Rice Asserts England Can Gain Insights from Iceland Defeat; Stands by Mainoo’s Performance

Despite England’s unexpected 1-0 tumble against Iceland in their pre-Euro 2024 curtain-closer, Declan Rice remains optimistic, highlighting the bright spots from the match.

The squad faced jeers as they exited Wembley, where Jon Thorsteinsson’s early goal sealed their fate in this tense fixture.

Gareth Southgate’s crew, anchored by Harry Kane and Ivan Toney, mustered only a paltry shot on target throughout, a product of Iceland’s tight defensive ring.

This encounter marked a historic low for England—a repetition of their scant shooting during a stalemate with Scotland at Euro 2020.

Even a sluggish show couldn’t stop the Three Lions from storming into the Euro finals last time. Rice believes they can replicate that rally.

Post-game, Rice reflected on the missed chances and the imminent Euro battles against Serbia, Denmark, and Slovenia. “It’s crucial we glean lessons from today’s letdown,” he conveyed to Channel 4.

“Tonight’s brisk pace and our forward thrusts were promising, despite the ultimate scoreline feeling like a kick in the gut,” he continued.

“The temptation to overcommit left us vulnerable to counters, a perfect teaching moment.” Rice acknowledged the tough lessons that need addressing.

Rice underscored the importance of learning from the defeat, aiming to improve as they head into the tournament. He remained hopeful about their preparation.

This loss, a first since a historic defeat to West Germany before Euro 1968, underscores a rare stumble in England’s final pre-tournament game.

With two recent scoreless matches at Wembley, England’s offense seems to stumble on familiar turf, equalling the drought they faced over 31 previous games there.

Rice supported his midfield partner, the promising Kobbie Mainoo, amidst mixed reviews from the stands. He emphasized the potential in their partnership formed back in March.

“Comments swirl especially after a loss, but that’s the game for you,” Rice pointed out. “Kobbie and I are young; we’re still harnessing our craft with every skirmish on the pitch.”

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