Iceland's excellent showing at Euro 2016, the island's first major international tournament, turned out not to be a flash in the pan. Iceland beat Kosovo 2-0 Monday to ensure qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia by finishing at the top of UEFA Group I.
The country's transformation into a football nation to be taken seriously has been swift. Just five years ago they were ranked 131st in the world by FIFA.
Now, they are on their way to the grandest stage in the world. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Iceland's main creative force, put Iceland on the board with a nice run near the end of the first half.
Sigurdsson’s goal that could send Iceland to its first ever World Cup (:@desdelabandaofi)pic.twitter.com/0bgMxdLyex— LuisMiguelEchegaray (@lmechegaray) October 9, 2017
Sigurdsson did his thing again for Iceland's second goal, assisting this time in the 68th minute.
Sigurðsson sets up Guðmundsson to make it 2-0 for #Iceland! The Vikings are getting closer and closer to the #WorldCup now!! #ISLKOS pic.twitter.com/Rda3s7bgdd— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) October 9, 2017
The win touched off a wild celebration in Reykjavik, with fireworks and everything. They did the viking clap too, of course.
Islandia clasificado a #Rusia2018Veremos a una de las aficiones más queridas del Mundo#Icelandpic.twitter.com/Cn3ysIiQ7w
— Manuel ™ (@Nel_CRC) October 9, 2017
With just 334,000 citizens, Iceland is the smallest nation ever to make the World Cup.