Home Sport England players booed after Iceland defeat in nightmare Euro 2024 send-off

England players booed after Iceland defeat in nightmare Euro 2024 send-off


England players were booed off the pitch by disgruntled supporters after suffering a humiliating 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final Euro 2024 warm-up match. Gareth Southgate’s side endured a nightmare send-off at Wembley Stadium just nine days before kicking off their tournament against Serbia in Germany.

England looked to jet off to Germany with a spring in their step against the nation 72nd in the FIFA world rankings.

However, Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson fired Iceland into a shock 12th-minute lead, and the hosts failed to breach Age Hareide’s blue wall, leaving fans in attendance fuming.

England hadn’t lost a send-off match before an international tournament since 1954 when they suffered a 7-1 defeat against Hungary.

The Three Lions were dumped out of the World Cup quarter-finals against Uruguay that year, while Hungary were beaten finalists as Germany triumphed.

But Southgate’s side must progress further than that at Euro 2024 if he is to avoid entering the final months of his current England contract on a major dampener.

England enter Group C – where Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia await – after winning just one of their last five games since November 2023.

The Three Lions beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in Newcastle earlier this week through goals from Cole Palmer, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane.

But before that, Southgate’s side required a last-gasp equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw against Belgium at Wembley.

They were ousted 1-0 by Brazil, also on home turf, days before that, succumbing to teenager Endrick’s late strike.

North Macedonia also struck first in England’s final qualification match before a Jani Atanasov own goal salvaged an underwhelming draw.

Southgate’s defence is a significant concern heading into his fourth major tournament in charge.

Harry Maguire’s exclusion from the 26-man squad after failing to recover from a calf injury comes as a cruel blow, given his importance to England’s current era.

The Manchester United man’s long-term international partner John Stones sparked further concerns with an early fall in the defeat to Iceland.

He didn’t emerge for the second half, with Ezri Konsa taking his place. Marc Guehi played the entire match and is in line to start against Serbia.

Joe Gomez and Lewis Dunk are Southgate’s only other centre-back options after Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite was excluded from the final squad alongside Maguire.

Kieran Trippier will likely start Euro 2024 as England’s left-back despite a clear imbalance against Iceland. Luke Shaw is the only left-footed defender in the squad but will miss at least the opener and hasn’t played since February.

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