The Viking Clap is heading to Russia!
As Irish fans were focusing on events in Cardiff, Iceland were making history in Reykjavik. The heroes of Euro 2016 defeated Kosovo 2-0 to win Group I by two points.
With a 100% record at home, Iceland only lost two games on the road, including a 1-0 defeat to second-placed Croatia. Despite the historic run at Euro 2016 last summer, the team have shown there is no hangover as preparations begin for Russia.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) October 9, 2017
They become the first country to reach the World Cup with a population of under one million. Just over 330,000 people live on the island.
The 2006 Trinidad and Tobago team previously held the record. 11 years ago, the Caribbean nation had a population of 1.3million.
Iceland's win at the Laugardalsvollur Stadium was celebrated with a fireworks display, before the team and fans made the short trip into the centre of Reykjavik to celebrate the historic night.
Team/fan thunderclap. The bond here is unlike anything I've seen. pic.twitter.com/nl6qvZtXiL
— Nick Ames (@NickAmes82) October 9, 2017
Last summer, a reported 99.8% of those watching television in the country at the time saw Iceland defeat England. Their opening game in Russia next summer should at least match that.
Iceland became everyone's second-favourite team in France. Expect more of the same next summer in Russia. Whatever happens, the Icelandic story is a victory for the sport.