Iceland Becomes The Smallest Country To Qualify For World Cup

Doug Mendoza
October 11, 2017

After reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 in the debut at a major tournament, Iceland now have their first ticket to a World Cup, and will be the smallest nation based on population ever to compete in the finals.

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, Foxsport.com reported.

While Iceland was heavy, heavy favorites against Kosovo nothing is certain in World Cup qualifying.

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has expressed his disbelief after his nation secured their place at next year's World Cup.

Everton attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson will play in the 2018 World Cup with Iceland.

In Group D, the Republic of Ireland also snatched a play-off spot by edging their winner-takes-all clash with Wales 1-0. In my opinion we were in the most hard group with Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine and Finland.

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"Are you kidding! We are going to the World Cup!" was the reaction of the local TV commentator at the final whistle, and even Hallgrimsson seemed bewildered.

A goal in the 74th minute by substitute Aleksandr Prijovic led Serbia to a 1-0 triumph over visiting Georgia, boosting their point total to 21, two more than Ireland, who nailed down second place with a 1-0 away win against a Wales squad missing the injured Gareth Bale. "It's a big night tonight and we'll enjoy that but it means nothing if we don't go and qualify now".

Their national team finally qualified for their first ever major worldwide tournament at Euro 2016 and won hearts and minds along the way.

Already-qualified Spain rounded off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Israal in Jerusalem, courtesy of a 76th-minute strike from Asier Illarramendi.

And while we're sure Iceland's celebrations are still well and truly underway - anyone heading to Russian Federation next year now has around eight months to prepare for scenes like this.

Other reports by GizPress

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