Iceland kept their hopes of reaching the UEFA EURO 2004™ finals alive with a convincing 3-0 away victory against Group 5 rivals Lithuania in Kaunas.
Atli Edvaldsson's side produced a stunning second-half display to overwhelm their hosts and move temporarily to the top of the section above Germany, who reclaimed the leadership with a 2-0 victory against the Faroe Islands in a later game, and Scotland. Lithuania are fourth on seven points, with the Faroe Islands bottom of the table with a single point.
A shaky first period, punctuated by a string of individual errors, saw clear-cut chances at a premium but the visitors staked their claim for a place in the finals in Portugal next Summer with goals from Thordur Gudjónsson, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Hermann Hreidarsson.
Having earned a 1-1 draw against Germany and a 1-0 victory against Scotland in their two previous qualifiers, Lithuania were in confident mood prior to kick-off. However, a partisan crowd of around 8,000 inside the S. Darius & S. Girenas stadium could only watch as Gudjónsson raced on to a long pass and headed in at the far post beyond Gintaras Stauce on the hour mark.
Hreidarsson on target
Iceland then doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, Chelsea FC's Gudjohnsen firing in a low drive from the edge of the penalty area. The same player had a goal disallowed for offside minutes later, before Hreidarsson joined the party by heading in a long cross in the dying seconds.
The match was notable for two other statistics, with Iceland's Runar Kristinsson making his 100th appearance for his country, while former Tottenham Hotspur FC and Bolton Wanderers FC defender Gudni Bergsson brought the curtain down on his international career having made his debut in 1984.