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World Cup joy for Iceland, Ireland but heartbreak for Wales

World Cup joy for Iceland, Ireland but heartbreak for Wales”

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the opener against Kosovo in Reykjavik after 40 minutes before Johann Gudmundsson added a second in the second half.

The South American World Cup qualifiers have not turned out as expected, and ahead of the last round Tuesday, Lionel Messi's Argentina, Alexis Sanchez's Chile and James Rodriguez's Colombia are all in serious danger of not playing in Russian Federation 2018.

Iceland's Aron Einar Gunnarsson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson celebrate at the final whistle.

The World Cup appearance comes after Iceland marked their first trip to the European Championship in 2016, earning a famous 2-1 win over England en route to a quarter-final run.

The fireworks blazed into the sky at the Laugardalsvollur stadium after the team coached by Heimir Hallgrimsson completed their expected victory over the European minnows Kosovo, ranked 184 by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

In Belgrade, Serbia qualified after a 1-0 home win over Georgia, courtesy of a 74th-minute strike by substitute Aleksandar Prijovic which enabled the Balkan nation to finish top of Group D with 21 points from 10 games.

With one game to play, the win against Turkey put Iceland on top of the group with 19 points, two ahead of Croatia, who drew 1-1 with Finland.

Italy knew they would be heading into the play-offs and the four-time World Cup winners beat Albania 1-0 thanks to Antonio Candreva's goal, while Macedonia hammered bottom-side Liechtenstein 4-0.

Croatia beat Ukraine to seal a spot in the playoffs. They will not be seeded in the playoffs draw which will take place on Tuesday. In other matches in Group I, leader Iceland will host Kosovo in their final game, while Croatia will play away against Ukraine in the most critical match of the group.

Qualification for their first World Cup is a remarkable achievement for Iceland, a country with a population of approximately 335,000.

They became the smallest nation to reach a major tournament at Euro 2016, where they defeated England in the last 16 before going out to France.



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