PARIS (AP) — Iceland, the smallest nation at the European Championship, delivered the feel-good story of the tournament by beating Austria 2-1 on Wednesday.
Iceland’s victory, which came with virtually the last kick of the game, means the team has qualified for the round of 16. There it will meet England in Nice on Monday, a prospect described as a “dream” by captain Aron Gunnarsson.
Arnor Ingvi Traustason sealed the win in the fourth minute of injury time. Having drawn its first two matches at Euro 2016, the victory secured Iceland second place in Group F behind Hungary.
Iceland took the lead through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the 18th minute at Stade de France.
It was fortunate to see Austria defender Aleksandar Dragovic miss a penalty in the 37th and was then forced to defend for most of the second half.
Austria equalized in the 60th through substitute Alessandro Schoepf and dominated the final stages, only to be hit by a classic counter-attack in the last seconds as almost the entire team piled forward.
Traustason slid in at the far post to bundle the ball into the net, and was buried by a heap of Iceland players, substitutes and officials. The whole squad celebrated in front of their fans in joyous scenes after the final whistle.
The Austrians arrived at the Euros as potential dark horses after going unbeaten in qualifying, and failed to live up to their billing.
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