Norther Ireland Fans Prove They Are the Best Fans at Euro 2016 with Brilliant Performance During Loss to Germany (Video)
Icelandic Call of Last-Second Goal Against Austria Is One of the Greatest Calls in Sports History (Video)
We’re only halfway through 2016, but we’ve already been treated to a ridiculous amount of incredible sports moments, from Leicester City winning the Premiere League, to Villanova winning the national championship on a buzzer-beater, to Cleveland beating Golden State in an epic Game 7.
Now we can add Iceland’s stoppage time goal against Austria at Euro 2016 to the list.
Allow me to set things up. It was the final game of the group stage. A win by Austrian would put them in second place in Group A, sending them on to the knockout phase and eliminating Iceland. A win or a tie by Iceland would put them in second place in Group A, sending them on to the knockout phase and eliminating Austria.
With the game tied 1-1, Austria pulled out all the stops in an effort to win the game in the closing minutes, because otherwise they were going home. However, this tactic left Austria open to a counter-attack, and with about 30 seconds left in stoppage time, Iceland managed to get the ball and send it down the field for a 3-on-1, which they converted to win the game 2-1.
That’s pretty fun, obviously. But to fully understand why this was such a big deal, though, you have to understand something about Iceland.
This is the smallest country ever to qualify for UEFA’s European Championship. The population in Iceland is just 330,000. That’s like a team made up entirely of players from Springfield, Illinois, qualifying for the second-most prestigious soccer tournament in the world. The next smallest country to qualify this year is Northern Ireland, but their population is six times bigger at 1.8 million. Austria, meanwhile, has a population of 8.6 million, so it’s 26 times bigger than Iceland.
Needless to say, Iceland had never won a game in a major competition because they had never been in a major competition. But they won a game on Thursday on the soccer equivalent of a buzzer-beater. And the Icelandic call of that goal is one of the greatest calls in the history of sports.
Have a listen:
I’ve watched that about 25 times now, and to be perfectly honest I’ll probably watch it another 25 times before the day is over. I have no clue what that guy was saying, but it’s still one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard.
Thank you, Iceland.