France vs Iceland: How Mbappe rescued France from shocking defeat

Kylian Mbappe inspired a fightback from world champions France as they rallied from two goals down at home to earn a 2-2 draw with Iceland on Thursday.

Birkir Bjarnason swept Iceland ahead from the edge of the area on 30 minutes, and Kari Arnason’s excellent second-half header doubled their lead in Guingamp.

But Mbappe, brought on as a substitute for the final half-hour, gave France a lifeline when his shot was saved and then inadvertently turned in by Iceland defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward levelled from the penalty spot in the 90th minute after Kolbeinn Sigthorsson handled at a corner.

“The team saw we needed to do something else. I bring what I can do,” Mbappe told TF1.

“We saw the fans were completely behind us even if it wasn’t a big stadium. We wanted to do everything for the people who were there.

“We got the draw, we didn’t lose, but we’re still a bit annoyed.”

France coach Didier Deschamps fielded six of the players that began the World Cup final against Croatia, handing in-form Marseille winger Florian Thauvin his first start as Mbappe was left on the bench.

Iceland was beaten 5-2 by France in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, and new coach Erik Hamren’s reign had started disastrously with two heavy defeats to open their Nations League campaign.

But the Nordic nation with a population of around 350,000 stunned the hosts in Brittany as Aston Villa midfielder Bjarnason beat Hugo Lloris with a low strike after Alfred Finnbogason stole the ball from Presnel Kimpembe.

Ousmane Dembele was denied an equaliser by a terrific block from Iceland goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson, while Lloris pulled off a stunning save from Ragnar Sigurdsson before keeping out follow-up efforts by Bjarnason and Finnbogason.

Nelson

Omotimehin Nelson is a Nigerian award-winning content writer. He derives passion for creative writing. Join me