Iceland 1-1 France
by Jean-Pierre Thiesset (19/7/22)
Above: Iceland’s Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir in possession at Rotherham last night watched by France’s Charlotte Bibault (14). Photo: Euro 2022.
Whilst France were already qualified for the Quarter-Finals, there was still plenty to play for in this the highest of groups at Euro 2022.
Iceland, like their opponents, were unbeaten and knew that a win would guarantee a spot in the last eight. The superb Icelandic support would also be keeping one eye on goings on some 40 miles to the west where group rivals Belgium and Italy were facing off at the same, with both nations capable of making it through as well.
This was a game at Rotherham bookended by goals. France opened the scoring within 47 seconds when Malard connected with her left foot on a pass from Matéo; this was the new fastest goal in the tournament. Malard had replaced Marie-Antoinette Katoto in this game as central forward after Katoto ruptured her ACL.
Despite their large domination during the first half, France were unable to add to their lead. Sandy Baltimore was culpable not always making the right decision in offensive positions.
It must be said, the extreme heat – temperatures were still at 36c when the match kicked off at 8pm – had an impact on the game, and understandably so.
At the very end of the match some 12 minutes into stoppage time, Iceland obtained a penalty, awarded by VAR, and Dagny Brynjarsdóttir converted to seal a draw
The draw was no good for Iceland. As Belgium won 1-0 against Italy, it is the Red Flames who join France as qualifiers for the quarter-final from this group. Despite ending their campaign unbeaten, Iceland are out.
Teams: FRANCE (4-3-3): Peyraud-Magnin, Bacha (Karchaoui 63′), Renard, Tounkara, Torrent, Matéo, Bilbault (Palis 46′), Toletti (Geyoro 63′), Baltimore, Malard (Sarr 79′), Diani (Cascarino 46′).
Scorer: Malard 1′.
ICELAND (4-2-1-3): S. Sigurdardóttir, Gísladóttir (Gunnlaugsdóttir 60′), I. Sigurdardóttir, Viggósdóttir, Árnadóttir (Jensen 88′), Brynjarsdóttir, Gunnarsdóttir (G. Jónsdóttirat 60′), Vilhjálmsdóttir, Albertsdóttir (Andradóttir 81′), Thorvaldsdóttir, S. Jónsdóttir (Gudmundsdóttir 60′).
Scorer: Brynjarsdóttir 90+12′.
Referee: Jana Adamkova.