England's key moments in 2016: From victory in Germany to humiliation against Iceland
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 15/11/16 11:09pm
England played their final fixture of 2016 with Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Spain at Wembley Stadium.
With the Three Lions not back in action until March of next year, we reflect on a tumultuous year for the national team.
From beating Germany in Berlin to Southgate's audition to succeed Sam Allardyce, here are England's key moments from 2016.
Winning in Germany
It's easy to forget that England kicked off 2016 with the dizzying high of a 3-2 win over world champions Germany. They seemed destined for defeat when Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez put the hosts 2-0 up at Berlin's Olympic Stadium in March, but Roy Hodgson's youthful side staged a brilliant comeback.
Harry Kane pulled one back with a low finish, then Jamie Vardy equalised with an audacious flick from Nathaniel Clyne's cross before England wrapped up a stunning victory when Eric Dier headed home from Jordan Henderson's corner in stoppage time.
From Dele Alli's brilliant performance to England's dangerous new strikeforce, there were plenty of positives for Hodgson. He described it as his greatest night since taking the job, and while it was only a friendly, it felt like a welcome boost ahead of the summer at Euro 2016.
After scoring with his first shots on his Europa League and Premier League debuts for Manchester United, the irrepressible Marcus Rashford repeated the trick on his England bow against Australia in May. The teenager, picked ahead of Daniel Sturridge, took just three minutes to make his mark.
His volleyed finish at the Stadium of Light was struck with unerring accuracy, and at 18 years and 208 days, it made him the youngest player to score on his England debut - beating a record set by Tommy Lawton in 1938.
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It was another happy chapter in his extraordinary rise, and it guaranteed his place in Hodgson's final squad for Euro 2016. "I'm delighted for Marcus and delighted that he's received such praise," said Hodgson. "I'm also delighted that my decision to thrust him into the side was not proved to be ridiculous. He tired a bit in the second half but what a debut."
The pre-Euro 2016 optimism evaporated as England struggled through the group stages, but they appeared to have lucked out when they were pitted against minnows Iceland in the last 16.
England were huge favourites to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final against hosts France, but instead they exited the tournament in abject humiliation. Wayne Rooney's early penalty was cancelled out within two minutes by Ragnar Sigurdsson, and Kolbein Sigthorsson put Iceland in front shortly afterwards.
England had over 70 minutes to turn the match around, but their response was pitiful as they froze on the big stage. Simple passes went astray and shots were miscued, with the England fans in Nice venting their frustration with chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt". Hodgson resigned immediately, and England packed their bags.
Big Sam's short stay
A month after the Iceland debacle, the FA announced the appointment of Sam Allardyce on a two-year contract. The former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland manager vowed to turn England's fortunes around, but one game and 67 days later, he left his post by mutual consent following a newspaper sting.
Allardyce was filmed discussing how to circumvent rules on player transfers, and the video footage also appeared to show him mocking his predecessor Hodgson and criticising the FA's decision to rebuild Wembley. Allardyce apologised in a meeting with FA chiefs, but two days later he was gone.
"On reflection it was a silly thing to do," he reflected. "I was trying to help someone out I knew for 30 years and unfortunately it was an error in judgement on my behalf. Entrapment has won on this occasion."
Southgate makes his case
Gareth Southgate will be hoping he has done enough to lead England into 2017. The former U21 manager steered England to two wins and two draws after being placed in temporary charge in September, and while he might not be an appointment to set the pulses racing, he seems well placed to take the job permanently.
There were plenty of positive signs in the 3-0 win over Scotland, and for 89 minutes against Spain Southgate must have thought he had the job in the bag. England's late collapse at Wembley was a reminder of how ruthless international football can be. Southgate will be hoping it doesn't encourage the FA to look elsewhere.