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Iceland make history and reach World Cup for first time

City A.M. Monday, 9 October 2017
Iceland make history and reach World Cup for first timeContinental minnows Iceland followed their exploits at the European Championship by qualifying for their first ever World Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Kosovo in Reykjavik.

The spade work was done on Friday evening when Iceland recorded an impressive 3-0 victory in Turkey but goals from Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley secured top spot in Group I.

Iceland were the smallest nation to qualify for a major tournament when they reached Euro 2016, proceeding to make the quarter-finals after conquering England, and they will now take their place in the main draw for the finals on 1 December.

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 surge into the play-offs.

With maximum points guaranteeing the victors a play-off slot, Croatia held their nerve as two second-half goals from Kramaric in Zlatko Dalic's first game in charge saw them take second spot in Group I.

In the dead-rubber tussle in that group, Finland and Turkey played out a 2-2 draw in Turku.

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain recorded their ninth win from 10 qualifying matches following a narrow 1-0 victory over Israel in Jerusalem courtesy of Asier Illarramendi’s 25-yard half-volley.

Spain finished the campaign top of Group G, five points clear of second-placed Italy, who last night rounded off their own qualification process with a 1-0 triumph in Albania.

Inter midfielder Antonio Candreva scored the only goal of the game and Giampiero Ventura’s men will be seeded in the draw for the play-offs, which is set to take place on 17 October.

Macedonia beat Liechtenstein 4-0 in the other game in Group G. Liechtenstein ended the campaign pointless and with a goal difference of minus 38.
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Source: AFP Sports videos - < > Embed

News video: Football: Iceland qualify for World Cup for first time

Football: Iceland qualify for World Cup for first time 00:49

Less than 18 months after sensationally knocking England out of Euro 2016, Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time following a 2-0 win over Kosovo. The World Cup in Russia will be graced by the popular northern Europeans and their colourful fans who started a clapping trend at the...

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