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Iceland’s Cinderella Story Continues With Qualification To Russia 2018

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Iceland has proven that it’s performance at the European Championship was not a fluke with qualification for the mundial in Russia in 2018.

The Icelandic men’s national football team qualified after beating Kosovo 2-0 at Laugardalsvöllur yesterday. It is the first time the Iceland qualifies for the World Cup.

Iceland becomes the smallest nation, by far, to qualify for the World Cup as it beats the previous record by a cool million. Trinidad and Tobago are the previous holders of the record as the nation of 1.365 million people qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Icelanders numbered 338.349 people on the 1st of January 2017 is by far lesser, so it is safe to say the record was shattered.

The Icelandic team coached by a part time dentist, Heimir Hallgrímsson needed a win against Kosovo to finished 1st in Group I, a difficult group featuring the likes of Ukraine, Croatia, Turkey, Finland, and newcomers Kosovo.

Goals by Evertonian Gylfi Sigurðsson and Burnley player Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson secured the victory.

The World Cup will be the second major tournament the men’s side qualify for as they went to the EURO 2016. The team has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the footballing ranks as Iceland was ranked 19th in the FIFA World Rankings this July – after a low point of being ranked 131st in October 2012.

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Akin Akingbala is an international journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Aside being happily married, he has interests in music, sports and loves traveling.

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