Giroud penalty gives France victory over Iceland

Olivier Giroud scored the only goal from the penalty spot as world champions France claimed a 1-0 victory in their crunch Euro 2020 qualifier in Iceland.

The Chelsea striker tucked home in the 66th minute of the Group H clash in Reykjavík after Antoine Griezmann had been kicked by Ari Skulason.

The result ensured France kept pace with Turkey at the top of the group while third-placed Iceland were cut six points adrift of the leaders.

France had the better chances of a tame first half although Griezmann was well off target with a free-kick.

Giroud felt France should have had a penalty for handball by Kari Arnason but nothing was given and the striker was booked for his protests.

Iceland threatened when Jon Bodvarsson had a shot deflected at Steve Mandanda and Birkir Bjarnason headed wide from a corner.

Lucas Digne had a long-range shot blocked for France before a powerful effort from Benjamin Pavard struck Griezmann and did not trouble goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson .

Griezmann got himself into a good position as France broke but his shot was easily saved by Halldorsson.

The key moment did not come until after the hour when Griezmann charged into the area and was kicked in the thigh by Skulason.

Giroud confidently dispatched the spot-kick, sending Halldorsson the wrong way.

France had opportunities to make victory more comfortable in the latter stages.

Blaise Matuidi hit the post with a low shot in the 78th minute after a good run by Kingsley Coman.

Wissam Ben Yedder also got a sight of goal after controlling nicely and playing a one-two with Griezmann but Halldorsson saved with his feet.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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