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The Financial Express

Iceland becomes the smallest country ever to reach World Cup football

| Updated: October 22, 2017 09:33:59


Iceland becomes the smallest country ever to reach World Cup football

Iceland has qualified for the World Cup for the first time after beating Kosovo 2-0 at home, becoming the smallest nation to ever reach football's biggest international tournament, reports ABC News Australia.

Keeping the momentum going from its inspiring run to the 2016 European Championship quarter-finals, Iceland topped Europe Group I and advanced automatically to the finals in Russia next year at the expense of favourite Croatia.

Iceland is the smallest nation in terms of population — 330,000 — to make the World Cup.

Gylfi Sigurdsson put the hosts ahead in the first half and Johann Gudmundsson made it 2-0 in the second.

Iceland won the group by two points from star-studded Croatia, which beat Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev.

Ukraine was third, Turkey fourth and Finland fifth.

Kosovo completed its maiden qualifying for a major tournament with a single point.

Elsewhere, Serbia qualified directly for the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Georgia, while a stunning win for Ireland over Wales kept it alive and into a playoff round at the expense of the absent Gareth Bale's side.

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