France knew that they had qualified and would be facing Netherlands on Saturday, as for Iceland, the win was crucial for them to advance into the knockout stages of the competition.
It was now or never scenario for Iceland, who drew both their first two group games. Both times they have lead but have been pegged back by both Belgium and Italy.
Although this time it wasn’t to be that way. France had pegged Iceland back within the first minute. A mere 46 seconds was all it took as Mateo drove to the edge of the box, where she found Melvine Malard who was able to compose herself and place into the bottom corner.
Temperatures sored to new highs in England as it reached 36C in Rotherham, but Iceland responded well to going behind, as shortly after, Sveindis Jonsdottir clipped the crossbar with a header from a corner.
France had more possession of the ball for periods of the game and could have doubled their lead, and potentially had another if VAR wasn’t implemented.
In the 68th minute, Malard could have had her second after tapping the ball home, but VAR intervened and deemed Malard’s position in the Iceland goalmouth was offside.
Another VAR call twenty minutes later, this time for Grave Geyoro. The ball was squared to her by Mateo, but Geyoro was deemed to had handed the ball, and for a second time in the second half, France were denied.
Iceland had their goal, but it was too late on to matter as reports came through that Belgium were beating Italy. Dagny Brynjarsdottir converted a penalty in the 12th minute of stoppage time after a spot kick was awarded by VAR following a tangle inside the area.
Full-time whistle blew and it was Iceland who would be going home. Heartbreak for them as their fans stayed behind to applaud their efforts at the tournament.
As for France, they take on Netherlands on Saturday to determine the last place in the semi-finals next week.