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France end Iceland's dream Euro 2016 run

'The French played really well tonight, they got better since last time, they're doing better and better and I think they can win against Germany,' said Chloe, a France supporter. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Paris, France Jul 04, 2016, 02.39 AM (IST)
Defying pouring rain, France supporters at the official fan zone at the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower celebrated their team's crushing 5-2 defeat of underdogs Iceland on Sunday.

Hosts France brought Iceland's dream Euro 2016 run to a grinding halt when they demolished the outsiders in their Euro 2016 quarter-final, setting up a match against Germany.

"The French played really well tonight, they got better since last time, they're doing better and better and I think they can win against Germany," said Chloe, a France supporter.

For many of those at the fan zone, the victory was a relief from the aftermath of the November 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris which killed 130 people and prompted the government to impose an emergency rule.

"It's a good answer to everything that happened in France this year, especially the attacks. We showed tonight that we are here, all together, all united," said another fan.

Iceland's resistance was broken after 12 minutes when Blaise Matuidi's pass over Iceland's defence sent Olivier Giroud clear and he placed an angled shot past keeper Hannes Halldorsson.

Paul Pogba headed the second in the 20th minute and France ended Iceland's hopes when Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann scored twice in three minutes to put the hosts 4-0 ahead at halftime.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson turned in Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross in the 56th for Iceland but Giroud then scored his second when he headed in Payet's free kick three minutes later. Iceland's Birkir Bjarnason got a consolation goal six minutes from time.

(Reuters)
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