Iceland qualifies for Football World Cup 2018

Iceland qualifies for Football World Cup 2018

Earlier, Paraguay held a similar record to get qualified for the 1930 World Cup, with an estimated population of 850,000 and later in 2005, Trinidad and Tobago broke the record, becoming the smallest nation with a population just over 1.2 million, to get qualified for the 2005 World Cup.

Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson scored in Reykjavik as Iceland, with a population of just 330 000, booked a place at the Mundial for the first time ever.

The four-time world champions finished second in Group G behind Spain, that booked their ticket to Russian Federation as group winners, with Italy through to the play-offs on November 9 and 14 as one of the eight best second-placed teams.

Iceland only missed out on the World Cup four years ago after losing to Croatia in the play-offs but this time the country with a population of 335,000 went one step further.

Elsewhere, in Iceland's qualifying group, Croatia secured second place and a playoff spot after a 2-0 win against Ukraine in Kiev.

Iceland's successful World Cup qualification comes less than 18 months after dumping England out of Euro 2016 to reach the quarterfinals before being beaten by France.

Both Iceland and Eygpt did the inevitable with wins over Kosovo and Congo to qualify for the all-important FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation. Moreover, Eygpt acquired world cup berth in 28 years as Cairo crackled with firecrackers and celebrations continued from dawn to dusk.

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

Iceland beat Turkey on Friday night 3-0.

Spain ended its qualifying campaign by beating Israel 1-0 in Jerusalem, while Italy scraped past Albania 1-0 in Shkoder in another poor effort which will do little to inspire confidence in coach Gian Piero Ventura and his team. The victor will take on the team which finishes fourth in the CONCACAF section over two legs for a place in Russian Federation.

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