England 1-2 Iceland: Hodgson's men undone on dismal night for English football

England exited Euro 2016 in bleak fashion, losing 2-1 to Iceland, a nation of just 350,000, in the last 16 stage.

England 1-2 Iceland: Hodgson's men undone on dismal night for English football
England players collapse, dejected, at the end (photo: Getty Images)
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England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose; Dier (Wilshere 45'), Alli, Rooney (Rashford 86'); Sturridge, Sterling (Vardy 60'), Kane.
Iceland: Halldórsson; Sævarsson, Árnason, R. Sigurdsson, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, G. Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason; Sigthórsson, Bödvarsson.
SCORE: 1-0, Rooney 4'. 1-1, R Sigurdsson 5'. 1-2, Sigthorsson 18'.
REFEREE: Damir Skomina - Booked: G Sigurdsson, Sturridge, Gunnarsson.
INCIDENTS: Euro 2016 last 16 fixture.

England's Euro 2016 dreams came to a crushing end in all too familiar fashion on Monday night, exiting the competition with an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to minnows Iceland.

Despite going ahead early on, Roy Hodgson's side led the game for less than two minutes, Iceland hitting back quickly before taking the lead with less than half of the first half played. England pushed and probed as the game went on, but lacked the quality to get behind Iceland's defence, who were brilliant as the tiny nation continued their amazing campaign.

It was all going so well for England, for around 60 seconds...

It was the dream start for England, and for the dream player, with Raheem Sterling shaking off doubts over his form to win a penalty just four minutes in. Credit must go to Daniel Sturridge, who checked inside from the right wing to float a perfect pass into Sterling, who was rashly brought down by Hannes Halldórsson, captain Wayne Rooney making no mistake from the spot - into the bottom left hand corner it went.

Rooney tucked away the opener (photo: PA)
Rooney tucked away the opener (photo: PA)

Magic for Iceland as lightning strikes twice

However, the perfect start only lasted momentarily, Iceland hitting back immediately to send the stadium into shock. Their long throw has been the small nation's not so secret weapon so far at the finals, but England couldn't deal with it. Kyle Walker lost Ragnar Sigurdsson in the area as the ball was flicked on, Sigurdsson taking full advantage to sweep the ball past Joe Hart from close range. 

If Hart had no chance of keeping out the first, he'd have been ashamed to fail to keep out Iceland's second, which came in the 18th minute. You could argue a lack of pressing allowed Iceland too much time and space on the edge of the area, but nothing can excuse Hart's inability to keep out a soft effort from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, his shot squirming under the 'keeper's left hand and in.

A weak shot somehow found it's way in for Iceland's winning goal (photo: Getty Images)
A weak shot somehow found it's way in for Iceland's winning goal (photo: Getty Images)

Iceland, who kept up their record of both scoring and conceding in each game at the tournament so far, were unsurprisingly happy to then sit on a lead which shocked everyone, England struggling to create anything as the game went on. 

Substitutions make minimal impact as Hodgson's job is put on the line

Daniel Sturridge, played on the right wing again, delivered a lovely ball in for Kane, who volleyed at goal, only for Halldórsson to tip the ball over with some quick reflexes. Rooney and Dele Alli both had half chances with snapshot's, neither able to get efforts on target, leading to Hodgson making a change at the break, Jack Wilshere on for Eric Dier in a bid to add some more ball-playing to England's midfield.

In truth, it didn't. Hodgson's men remained stale after half-time, with Iceland having the better of the clear chances, Hart forced to parry away from Ragnar Sigurdsson, as the goalscorer looked to beat him with an audacious overhead kick. The Jamie Vardy button was pushed, on for Sterling, but still nothing.

Well, nothing, unless you class Kane toe-poking a free-kick wide from 30 yards, or a wasteful long range attempt from Wilshere. England were looking bleak, devoid of any kind of plan, or idea to get around the staunch Icelandic backline.

Aron Gunnarsson had a great chance to seal the win for the Icelanders as the clock ran into the last few minutes, he had Wilshere twisting and turning on his heels, eventually blasting a shot at a comfortable height for Hart to save. 

Marcus Rashford was thrown on, for captain Rooney, and added some positivity by running forward with the ball, gaining the odd set-piece, but it wasn't enough.

England out, with another post-mortem of the nation's footballing talent set to follow. Iceland's magical ride continues, they'll play France in the last eight.