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Iceland’s Win over Netherlands Makes International Headlines

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Iceland’s Win over Netherlands Makes International Headlines

Icelandic football fans

Archive photo. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Iceland’s 2-0 win over The Netherlands in the Euro 2016 Qualifiers in Reykjavík last night has garnered significant attention in the international media. The result has been described by the press as a “fiasco” and “humiliating” for The Netherlands.

This is the first time in Iceland’s history that the national team in men’s football wins three matches in a row in the qualifiers for a major tournament. Iceland beat Turkey 3-0 in a home game last month and Latvia in an away game on Friday.

Dutch football fans on their way to the matchDutch football fans on their way to the match. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

As reportred, Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson scored a penalty for Iceland 10 minutes in and then took Iceland to 2-0 before halftime. Iceland and the Czech Republic top Group A with nine points each while The Netherlands are third with three points. The loss was The Netherlands’ second in three matches.

Gylfi said in an interview with RÚV that Iceland had started the competition very well but that the team needed to continue playing well and secure one of the top two spots in its group to ensure Iceland gets through to the main competition in France in 2016. If Iceland gets through, it will be the first time the national men's team in football plays in a major competition.

Captain of the Dutch team, Robin van Persie, told RÚV that Iceland deserved credit for the win but that The Netherlands had not played well enough. “We knew what to expect because we saw a lot of videos of Iceland and we knew how well they did in the last two games in the qualifications. Iceland did well. Credit to them. I think we were a bit too sloppy at times when we had the ball so from that it gets more difficult every single time because if you lose the ball too easily it gets very difficult.”

Van Persie has stood by coach Guus Hiddink, who is under pressure after the loss. It was Hiddink’s third loss in four matches since taking over from Louis van Gaal after the World Cup.

Arjen Robbens said The Netherlands “must be very critical of ourselves.”

Iceland comes up against the Czech Republic next, in an away game on November 16.

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