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Iceland qualify for their first WC

11 October 2017
Iceland qualify for their first WC

Before Iceland, Trindad & Tobago had the honour of being the smallest nation to reach the 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.

Gylfi Sigurdsson settled their nerves with a superbly-taken goal five minutes before half-time as Iceland proved that their inspiring run to the 2016 European Championship quarter-finals, which included wins over Austria and England, was no fluke.

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.

Iceland managed to finish top of a hard World Cup qualifying group that included Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey and they will now hope to defy the odds and get out of the group stages at the tournament itself.

Iceland, the revelation of Euro 2016, made history by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time while Serbia assured themselves of returning to the competition after missing the 2014 edition.

The total of 17 points from 10 qualifying matches saw them finish second behind Switzerland and earn a place in the play-offs as the final step ahead of the big event in South Americas.

Serbia held on comfortably in the closing stages, knowing that they were safely through as Ireland won 1-0 at Wales to seal second place in group D and book a play-off berth.

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson was in disbelief after his team qualified for the 2018 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Kosovo.

Italy - already certain of a play-off place behind Spain - ended their campaign with a 1-0 over Albania in Shkoder, Antonio Candreva scoring in the 73rd minute.

Until recently considered Europe's outsiders, Iceland national team is heading to Russian Federation to put fear of God into their rivals with a spine-tingling Viking clap.