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giftedviz.com October 24, 2017


Iceland, Serbia reach World Cup finals, Ireland upsets Wales

11 October 2017, 12:20 | Pamela Mathis

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Iceland's Johann Gudmundsson celebrates with his teammates

Iceland have now reached their first-ever World Cup, while they have also become the smallest nation to do so.

The four-time world champions finished second in Group G behind Spain, that booked their ticket to Russian Federation as group winners, with Italy through to the play-offs on November 9 and 14 as one of the eight best second-placed teams.

Iceland has qualified for its first-ever FIFA World Cup, but it was a celebratory wave of thunderous viking claps between players, team staff and supporters that really stood out.

With maximum points guaranteeing the victors a play-off slot, Croatia held their nerve as two second-half goals from Kramaric saw them clamber above Ukraine and take second spot in Group I.

The chant was a success when Iceland made its major tournament debut at the Euros in France previous year, when it stunned by reaching the quarterfinals after drawing with Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the group stage and eliminating England in the last 16.

Serbia are back at a World Cup finals after missing out in 2014 and with Iceland now join hosts Russia, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Egypt as teams with a place at next year's tournament.

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Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson and Burnley's Johann Gudmundsson got the goals on Monday evening.

France will finish top of Group A if they match or better Sweden's result against Holland and Switzerland know a draw or win away to Portugal will secure their place. "It's a big night tonight and we'll enjoy that but it means nothing if we don't go and qualify now".

That means the Viking chant popularized by Iceland fans at Euro 2016 will be heard across Russian Federation next year.

With Serbia winning 1-0 over Georgia to top Group D, the showdown in Cardiff was for the prize of a playoff berth in November.

And while we're sure Iceland's celebrations are still well and truly underway - anyone heading to Russian Federation next year now has around eight months to prepare for scenes like this.



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