- Iceland beat Kosovo to become smallest nation to reach the World Cup
- Serbia see of Georgia to secure their spot
- European group stage concludes tomorrow
Iceland and Serbia have added their names to their list of Russia 2018 participants after qualifying directly from Groups I and D respectively in Europe.
The Icelanders’ feat is particularly notable as they have qualified for their first-ever FIFA World Cup™ and will become the least populous nation to compete at the global finals.
They secured that place in history with a nervy but thoroughly merited 2-0 win over Kosovo in Reykjavik, rounding off a memorable campaign that has seen them edge out the likes of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey. Star man Gylfi Sigurdsson scored one and laid on another for Johann Gudmundsson as Heimir Hallgrimsson’s remarkable side kicked off a massive party in the Icelandic capital.
Serbia, meanwhile, return for the first time since 2010 having finished ahead of Republic of Ireland and Wales in Group D. Slavoljub Muslin’s side made sure of their place with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Georgia, with Aleksandar Prijovic’s solitary goal settling the Belgrade crowd’s nerves with 16 minutes remaining.
Iceland and Serbia are the sixth and seventh teams to emerge triumphant from the European preliminaries, and follow in the footsteps of Belgium, England, Spain, Germany and Poland. Hosts Russia’s participation is also guaranteed, as is that of Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Egypt.