Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Injury paves the way for two Fab clean sheets

Another Swan at the finals is goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, whose Poland side were drawn in a tough group containing Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

The 'keeper was pipped to a starting berth in round one by Wojciech Szczęsny but, after he picked up a thigh injury in the 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, Fabianski beat Artur Boruc to that spot in between the sticks.

He starred in the goalless draw with Germany, making three good saves as they earned a big point against the world champions, and was allowed to strut his stuff yet again in round three with Szczęsny still not fit.

Poland made it three clean sheets from three games thanks to Fabianski's help in a 1-0 win over Ukraine, with him making another three strong saves to keep an already-eliminated opponent at bay.

While his goalkeeping rival continues to nurse an injury, Fabianski will hope he is able to star again in the last 16 as his nation prepare to face Switzerland in Saint-Étienne. The winner of that fixture will play the winner of Croatia - Portugal in the last eight.

Lukasz Fabianski makes a flying save as he preserves his clean sheet against Germany. (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Lukasz Fabianski makes a flying save as he preserves his clean sheet against Germany. (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The Iceman helps upset the odds

Swansea's final representative at Euro 2016 was an unlikely one; Gylfi Sigurdsson. While he is one of the club's best players, and one of his nation's, his homeland of Iceland are appearing at their first major tournament this summer.

They defied all expectations in qualifying, beating the Netherlands twice on the Road to France, and have continued to do so at these finals. Sigurdsson has been key to that.

In their opening fixture, Iceland held a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal to a 1-1 draw, giving them plenty of confidence heading into round two and a platform to build on.

They looked set to add three points to that thanks to a penalty from Sigurdsson in their second match against Hungary, but a cruel 88th minute own goal denied them a win which would have all but sealed their spot in the last 16.

However, they would still do so. Sigurdsson looked set to be ruing a couple of missed chances when it seemed Iceland wouldn't get the win against AustriaJón Daði Böðvarsson's opener cancelled out by Alessandro Schöpf, but they would seal qualification on the counter.

The Austrians were pouring everyone forward as they looked for a second to send them through, but instead Iceland broke away and Arnór Ingvi Traustason slid home to make it 2-1 in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Sigurdsson will now face a whole host of regular Premier League opponents in the knockout round, with his nation to take on England in the last 16. The winner of that fixture could then face a daunting encounter with the hosts, France, or clash with the Republic of Ireland in the last eight.

Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates after netting from the spot against Hungary. (Photo: Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates after netting from the spot against Hungary. (Photo: Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Can they meet?

With each of the Swans' representatives' nations all drawn in different groups, none have crossed paths yet at Euro 2016. However, they could in the knockout rounds.

Poland and Wales are in the same half of the draw, one which is surprisingly weak due to England and Spain both failing to top their groups. Thus, both have a very good chance of going far in the competition.

If both are to go as far as the last four, they will face each other for a place in the final - Williams and Taylor trying to break Fabianski's resistance.

The only way Sigurdsson could face any of his current clubmates though is if Iceland are to make a Greece 2004-esque run to the final, and either Poland or Wales do the same. 

Iceland have the tricky half of the draw, which could see them have to beat France in the quarters, then one of Italy, Spain or Germany in the semis to get to the big showpiece - as well as England this week.

However, they have defied all of the odds already, and will be bidding to keep their incredible journey alive on Monday night.