Euro 2016: Iceland Qualifies, Wales Wait, Netherlands In Shock Defeat

 

Embarrassed: Netherlands lost 3-0 to Turkey
Embarrassed: Netherlands lost 3-0 to Turkey

Iceland made history as they qualified for a major tournament finals for the first time. The Icelandics join Czech Republic in securing qualification for the tournament.

The island nation, with a population of barely 330,000, became the least populated country ever to qualify for a European Championship thanks to a nervy 0-0 draw with Kazakhstan in Reykjavik.

Iceland only needed a point to secure one of the top two places in Group A, and captain Aron Gunnarsson of Cardiff City was sent off in the 89th minute just before celebrations erupted on the final whistle.

The result allowed the side coached jointly by Heimir Hallgrimsson and the Swede Lars Lagerback to follow the Czechs and England to the tournament in France next year

Semi-finalists at last year’s FIFA World Cup, the Netherlands, fell behind inside eight minutes in a packed stadium in Konya, central Turkey, to an Oguzhan Ozyakup goal and Barcelona’s Arda Turan doubled the hosts’ lead before the half-hour mark. The Dutch were disorganised and Burak Yilmaz sealed Turkey’s win late on, in a 3-0 bashing. Fatih Terim’s side, with the result,have  leapfrogged the dutch into third place in the section, leaving them in pole position to steal a play-off place.

Meanwhile, Wales will have to wait before clinching qualification for a first European Championship, and a first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

A win at home to Israel in Cardiff would have guaranteed progress from Group B, but they had to settle for a 0-0 draw after failing to find a way past Ofir Marciano in the away goal.

 

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