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EURO2016: Two for Giroud as France end Iceland run in seven-goal encounter

France are through to the semi-finals of Euro2016 courtesy of a 5-2 triumph over Iceland in Paris.

Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus produced the type of performance the expectant home fans have been waiting for throughout the tournament to cruise through to the final four where they all take on fellow heavyweights Germany.

For Lars Lagerback, Heimir Hallgrimsson and Iceland, it ends their run in the competition which saw them perform well above the standards everybody thought they were capable of, allowing them to make a lot of friends along the way.

France hit the lead on 12 minutes when Blaise Matuidi played a delightful long ball into the path of Olivier Giroud who allowed it to bounce into his path before hitting a well-placed angled effort across Hannes Halldorsson for his second goal of the tournament.

Less than eight minutes later and Les Bleus were two ahead when Paul Pogba rose above his marker to thunder home a header from Antoine Griezmann's beautiful corner.

Later in the half it was 3-0 when Griezmann laid it off for Dimitri Payet who took one touch to move to the edge of the area and fire beyond Halldorsson with his left foot to temporarily join his supplier on three goals.

Moments after that, Greizmann edged ahead in the race for the Golden Boot when Giroud put the ball into the path of the Atletico Madrid man who produced a Messi-like chipped finish to all but wrap up the contest on the stroke of half-time.

Iceland managed to pull one back just over 10 minutes into this second half when Gylfi Sigurdsson produced a perfect pass for Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who only needed to throw his leg at the ball to divert it past Hugo Llloris.

In the 59th minute, France restored their four-goal lead when Giroud produced a fabulous header from Payet's pinpoint free to join the Wes Ham United man on three goals.

On 84 minutes, Birkir Bjarnason headed home Ari Skulason's cross from the right to again reduce the deficit but to little avail for Iceland as the hosts cruised through to the semis which will pit them against long-time rivals the Germans in Marseille on Thursday.


Euro2016 - semi-final

France: 5 (Olivier Giroud 12'/59', Paul Pogba 19', Dimitri Payet 42', Antoine Griezmann 45')
Iceland: 2 (Kolbeinn Sigthorsson 56', Birkin Bjarnason 84')
Stade de France, Paris - 76,833

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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