Latvia scored four goals in 19 minutes either side of half-time as they recovered from a terrible start to claim a 4-2 victory away to Iceland and leapfrog their opponents into fifth place in Group F.
Latvia had claimed a 4-0 win in the reverse fixture 12 months ago but Eidur Gudjohnsen ensured there would be no repeat as he broke the deadlock after just four minutes. The visitors responded well and Oskars Klava equalised on 27 minutes as they made light of their record of four successive UEFA EURO 2008™ away defeats. Ten minutes later it was 3-1 after Jurijs Laizans and Maris Verpakovskis struck, and within 60 seconds of the restart the latter left Iceland further adrift. Gudjohnsen replied but the hosts could not find another to set up a grandstand finish.
Instead the majority of the crowd went away from the Laugardalsvöllur Stadium disappointed, having begun the match elated after Gudjohnsen guided in Emil Hallfredsson's low cross at the near post. Aleksandrs Starkovs' team took it all in their stride, however, and the lively Verpakovskis missed a golden chance to equalise when he poked wide with the goal at his mercy. Klava showed more composure by rising unmarked to head in Genadijs Solonicins' right-wing corner.
Four minutes later Latvia were leading as Laizans curled in a free-kick, and they were cruising when Verpakovskis capitalised on hesitant defending from Iceland following a corner, swivelling and firing in from close range. Any hopes of a home comeback were vanquished within a minute of half-time once Verpakovskis guided in Girts Karlsons's low centre. Although Gudjohnsen made it 4-2 when he directed a fine effort beyond Andris Vanins's dive, there was no way back.