Iceland qualify for their first WC

Srdjan Stevanovic  GettyImages

Iceland's success at becoming the smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup is down to "good team spirit and understanding", according to the president of their FA Gudni Bergsson.

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. Any other result puts it in jeopardy of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970.

The result guaranteed their spot at the 2018 World Cup as group winners and continued their remarkable run of recent success at worldwide level.

Iceland's European dream was ended by rampant France who went on to win 5-2 in the quarter-finals, but the world was left in awe of a relentless spirit from a fighters' nation such as Iceland.

Having sacked manager Ante Cacic and replaced him with Zlatko Dalic after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday, the Croatians still looked shaky, winning two corners in the first two minutes but doing little else in the opening half.

Ireland secured a playoff spot from Group D, while Gareth Bale's Wales was eliminated only 15 months after reaching the semifinals at Euro 2016.

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All Iceland needed to do was defeat last-placed Kosovo at home to clinch a berth at Russian Federation 2018.

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain recorded their ninth win from 10 qualifying matches following a narrow 1-0 victory over Israel in Jerusalem courtesy of Asier Illarramendi's 25-yard half-volley.

The 2018 World Cup's first game will feature hosts Russian Federation on June 14 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Iceland broke out during Euro 2016, the first major tournament the nation ever qualified for.

Martin O'Neill's men finished second in the group behind Serbia, who firmed up automatic qualification with a 1-0 win over Georgia after Aleksandar Prijovic's late goal.

Can Iceland continue their success at Russian Federation 2018?

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