SAINT-DENIS, France – Iceland left with heads held high.
Iceland goes home having proved to everyone that a great deal can be done with very little.
With a pass from the back left of France’s 4-2-3-1 formation, holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi cut out the whole of Iceland’s midfield and defense with a pass that landed just behind the Icelandic back four and into the path of Giroud, who’d been lurking in a gap between Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kari Arnason, both big defenders but hardly the fastest out of the blocks.
From t, it was fairly straightforward for the Arsenal forward: a left-footed kick straight through the legs of Iceland ‘keeper Hannes Halldorsson.
The tall and strapping midfielder and Iceland striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson jumped together for a looping corner-kick that Antoine Griezmann landed in the danger zone in front of Halldorsson, just out of reach of the Iceland ‘keeper but close enough to be a threat.
Pogba jumped a head higher than his marker, and powered the ball into the net with his head for France’s second goal after just 20 minutes.
In the 23rd minute, Iceland wheeled out the party trick it used to such great effect in its run to the quarterfinals: A huge 25-meter throw-in by captain Aron Gunnarsson into the box, a teammate flicking the ball on with his head and someone else getting a leg to it and diverting it into the net.