Iceland becomes smallest nation to qualify for FIFA World Cup


Iceland becomes smallest nation to qualify for FIFA World Cup

Needing victory to guarantee top spot in European qualifying Group I, goals from Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson ensured Iceland would be on the plane to Russian Federation 2018, reported. Iceland reached the quarterfinal after upsetting England in the round of 16. "After we lost against Croatia [in the 2014 World Cup play-offs] we aimed at qualifying next time".

Iceland have won 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group I with 22 points from 10 matches, picking up two more points than Croatia, who have ended up second in the group.

While Ireland remain on course for a first World Cup finals appearance since 2002, surprise Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales saw their dream of a first appearance at the tournament since 1958 turn to dust.

Keeping up its good form from the momentum it picked up when the team made it to the 2016 European Championship quarter-finals, Iceland led the first half of the qualifying match against Kosovo with a goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Republic of Ireland progressed to the play-offs from the group with a 1-0 win away to Wales in Cardiff.

"Are you kidding! We are going to the World Cup!" the local TV commentator bellowed as the final whistle blew and fireworks erupted over the Laugardalsvollur national stadium.

Iceland beat Turkey on Friday night 3-0.

It is the second time Serbia have reached the finals as an independent nation, having been knocked in the group stages of the 2010 tournament in South Africa and then missing the next three major soccer events. Moreover, Eygpt acquired world cup berth in 28 years as Cairo crackled with firecrackers and celebrations continued from dawn to dusk.

Serbia booked their place in the finals thanks to a 1-0 win against Georgia, with substitute Aleksandar Prijovic's strike on 74 minutes proving the difference.

The winners of Groups A and B - set to be decided on Tuesday - will also directly qualify, while eight of the nine second-place teams are to face each other next month in a playoff to fill the four remaining European slots.



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