A sensational first half blitz from France laid the foundations for a thrilling 5-2 win over Iceland as the hosts advanced to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
The match was effectively over at half time as Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann scored two goals in two minutes at the end of the first half after Olivier Giroud and Paul Pogba had given the hosts a comfortable lead after 20 minutes.
Much-maligned for some wayward finishing at Arsenal, Giroud gave his side the lead in the six minute after slotting past Halldorsson.
Iceland paid the price for defending much further up the pitch than in any other match at the championships as Blaise Matuidi’s delightful through ball sent Giroud clear. It was Giroud’s ninth goal in as many starts for his country.
In-form Antoine Griezmann then provided the next goal as his perfectly placed corner was met by a powerful Paul Pogba header. The Juventus midfielder silencing his critics after rising highest in the 12th minute.
Ireland then managed to prevent France having any more chances on goal and Bodvarsson, who was particularly impressive against England last Monday, but he failed to direct his volley towards Hugo Lloris’ goal.
France were enjoying the occasion and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession as they probed the Iceland defence. After a relatively quiet start to the match, West Ham playmaker Payet then came into his own and added the third in the 43rd minute.
Allowed too much room on the edge of the area, he placed his effort into the bottom right corner. Griezmann then capped off a superb half for the hosts when he lofted the ball over Halldorsson.
A wonderful dummy from Giroud had Griezmann clear on goal and the Atletico star made no mistake as he took top spot in the race for the Golden Boot on the stroke of half time.
In the 56th minute Iceland added some respectability to the scoreboard when Sigthorsson poked home Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross at the near post.
The four goal margin was restored by Giroud which ended any talk of a comeback as he headed home just a minute after Lloris was beaten at the other end.
In fairness to Iceland, they continued to press France but failed to create any real chances. The match then opened up but Iceland defended bravely as France pushed forward on a number of occasions.
Giroud was not able to press on for a hat-trick after he was given an early rest by Didier Deschamps. Andre-Pierre Gignac replaced his colleague and had half a chance but his goal-bound effort was blocked by a diving Icelandic defender.
Just after the hour mark, Ingason was sensationally denied a goal as Lloris palmed over his point-blank range effort.
Deschamps made a number of changes as the French took their foot of the gas as they began to turn their attention to a semi-final date with Germany.
The boisterous crowd roared twice in succession in the 83rd minute as former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnson was given a run in what will most likely be his last international appearance.
Bikir Bjarnason then sent the crowd into full volume as he headed home after Patrice Evra failed to clear the danger. A perfectly placed header easily had the beating of Lloris.
Bjarnason’s second of the tournament made this game level as the second-highest scoring European Championship game ever.
France proved to be far too formidable at the Saint Dennis stadium in Paris on Sunday but Iceland’s second half fight was courageous as they bowed out of the competition.