England goalkeeper Joe Hart was disconsolate after he and his team-mates were condemned to a shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland that sent them crashing out of Euro 2016.
After Ragnar Sigurdsson had cancelled out Wayne Rooney’s early penalty, Hart allowed Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s shot to squeeze under his left hand and into the net for Iceland’s winner on Monday.
It was Hart’s second high-profile error at the finals, after Gareth Bale’s long-range free-kick squirmed in during the group-stage win over Wales.
England’s defeat was swiftly followed by the resignation of their manager Roy Hodgson, while Iceland were left to celebrate a quarter-final meeting with France as their sensational tale goes on.
“Absolutely devastated,” was Hart’s description of his emotions to reporters.
“As a team, we’re very disappointed but personally, I can only speak for myself, I can only apologise for allowing Iceland to take the lead when we should have been dominating after a very good start.
“We had amazing support throughout and people are going to have opinions and they deserve to on what’s happened tonight.
“I want people to know how much we put in and it’s not down to desire or anything like that, ultimately it’s down to the performance why we’re in this situation.
“It’s a tough night for us as a team, and I include Roy in that team. It’s difficult when you lose a manager in these circumstances, it’s not the way any of us wanted him to go.”
When asked if England’s expectations of their own chances were perhaps too high, Hart replied: “Of course we had high expectations, because we came into this to do well. It would be impossible not to have the expectations we had.
“We had a positive mindset, the expectations look foolish now, of course, we’ve gone out to Iceland and we’re going to have to own that.
“We’re going to have to go again, it’s a tough moment in our careers but I’m a bit lost for words if I’m being brutally honest.
“I hope the young guys will take as much out of it as they can, the older guys will wear the responsibility and rightly so.
“We’ll get another opportunity and we’ll see what happens when that comes around. It’s up to the players how they want to handle it, it’s in the history books and we’ve got to deal with it.”
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