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Europe, Under 21s

Under 21s: Iceland Freeze Out England

Nathan Delfouneso gave England the lead before two Iceland goals saw the Three Lions lose 2-1 at Deepdale.

England’s penultimate European Championship’s friendly match has ended in disappointment at the hands of Iceland.

Nathan Delfouneso gave England the lead but Iceland struck either side of the interval to secure a win.

Nevertheless, the game will give coach Stuart Pearce plenty to consider as he ponders over his final 23-man squad for the summer’s tournament.

Haraldur Bjornsson was left helpless as Nathan Delfouneso slotted the ball past him after only 13 minutes of play. The 20-year-old received a delightful ball from Danny Rose and made no mistake giving England a valuable early lead.

Marc Albrighton came close for the Three Lions. He hit the post after some dangerous runs and skillful footwork.

It wasn’t long before Iceland equalized in similar fashion to England’s opener. Alfred Finnbogason fed a neat through ball in behind England’s defence to Smarason, turning Nathan Baker, and the Iceland senior international out-paced the Aston Villa man to tuck past Alex McCarthy with aplomb.

Baker came close to restoring England’s lead, as did Conor Wickham and Tom Cleverley.

However all this pressure from England was cancelled out as Smarason found the head of manager’s son, Eyjolfsson, who rose well to direct his effort into the angle of the goal. It was just out of the reach of Naughton on the line, and left England trailing with a quarter of the game left.

Iceland featured four of their players from their senior team’s 0-0 draw with Cyprus at the weekend; Haraldur Bjornsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Alfred Finnbogason and Amor Smarason.

England will now begin to prepare for the summer’s tournament and will be naming a squad in the foreseeable future.

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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