Euro 2016: The Five Biggest Upsets of The Tournament

Updated: 11 July 2016 18:04 IST

From Cristiano Ronaldo equalling Michel Platini's record of 9 goals, to Iceland making it to the quarters in their first major tournament, this European championship had it all. But there were also some surprise results that left the football world stunned.

Euro 2016: The Five Biggest Upsets of The Tournament
Iceland's shock win over England was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the European Championship. © AFP

The Euro 2016 has been full of supreme action and loads of drama. A total of 24 teams battled it out to be crowned the champions of Europe. And after 108 goals over a period of one month, the tournament ended with Portugal tasting the European silverware for the very first time.

Euro 2016 saw the addition of 8 more teams who pulled off quite a few surprises. And the tournament that started off with some top teams playing out dull games was spiced up by the underdogs.

With the tournament having come to its conclusion, here is a look at the top five upsets of Euro 2016 that amazed the football world.

1. Iceland Send England Home

The numero uno spot goes to a match that will go down in history as one of the biggest upsets in world football. Wayne Rooney gave England the lead with a 4th minute goal from the penalty spot.

But Iceland, ranked 34th in the world and with a population of just under 330,000, shocked the world by scoring twice to take their place in the last 8 in what was their first international tournament.

And it was not only the Icelandic team that went down in the history books, but an Icelandic commentator too became as famous as the national team because of his piece of commentary. He broke down on air, which kind of summed up what the win meant for the tiny nation.

2. Wales Stun Belgium

At number two is a performance by a Welsh side that went down in the history books as their finest ever. World number 2 Belgium may have been favourites to win, but Chris Coleman's side had written their own script.

Radja Nainggolan gave Belgium an early lead, before Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes Struck each struck once to beat the Red Devils as Wales came from behind and made it to the last 4 of a major tournament for the very first time.

3. Ireland Stun Italy

The third spot in this list is a shock result that not many saw coming. Martin O'Neil's Republic Of Ireland needed a win against the mighty Italian's to advance to the round of 16. But the match looked like it was heading for a draw.

Then came the moment of brilliance: Robbie Brady gave the Irish an 84th minute lead to secure their place in the next round.

4. Croatia Deny Spain Top Spot

Spain took an early lead in their final Group D game against Croatia. But Darijo Srna's side found an equaliser just before half time thanks to Nikola Kalinic.

And what happened after that was something no one would have imagined. Ivan Perisic with a winner in the dying stages sent shock-waves through the footballing world. The result saw Spain lose their first game at the European Championship since 2004, denying them top spot in the group D.

As a result, the 2008 and 2012 winners had to face Italy in the round of 16, a clash they later lost and were knocked of the tournament.

5. Iceland Deny Portugal a Win

At number five is a match that Portugal may have dominated, but Iceland came out on top with their defence and took their chances when it came. Portugal controlled the first half and took the lead through former Manchester United winger Nani in the 31st minute.

But the smallest ever country in the tournament had other plans as Birkir Bjarnason leveled the Icelanders and stunned the eventual champions. The scoreline stayed at 1-1 as Aron Gunnarsson's side earned praise for their gritty show against one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Highlights
  • With an expanded format of 24 teams, Euro 2016 was full of surprises
  • From Iceland to Wales, the underdogs managed to spice up the tournament
  • A look at the five biggest upsets at the tournament in France this summer
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