Close this search box.

England 0-1 Iceland: Three Lions stunned in final Euro 2024 warm-up match

England lost 1-0 to Iceland at Wembley in their final Euro 2024 warm-up match.

England, Wembley

England did not get the send-off they were hoping for ahead of Euro 2024 as they lost 1-0 to Iceland at Wembley.

It was a rigid and flat performance from the Three Lions, who registered just one shot on target at Wembley.

90,000 fans turned up to wave the players off before the tournament in Germany starts next week but many will have left less hopeful than when they arrived.

England are the bookies’ favourites to win the competition this summer having experienced heartbreak in the final against Italy three years ago.

But they may have slipped down the order of many punters after their embarrassing defeat on home soil.

It was a bright start from Gareth Southgate’s men, with Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer looking particularly dangerous, but they were undone on the counter by Iceland.

Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson broke for the visitors and got the better of John Stones to fire in at the near post, leaving Aaron Ramsdale scrambling.

Harry Kane had a huge chance to equalise but fluffed his strike and there were no other real big chances for the Three Lions.

It means they have kept just two clean sheets in seven matches and opening Euro 2024 opponents Serbia will now be approaching the match with renewed hope that they can cause an upset.

England will certainly need to up the levels if they are going to get anywhere near the latter stages of the tournament.

How it happened

As it was England’s final warm-up game before the Euros, the Wembley crowd were expectant against the Scandinavian visitors.

It was a brilliant atmosphere in the capital ahead of kick-off but the players knew they were going to face a test similar to the one Bosnia and Herzegovina posed earlier in the week.

Iceland are notoriously resilient at the back but the Three Lions did fashion a few chances in the opening minutes through Gordon and Kane, but there was no end product.

The confidence was flowing on the pitch but it would be Iceland who struck the opening blow.

Thorsteinsson was being hassled by Stones in the box but managed to turn and get a shot away.

His effort caught Ramsdale by surprise and the stadium was silenced as 90,000 fans watched the ball hit the back of the net.

Perhaps the England backline and goalkeeper should have done better but they are going to find themselves in moments like that at the Euros and must learn how to deal with them in the moments that matter.

Southgate’s men nearly had a quick response through Palmer, who had a shot that looked destined for the goal but was blocked.

30 minutes in and the home side had only registered one shot on target and the frustrations on the pitch were being reflected in the stands, with the crowds no longer singing and the band no longer playing.

Captain Kane had a massive chance to level proceedings but failed.

The Bayern Munich man was fed by Palmer but skewed his effort wide on the six-yard box, even the man himself was shocked that he did not score.

Iceland had unsurprisingly sat in after going 1-0 up and aside from the Kane chance, they were limiting the Euro 2024 favourites, who were struggling to break them down.

Marc Guehi came to the rescue of his nation and prevented more embarrassment for England by blocking Arnor Traustason’s effort.

Boos rang out as the half-time whistle went and there were certainly words to be had in the dressing room after an uninspiring first half.

England took four minutes of the second half to turn up the levels.

Gordon fed Phil Foden, whose first-time attempt just missed the frame of the goal.

Palmer then sent a shot into the side netting and a few moments later he was in on goal but failed to round the goalkeeper and slot into an empty net.

Plenty of changes were being made throughout the second half, with the likes of Kane, Kyle Walker and Gordon being withdrawn and Bukayo Saka one of the fresh faces to come on alongside Eberechi Eze.

Thorsteinsson then had another promising chance for Iceland but he mistimed his shot in what really was a big opportunity for the visitors to kill the game.

Ramsdale then had some work to do as a looping Iceland effort looked to be dipping in under the bar, but the Arsenal stopper was able to push it over for a corner.

Entering the last 10 minutes, England had still only had one shot on target, it was certainly not the performance many had hoped for ahead of the tournament in Germany.

There were a few half-chances in the closing minutes, including an effort from Trent Alexander-Arnold that crawled agonisingly wide of the post.

But Iceland held firm to record a huge victory in London and dampen the mood in the England camp.

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.