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Host nation progress to Euro 2016 semi-finals

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Host nation France romped home to a semi-final encounter against Germany with a 5-2 victory over Iceland.

But like many of the ‘bigger’ nation’s in the competition, France have made a slow start to the tournament, but were ruthless in the first half against the competitions lowest ranked side, scoring four goals.

Arsenal striker, Olivier Giroud, netted a low strike after twelve minutes, before Juventus star Paul Pogba headed a second to put Les Bleus in control.

In-form West Ham star Dimitri Payet added a third, his third of the competition, with a precise low drive, before Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann delicately chipped Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson to add a fourth before the break.

Iceland, who knocked out England in the previous round, pulled one back shortly after the restart as Kolbeinn Sigthorsson pokes home a low Gylfi Sigurdsson cross, but Giroud headed his second of the night to restore the host’s four goal advantage.

Birkir Bjarnason, the man who scored Iceland’s first goal at this tournament, headed a late consolation, but for the debutants, it was a disappointing end to a phenomenal campaign.

France manager Didier Deschamps wasn’t phased by the opposition, and despite defensive frailties, his side had only conceded two goals in the tournament prior to the quarter-final clash. And despite conceded another two here, his side netted five, including four from the opening forty-five minutes.

After knocking out the Republic of Ireland and Iceland, Deschamps’s side face a different proposition in the semi-finals where they face four time World champions, Germany; a side that will more than test the French’s defensive vulnerabilities.

france Griezmann Iceland Payet Pogba Quarter finals Semi-finals

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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