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Iceland, Serbia reach World Cup finals, Ireland upsets Wales

11 October, 2017, 00:21 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Iceland vs Kosovo UEFA World Cup Qualifiers – Watch Live Online, TV Schedule October 9, 2017

With a population of just over 335,000 people, it is by more than a million people the smallest World Cup finalist ever.

Elsewhere, Spain finished their World Cup qualifying with a 1-0 win in Israel on Monday.

Iceland's unique celebrations are as striking as their on-pitch achievements, and they did not disappoint after booking their place at next summer's World Cup.

With maximum points guaranteeing the victors a play-off slot, Croatia held their nerve as two second-half goals from Kramaric saw them clamber above Ukraine and take second spot in Group I.

Iceland made it to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 in France having beaten England and secured a draw with eventual winners Portugal in the group stages.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was instrumental for Iceland on the night, with the Everton midfielder opening the scoring shortly before half-time by bustling his way into the Kosovan 18-yard box and hacking a shot past the onrushing goalkeeper...




It was only two years ago that Iceland qualified for a major finals for the first time, taking advantage of a tournament expanded to 24 teams but nonetheless knocking out the Netherlands in qualifying.

Antonio Candreva lifted Italy to a 1-0 win over Albania in their final World Cup qualifying game that assures the Azzurri are top seeds for November's play-offs.

Prijovic struck the victor on 74 minutes in Belgrade as Serbia finished top of European qualifying Group D, with the Republic of Ireland heading to the play-offs after a 1-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

The 2018 World Cup's first game will feature hosts Russian Federation on June 14 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

It's a confirmation of the rise of the Scandinavian island nation after their shock win over England in a surprise run to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals.

Croatia booked their place in the play-offs by winning 2-0 in Ukraine, cementing second place behind Iceland, while Finland's dead rubber with Turkey ended 2-2. "The success is not an end in itself but a long journey towards a final destination", said Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson.

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