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2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (6')
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson (27')
  • Aleksandrs Cauna (49')
  • Valerijs Sabala (68')

Latvia manage surprise draw against Iceland in Euro qualifier

Valerijs Sabala's second-half goal helped Latvia pull off a superb 2-2 draw and gain plenty of pride in their Euro 2016 qualifying match against Iceland in Reykjavik.

Group A toppers Iceland had taken a stranglehold on the game by half-time, with Swansea man Gylfi Sigurdsson setting up the first for his national captain Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and then grabbing one himself.

Latvia halved the deficit early in the second half through Aleksandrs Cauna before an excellent volley from Sabala meant the already qualified Icelanders were handed just their second draw of the qualifying campaign.

Latvia, winless before the start of this game, were in danger of being run over from the off, with Sigurdsson the tormentor-in-chief.

His fifth-minute free kick was too hot for Latvia goalkeeper Andris Vanins to handle and the ball fell kindly into the path of Sigthorsson, who had little difficulty scoring.

Sigurdsson was not to be denied his sixth goal of the campaign either. A superb touch to beat his marker about 10 yards inside Iceland's half meant Sigurdsson raced all the way through to an unstoppable strike after 27 minutes.

Latvia tested Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson in the closing stages of the first half through Arturs Zjuzins, and just three minutes after the restart Cauna applied a deft side-footed finish off the left post after good work by Zjuzins from the left byline.

With just over 22 minutes left Latvia pulled a shock equaliser seemingly out of nowhere, as Deniss Rakels crossed well from the right leaving Sabala to produce the volleyed goal under pressure.

Sigurdsson tried to force the issue again for Iceland, but his free-kick was mere inches away. Latvia had better chances to steal the win, though Sabala first failed to fire home from a tight angle before Olegs Laizans forced a diving save from Halldorsson in stoppage time.