France 2-2 Iceland
11 October 2018
Stade de Roudourou, Guingamp
Scorers: Bjarnason, Árnason (Iceland); Eyjólfssonand (OG), Mbappé (France)
FIFA World Cup winners France staged a very late fightback to retain the UFWC title and remain undisputed official and unofficial football world champions in this 2-2 draw with Iceland. Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé was the hero, arriving from the bench with his side 2-0 down and half an hour left to play, only to make one and score one in a remarkable last-four-minute turnaround.
Although France had most of the play in the first half, Iceland took the lead after 30 minutes when Aston Villa midfielder Birkir Bjarnason side-footed home from the edge of the box. And it was 2-0 in the second half when Kári Árnason rose highest from a corner kick to bury a powerful header into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’s goal. Iceland could have extended their lead, but for a couple of good saves from Lloris.
France’s fightback came late, and was orchestrated by substitute Mbappé. First, on 86 minutes, the 19-year-old’s cross-shot was deflected off substitute keeper Hannes Thór Halldórsson onto unlucky defender Hólmar Örn Eyjólfssonand and into the net. Then in the 90th minute, Mbappé stepped up to take a last-gasp penalty, awarded after a corner hit the arm of Kolbeinn Sigthórsson. And the PSG striker made no mistake, rifling the ball past Hannes Thór Halldórsson.
The next UFWC title match is a Nations League rematch between France and Germany this Tuesday 16 October. The two teams drew 0-0 in September.
New for 2018,the latest edition of the official UFWC book, Unofficial Football World Champions.
This is the fourth edition of the book that has been published in every World Cup year since 2006. Expanded and updated to include new matches, teams, players and statistics, it’s a complete guide to the UFWC, including all 936 title matches played since 1872, and all 48 unofficial football world champions.
It’s available exclusively from Amazon stores worldwide, priced at £9.99 or $13.95 – click here.