Latvia rally from two down against Iceland

Iceland 2-2 Latvia Trailing 2-0 at the break, Latvia stunned their already-qualified hosts with second-half goals from Aleksandrs Cauņa and Valērijs Šabala.

Watch the best moments from Reykjavik as Latvia came from two goals down to gain a creditable point against the Group A leaders..
  • Winless Latvia recover from 2-0 down to record their fourth away draw in Group A
  • Iceland take an early lead through captain Kolbeinn Sigthórsson
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson doubles the hosts' advantage before the half-hour mark
  • Aleksandrs Cauņa halves the visitors' arrears; Valērijs Šabala volleys the equaliser
  • Final games: Latvia v Kazakhstan, Turkey v Iceland (Tuesday)

Iceland, who booked their place at UEFA EURO 2016 last month, were given a reality check as Latvia recovered from two goals down at half-time to earn a draw in the teams' penultimate Group A qualifier.

While Latvia dominated the second period and deservedly left Reykjavik with their fifth point of a winless campaign, Iceland were on top throughout the first 45 minutes. Their strong start paid dividends when captain Kolbeinn Sigthórsson followed up to score after goalkeeper Andris Vaņins had beaten out Gylfi Sigurdsson's early free-kick.

Sigurdsson made it 2-0 when, after picking up possession in midfield, he ran unchallenged towards the Latvia penalty area and found the bottom right-hand corner of Vaņins' goal with a well-placed shot.

On course for their seventh victory in the section, Iceland saw their fortunes reversed after the restart. Such was Latvia's superiority that Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson's men did not have a significant effort on goal until Birkir Sævarsson tested Vaņins at his near post in added time.

By then it was 2-2, Aleksandrs Cauņa, teed up by Aleksejs Višņakovs, having begun the fightback with a close-range strike that went in off the upright. Marians Pahars' visitors restored parity midway through the half via Valērijs Šabala's fine volley, the 20-year-old meeting Deniss Rakels's right-wing cross and diverting the ball beyond Hannes Halldórsson.

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