The Three Lions have been handed a surprising exit in the Round of 16 of the European Championship after Iceland came back from a goal down to win 2-1 in Nice today.
Roy Hodgson left Adam Lallana out of his starting line-up and opted to field Daniel Sturridge instead, whereas Lars Lagerback stuck with the same eleven that featured against Austria.
The last knockout round match was dominated majorly in favour of the Englishmen in terms of possession held, shots taken, passes made and chances created. However, it was the Icelandics that played to their game and broke England on the counter-attack at all times.
Manchester United and England talisman Wayne Rooney opened the scoring as early as the 4th minute of the game when Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson brought down Raheem Sterling in the penalty box and the skipper comfortably converted the ball to the back of the net on his 115th international appearance. The 1966 FIFA World Cup winners were left distraught when Ragnar Sigurdsson levelled the game from close distance, just before Kolbeinn Sigthorsson crushed the English hearts with a tame effort past Joe Hart.
The England national team went on to give their everything in their efforts of searching for equalizer, but these three players kept them at bay throughout the entire 90 minutes:
The hard-tackling central defender was impenetrable throughout the entire match and played a big role in guiding his country to the quarter-final of the European Championship for the first time in history. The 30 year-old scored the all-important goal that got Iceland back into the game and also produced a defensively-sound performance alongside Kari Arnason in the heart of defence. He made a brilliant tackle on Jamie Vardy to deny the striker from scoring.
The AZ Alkmaar forward had one of the best games in an Iceland shirt earlier today as he won a number of aerial duels which allowed his country to break on the counter-attack and also linked the play well between his teammates. The 6-foot-1 man scored the winning goal on the 18th minute which ensured his team a quarter-final matchup against France.
The Swansea midfielder literally covered every inch of grass in the Allianz Riviera in terms of defensive aid and attacking support. He created a number of chances for his teammates to score and made a number of tackles to stop the England play from flowing through. He was excellent in stopping Wayne Rooney from the get go and is rightfully praised for doing so.
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