After a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in their final World Cup qualifier, the Icelandic national team have qualified for their first ever World Cup in Russia next year.
Iceland 2-0 Kosovo
Despite it being quite possibly the biggest game in their history, Iceland didn’t make things easy for themselves in the early goings. Last placed Kosovo had their fair share of chances attacking the home side’s goal, but shortly before the break, things swung in favour of the Icelanders. With a bit of fortune Gylfi Sigurdsson pushed his way through the Kosovo defence, before finishing coolly to get the all important opener for his country (40’).
After the break, both sides were pushing for a goal, with the Icelanders desperately hoping to build on their lead. Johann Gudmundsson was the man to do it, after he got on the end of a Sigurdsson cross and fired it into the roof of the net from close range to double their lead (68’). FCA’s Alfred Finnbogason entered the game in the 61st minute, and with a bit of hard work, the Augsburg man and his Iceland teammates managed to hold on to secure their first World Cup berth in their history. Jubilant celebrations in the centre of Reykjaviks ensued. Iceland are now the smallest ever country to have made it to the biggest football tournament in the world.
Moldova 0-1 Austria
In what was a meaningless game in Chișinău, Moldova got off to the better start against Austria, although they came away empty handed for all of their efforts. FCA’s Kevin Danso was named in Marcel Koller’s starting eleven for Austria, although they found things difficult against their last placed opponents. After Artur Ionita received a second yellow in the 55th minute, Louis Schaub finally got Austria onto the scoreboard in the 69th. However, the Austrians will miss out on World Cup qualification as they finish in fourth place. Michael Gregoritsch didn’t come on.