A star-studded French squad decimated Iceland by a 5-2 scoreline in the fourth quarter-final at Saint-Denis. The Vikings, despite their huge loss, were cheered after the final whistle, as it is was a memorable moment in the history of the Nordic nation.

An Olivier Giroud brace, backed by goals from Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann saw France run out 5-2 winners on the night, ending Iceland’s fairy-tale run at Euro 2016. Kolbeinn Sigthórsson and Birkir Bjarnason scored for the Vikings, as they never gave up the chase and kept throwing bodies forward.



Speaking to the press after the match, France head-coach Didier Deschamps said as per UEFA’s official website: “There are a lot of positives to take away from this evening and I am delighted for the players as they deserve this, and for these fans who have been behind us for months. To be able to offer them something to make them smile and feel happy and have another week in it – I’m delighted about that.”

“It wasn’t easy to manage everything but this evening we did all we had to in the first half. Afterwards we let up a little, and I really wanted to protect Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. They were facing a possible suspension and it would have been really stupid to lose a player in such a game.”

Man of the match Olivier Giroud praised the opposition after the final whistle.

France's forward Olivier Giroud holds a French flag after winning the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between France and Iceland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, on July 3, 2016. / AFP / Francisco LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

LEONG/AFP/Getty Images

“We scored five goals and we’re very pleased. Iceland never gave up. They’re a very determined side and I’d like to congratulate them. They had a great Euro.”

“I don’t know if this is my best performance for France. I’ve played other good games but this is in a major tournament so perhaps it is. I felt really good from the start. We’re used to making bad starts, but we began strongly and need to continue like that. We were on top from the very first minutes and very clinical.”


Vikings’ coach Lars Lagerbäck was pleased with his side’s performance over the course of the tournament, and said that they would learn from the loss to France.

“I’d like to congratulate France. They’re a fantastic team and they made us look bad, even if we contributed to that. These four-and-a-half years have been a fantastic journey for me. With all the fans coming here and what we heard from back home, and all the positivity and interest – I feel it deep in my heart. I’ve enjoyed every minute, except maybe the first 45 minutes today.”

 “We didn’t handle it well mentally, but in the second half we showed it wasn’t a physical problem. These are the games you have to learn from and we need to learn from this. This was a good reminder that you have to have the right attitude every second.”

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02: In this handout image provided by UEFA coach Lars Lagerback of Iceland attends a press conference at Stade de France on July 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)

Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)

Icelandic forward Alfred Finnbogason stated: “A bitter end to a fantastic tournament for us but of course the game was lost in the first half. If we had got to half-time at 2-0, there was still a chance and we showed a lot of fighting spirit in winning the second half, but it was a tough lesson for us.”

“We really put Iceland on the footballing map. We have been getting messages from all over the world about how people are proud of us and that they really love the fighting spirit that we showed. So we can really go happy and proud from this tournament.”

France may have won the game, but it was Iceland who won the hearts of footballing fans all around the globe. A country with a population of only 330,000 put up a fine performance at the Euros, and managed to give the hosts too, a run for their money in the second half. This is a footballing tale that will be remembered for years to come.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03: Iceland supporters applaud their players after the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between France and Iceland at Stade de France on July 3, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Here’s how the game played out on social media:

Iceland – a side who won the hearts of millions – were celebrated:

Olivier Giroud was praised for his incredible performance.

The Three Lions were obviously under severe scrutiny:

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