SAINT-DENIS, FRANCE — 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.
A crushing 5-2 victory lined up a semifinal with Germany as France displayed the attacking ruthlessness that had been missing in its previous four games at the tournament.
France striker Olivier Giroud netted twice for the host, opening the scoring in the 12th minute and netting the fifth in the 59th.
“We have a lot of desire to get our own back for what happened at the World Cup,” Olivier said of the quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Germany two years ago.
At halftime, France was leading 4-0, with goals from Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann.
The second half saw both Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Birkir Saevarsson score for Iceland, ensuring this would not be an embarrassing exit for one of the tournament’s surprise teams.
France will play Germany on Thursday in Marseille.
Giroud, who was booed by the team’s fans in May, is proving to be an essential component of Les Bleus, netting the opener and heading in France’s fifth goal at the Stade de France.
Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann also scored in the first half for the home side, whose previous goals at Euro 2016 had all come after the break.
The Iceland defense was breached with ease in the 12th minute when Blaise Matuidi lofted over a high pass into the path of the advancing Giroud, who clinically shot through the legs of goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.
Then, Pogba soared above Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to meet Griezmann’s corner and send a powerful header into the top corner in the 20th.
Worse was to come for the Icelanders with quick-fire goals inside two minutes before halftime.
Moussa Sissoko’s cross was headed down by Giroud and Griezmann knocked the ball into the path to Payet, who drilled a low shot in the corner of the net.
The fourth goal saw Giroud and Griezmann combine again. Griezmann raced onto Giroud’s flick-on before dinking a shot over the advancing Halldorsson.
However, just like its raucous fans, Iceland wasn’t done.
Nirmala Panta’s murder accused held after 24 days
KANCHANPUR — Police in Kanchanpur have made public an accused arrested in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality.
Dilip Singh Bista, 41, of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality was made public at a press conference at the DPO. Bista was arrested on Saturday,according to the District Police Office Spokesperson Deputy Superintendent of Police Gyan Bahadur Sethi.
Nirmala was found dead in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.
Bista,who was released from prison last year after serving nine years for murdering his brother-in-law Narayansingh Thapa, works as a daily-wage labourer.
According to Bista’s statement to police, he helped Nirmala fix her bicycle chain before raping and killing her on July 26. He told police that killed her to avoid being arrested again.Follow @gorkhapost