Tuesday, June 18, 2024

England 0-1 Iceland: Below-par Three Lions beaten in final Euro 2024 warm-up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jun 2024

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England’s Euro 2024 preparations ended on a sour note as Gareth Southgate’s side produced a limp display in a surprise 1-0 defeat to Iceland at Wembley Stadium.

The absence of Jude Bellingham aside, Southgate selected a strong starting lineup but saw his side toil in the final third as Jon Thorsteinsson’s early effort proved decisive.

England started slowly as Iceland sat deep, and they were hit on the break 11 minutes in, Thorsteinsson driving a low strike behind the dive of Aaron Ramsdale and in after cutting inside John Stones on the left side of the area.

The Three Lions missed two glaring chances to level before half-time, with Cole Palmer seeing a volley deflect wide before Harry Kane inexplicably fluffed his lines when picked out by the Chelsea man.

Stones was replaced by Ezri Konsa at the break in what appeared to be a precautionary move after the Manchester City man took a knock. England should have gone 2-0 down just after the hour-mark, but Thorsteinsson slipped when presented with a clear sight of goal.

That was the closest either side came to a goal in the second half, with substitute Ivan Toney missing England’s best chance when he hooked Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross over.

Alexander-Arnold sent a cross-shot just wide in stoppage time and England were booed off at full-time, and far better will be required against Serbia next week.

Data Debrief: Lacklustre warm-up for Three Lions

Prior to Friday’s game, England had not lost their final game before any of their last 20 international tournaments (15 wins, five draws), last doing so when they went down 1-0 in Germany ahead of Euro 1968.

On that occasion, England, then world champions, fell at the first hurdle in a four-team tournament, losing out to eventual runners-up Yugoslavia.

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