Hosts Romp Into Euro 2016 Semi-Finals

Olivier Giroud 0407

Olivier Giroud scored in the friendly against Germany in November which France won 2-0

SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) - The Icelandic thunderclap roar proved no match for the sheer talent of France as the hosts finally showed their title credentials at the European Championship on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud believes France have a chance to overturn a history of failure against Germany at major tournaments in what promises to be an "extraordinary" Euro 2016 semi-final.

Tougher tests will come for Giroud, particularly up against the Germans in the semi-final, but he has certainly done enough to secure himself a starting spot, up against club pal Mesut Ozil.

Apart from five to seven minutes of decent possession from Iceland, France were dominant throughout the first half and deservedly killed the game off with a four-goal lead.

Iceland may have been beaten 5-2 by France and knocked out of the Euro 2016 football tournament in the quarter finals, but their legend will live on.

Iceland has only a population of 330,000 but Euro 2016 has put the country "on the map", according to Arnor Ingvi Traustason.

France were the better team, controlled the game and never looked like they were going to lose, but that didn't dishearten Iceland, who refused to relent until the final whistle had been blown.

"I don't know whether that is my best performance for France, I have had other good games".

Deschamps hailed his side's performance though he acknowledged the weaknesses highlighted by the two goals.

"There are a lot of positives to take away from this evening and I am delighted for the players as they deserve this", he said. Things began to look bleak when Paul Pogba headed home a corner from Griezmann in the 19th minute much to the despair of the island nation and its fans who had turned up with a lot of expectations following their sensational run of late.

Germany eliminated France in the World Cup quarter-final two years ago before going on to win the tournament in Brazil. We made some silly mistakes, and we didn't do well as a team. "The scenes from back home have been incredible".

"But it's true that in global competition, along with Euro 2012 and the World Cup in Brazil, it's perhaps my best match".

Sigthorsson, who netted Iceland's victor against England, scored for the second game running after poking in Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross on 56 minutes. Giroud raced onto Blaise Matuidi's floated ball over the defence and drilled through the legs of Halldorsson.

But France replied with Giroud beating Halldorsson to a Payet free-kick immediately before the Arsenal striker was withdrawn. Ronaldo's comment that they had a "small mentality" due to their dogged defence won only more supporters for Iceland.

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