Iceland Becomes Smallest Nation in History to Qualify for World Cup


Iceland became the smallest country ever to qualify for the football World Cup when they beat Kosovo 2-0 to book a place at their first finals in Russian Federation next year as winners of Group I. Iceland is already assured of at least making the play-offs, as no matter what happens today Iceland will not finish below 2nd place.

With their next attack, Iceland went ahead.

Five minutes before halftime, Sigurdsson took the responsibility and scored.

Sigurdsson collected the ball on the edge of the area, wriggled his way past Amir Rrahmani and fired beyond Ujkani for his fourth goal of the qualifiers.

"This is really odd, I don't know what to say".

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. The previous smallest country to have reached the finals was Trinidad & Tobago, in 2006, with 1.3 million people.

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Meanwhile, in Group D, a late goal from Aleksandar Prijovic helped Serbia to a 1-0 win over Georgia, confirming its position at the top of the group and booking its place in Russian Federation.

Iceland won the group by two points from star-studded Croatia, who beat Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev to win a playoff place.

Aleksandar Prijović's 74th minute goal gave Serbia the breakthrough they desperately wanted, having not made the World Cup since 2010. Andrej Kramaric's second-half double earned victory after the hosts had looked the better side in the first half.

Coached by part-time dentist Heimir Hallgrimsson, Iceland finished the group with 22 points from their 10 games.

The result set up a do-or-die clash in Cardiff where the Republic of Ireland broke Welsh hearts with a 1-0 win to finish second and guarantee a play-off place. The lone point for the Southeastern European side came from a 1-1 draw with Finland and the last time these two teams met, Iceland took home a comfortable 2-1 victory.