This is simply not how European Soccer is supposed to go. No way in the world does Iceland beat The Netherlands. Ever. But tonight upstarts Iceland knocked off powerful Holland for the second time in Euro 2016 qualifying. Last time Iceland beat them in Reykjavik. This time Iceland beat The Netherlands on their own soil at PSG Stadium. With the result Iceland have basically confirmed their place in next summer's European Championship. It will be their first appearance ever at the Euro's.
Today was supposed to be the day that The Netherlands started reeling Iceland back in from their perch on top of the group. A win would have cut the lead to only two points with three games remaining. Instead it turned into a nightmare for the home Holland. Arjen Robben had to be substituted due to injury in the 31st minute of play costing them a valuable attacking option.
Then just minutes later Bruno Martins Indi was shown the red card for violent conduct as he got tangled up with Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. The two went to ground with Bruno Martins Indi going across Sigthorsson's face as he rolled over. The Iceland player made a meal of it and the referee bought it. Truthfully there was not much there and I think the red card may be overturned upon review. The result were that The Netherlands were down to ten men for the final sixty minutes of play.
The Netherlands looked to hit on the counter after that. Yielding an astouding 71% of the possession to the visitors. The tactic nearly worked though as Holland fired off 11 shots on the Iceland goal. Iceland keeper Hannes Thor Halldorssonn was up to every task though turning away shot after shot making nine saves in the match.
Iceland would get their goal in the 51st minute of play when Gregory Van Der Wiel took down Birkir Bjarnason in the penalty area. Gylfi Sigurdsson did not hit the best spot kick, but it got through keeper Jasper Cilleson into the net. Really should have been saved. Iceland were on their way though leading 1-0.
Wesley Sneijder and Memphis Depay pushed for the tying goal, but Iceland simply were not to be beaten today.
It has been a disaster for The Netherlands since the World Cup as they continue to falter. Today was their first ever European Championship qualifying loss on home soil. 48 straight wins. Until Iceland came calling.
Wesley Sneijder held the final chance to rescue Holland but his powerful strike was well saved by keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson. The upset was complete and Iceland claimed another famous victory. This one sending them to Euro 2016.
Iceland will wrap up their place at Euro 2016 with only one more result and with their next two matches at home against the two worst teams in Group A (Latvia & Kazakhstan) they look to be comfortable. Sunday should be the day they book their place.