Iceland's World Cup success their greatest achievement, says Eggert Magnusson

Srdjan Stevanovic  GettyImages

Srdjan Stevanovic GettyImages

If they win, they will become the nation with the smallest population ever to qualify for the finals.

Goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson at the Laugardalsvöllur ensured Iceland, which has a population of less than 335,000, topped Group I of the European qualifying section.

Iceland have once again captured the hearts of the nation with their journey to Russian Federation in stark contrast to England's more prosaic progress to the finals - but Magnusson says it can yet come good for Gareth Southgate's side. "After we lost against Croatia [in the 2014 World Cup play-offs] we aimed at qualifying next time".

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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.

Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales, again without the injured Gareth Bale, meanwhile saw their hopes of only a second appearance at a World Cup finals dashed in Cardiff when James McClean struck with a firm shot for Ireland in the 57th minute.

It is the second time Serbia have reached the finals as an independent nation, having been knocked in the group stages of the 2010 tournament in South Africa and then missing the next three major soccer events.

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Victory over Kosovo last night secured Iceland a place in next summer's Russian tournament.

Both Iceland and Eygpt did the inevitable with wins over Kosovo and Congo to qualify for the all-important FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation. The hardest thing was to get going again after our massive party in France, but we decided that we were just going to finish this.

Until recently considered Europe's outsiders, Iceland national team is heading to Russian Federation to put fear of God into their rivals with a spine-tingling Viking clap.

Teams, news and highlights in World Cup qualifier
A draw could also work for the Welsh depending on other results - but in reality this is a game both sides need to win. Nevertheless, while in qualifying Wales has not lost a single match, but also five of nine finished in a draw.

Italy - already certain of a play-off place behind Spain - ended their campaign with a 1-0 over Albania in Shkoder, Antonio Candreva scoring in the 73rd minute.

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