England 1-2 Iceland
Scotland's conquerors in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying play-offs, Iceland have now got the better of their neighbours England too after prevailing 2-1 in this warm-up for the June finals in Preston.
It was an English-based player, West Ham United FC defender Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson, son of Iceland coach Eyjólfur Sverrisson, who headed the winning goal in the 67th minute for the visitors. They had responded impressively to Nathan Delfouneso's 13th-minute opener, equalising through Arnór Smárason and catching the eye with some clever forward play.
Smárason was one of three Iceland players – along with Birkir Bjarnason and Alfred Finnbogason – who had featured as substitutes in the senior team's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying draw in Cyprus 48 hours earlier, and their return was a significant boost for a team beaten 3-2 by Ukraine last Thursday.
England, for their part, started with only three players – Ryan Bertrand, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and Kyle Naughton – from the XI that had begun their 4-0 win in Denmark. Among the changes by Stuart Pearce was a first U21 start for Connor Wickham, the Ipswich Town FC-based star of England's U17 title triumph last summer.
Although Iceland No9 Finnbogason tested McCarthy with a low drive, the breakthrough goal came at the other end via Delfouneso. Breaking on to Danny Rose's defence-splitting pass, the Aston Villa FC forward finished neatly past Haraldur Björnsson.
Iceland drew level on the stroke of half-time when Finnbogason put Smárason through, the Esbjerg fB striker leaving England debutant Nathan Baker trailing in his wake before finding the left-hand corner of McCarthy's net.
Wickham drew a near-post stop from Björnsson, but it was Iceland who got the winner. James Tomkins looked to have saved England with a fine block to deny Björn Bergmann Sigurdarson but from Smárason's ensuing corner, Eyjólfsson's header found the top corner.
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