Five of the biggest shock wins during Euro 2016 group stages

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The group stages of Euro 2016 have produced several shock results, with the lesser fancied sides shocking the bigger nations.

With Iceland, Hungary, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Slovakia all qualifying for the knockout rounds, this Euros could be one of the most exciting and unpredictable yet.

Here we look at five of the best shock victories from the group stages.


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Northern Ireland 2-0 Ukraine

Northern Ireland recorded their first tournament victory for 34 years with a shock win over Ukraine.

'The Boys in Green' took the lead through their veteran defender Gareth McAuley, but had to wait until deep into stoppage time when Niall McGinn scored to secure all three points.

This win helped Northern Ireland finish as one of the top third-placed sides, and they will now face Wales in the round of 16.

Slovakia 2-1 Russia

Russia came into Euro 2016 as one of the sides fancied to perform strongly. However, their tournament never got off the ground, with their opening 1-1 draw with England, the best it got for them.

Slovakia on the other hand, had a strong group stage, holding England to a goalless draw and claiming a win over the Russians.

Marek Hamsik, and former Manchester City youngster, Vladimir Weiss both scored and assisted a goal each, giving Slovakia their first Euros win.

Ireland 1-0 Italy

Italy came into Euro 2016 looking to avenge a massively disappointing 2014 World Cup, which saw them exit at the group stages.

While they have made it through this time, with Spain their opponents in the last 16, Ireland did claim a famous win over the Azzurri.

With Irish hopes of qualification seemingly in the balance, Robbie Brady became their hero with a 84th minute winner, heading home from a perfect Wesley Hoolahan cross.

Ireland's 'reward' for making it through as one of the best third-placed sides is a last 16 tie with France.

Could they claim a major scalp and knock out the hosts?

Iceland 2-1 Austria

Iceland are the smallest nation at the tournament, but have been remarkable, giving viewers plenty of entertainment.

They began their campaign with a strong 1-1 draw against much-fancied Portugal, before a second draw against fellow overachievers Hungary.

Their final game though saw them cause a major upset, as they downed Austria with a late goal to finish top of their group.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson gave them a 17th minute lead, which was cancelled out by Alessandro Schöpf.

However, Arnor Ingvi Traustason was the super sub for the Icelanders, with a last-gasp winner, dumping Austria out of the tournament.

Iceland now face a big challenge in the Round of 16 against England, but the Scandinavians have thus far been fearless and positive, so the Three Lions will not have it all their own way.

Croatia 2-1 Spain

Despite their struggles at the World Cup, Spain began Euro 2016 as one of the favourites for the tournament.

While they got out of their group this time around, albeit in second place, they were stunned by a fantastic Croatian performance in the final group game.

They remained unchanged despite already being sure of qualification, so their side included stars such as Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Morata, Andres Iniesta, and David de Gea.

However, it was Ivan Perisic who stole the show, setting up Nikola Kalinic's opener before scoring a second himself late on, showcasing the very best of his abilities.

Portugal are Croatia's Round of 16 opponents, and after a less than impressive group stage for them, they should beware of a strong, but underestimated, side.

What result stood out for YOU during the group stages? Let us know in the comment section below!

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