Kari Arnason has vowed that Iceland will meet England “with full force” after he starred in the 2-1 victory over Austria that clinched their place in the Euro 2016 knockout stage.
Arnason provided the assist for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s opening goal at the Stade de France, and went on to make a number of vital clearances before Arnor Traustason’s late winner ensured Iceland finished second in Group F.
Group B runners-up England are next up for Lars Lagerback’s side, and Arnason is confident that the competition’s smallest nation can get a result against Roy Hodgson’s men on Monday.
“I’ve always supported England in the big international tournaments when we haven’t been playing,” said Arnason.
“It’s a dream come true. We’re going to go into this game with full force.
“We go into the game to get a result. We believe in our ability.”
Iceland go into the round of 16 unbeaten, having drawn 1-1 against both Portugal and Hungary before beating Austria, and Arnason paid tribute to the camaraderie amongst his team-mates.
“I can’t really describe it,” he said. “To do this with your best friends is fantastic.
“This is the feeling of all the lads in the group. We are a tightly knit group and what we have done is fantastic.
“It is extra fun to do it alongside my best friends and these supporters as well – 10,000 people from Iceland, it’s unbelievable. It’s like having your family at the game. I know probably 50 per cent of them.”
Arnason flicked-on Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw-in to tee up Bodvarsson for Iceland’s opening goal, but the Malmo midfielder was tight-lipped on the thinking behind the set-piece.
“This is something we’ve trained for before,” he said. “I’m not going to go into details. I want to keep secrets from the training ground.
“Of course we do have a few combinations.”
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