Iceland reach World Cup finals for first time

Iceland reach World Cup finals for first time

Iceland reach World Cup finals for first time

After ascending to the top of Group I with a win over Turkey five days ago, Iceland formally booked themselves a place at Russian Federation 2018 with a 2-0 victory over Kosovo in their final qualifier on Monday evening.

And all along the way, the thunder clap has followed. "They're a bloody good side", tweeted former England global Gary Lineker, who now works as a TV presenter.

The result guaranteed their spot at the 2018 World Cup as group winners and continued their remarkable run of recent success at worldwide level.

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. "Only losing 2-1 to them now looks a triumph.ish".

"The hardest thing was to get going again after France", said the Iceland coach.

Former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric, who now plays for Hoffenheim, netted twice as Croatia overcame Ukraine 2-0 in their winner-takes-all showdown to gatecrash the play-offs. "The success is not an end in itself but a long journey towards a final destination".

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Iceland is a nation that for generations has gazed upon the horizon and seen dozens of armies gearing up for the battle that is World Cup qualifying, each one with infantry ranks wildly outnumbering their own.

"We all enjoy it when smaller teams have success", said the ex-Bolton man.

"Congratulations to the whole Iceland team and to Icelanders", Bunjaki told reporters.

The party analogy returned last night as Hallgrimsson and his players basked in the remarkable feat of having become the least populous nation ever to reach a World Cup.

Serbia are back at a World Cup finals after missing out in 2014 and with Iceland now join hosts Russia, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Egypt as teams with a place at next year's tournament.

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