Konstantinos Makridis belatedly launched Cyprus' FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign with the only goal in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Iceland.

The Cypriots, who lost their opening qualifier 3-1 in Albania on Friday, bounced back to take three vital points, courtesy of Makridis' 57th-minute strike from Dimitris Christofi's cut-back.

Iceland, who had Solvi Ottesen dismissed for using foul and abusive language four minutes from full time after being penalised for a foul on the goalscorer, started brightly with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson creating two early opportunities for Birkir Bjarnason.

However, Anthos Solomou tested Icelandic goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson at his near post with 32 minutes played and it was the home side who took the lead 12 minutes after the restart when Makridis fired home from 12 yards.

The visitors might have been back in the game within seconds, but substitute Alfred Finnbogason's effort came back off the crossbar and Cyprus held on with little difficulty to secure the win.