Today, Iceland's dream to go through to the round of 16 in its first ever World Cup was shattered when Croatia won 2-1. Although the Icelandic nation is disappointed being so close to getting further, the overwhelming feeling is pride!
In order for Iceland to qualify for the round of 16, not only did Iceland have to win Croatia, but Argentina and Nigeria either had to tie, or better yet, Argentina would have to beat Nigeria.
So throughout the game, people were also checking the score for Argentina vs Nigeria, that was taking place at the exact same time.
Iceland was in Group D, with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia. A pretty tough opening group, but Iceland's first game agains Argentina went 1-1, and left Icelanders ecstatic.
In Iceland's second game against Nigeria, Iceland lost 2-0. Meaning that the third game against Croatia was going to be the most exciting one! At half time it didn't look too bad, the score was 0-0 and Iceland was coming in strong, with a lot of shots on the goal. But, it turned out to be somewhat similar to the game against Nigeria, where it looked like Iceland was going to get the first goal in, but then didn't.
Shortly after the second half started Croatia made the first goal of the match when Milan Badelj scored on the 53rd minute. The Icelandic team was pressing hard for a goal, and on the 76th minute Iceland got a penalty - similar to the Nigerian game when Iceland got a penalty on the 83rd minute. Gylfi Sigurðsson took the penalty and scored and redeemed himself after having missed the one against Nigeria (phew, thankfully!) Iceland was back in the game and had 15 minutes to get another goal in.
When just a few minutes were left of the match the news came that Argentina had scored their second goal against Nigeria, and were leading with 2 against 1. Of course everyone was hopeful, thinking it's still time to get one more goal in!
And one more goal happened on the last minute of the official game time, but unfortunately that was for the Croatian team. Ivan Perisic scored the last goal of the match on the 90th minute, and with that sent Iceland home packing from the World Cup.
Croatia is the well deserving winner of Group D, and will advance to the round of 16 along with Argentina that snaked their way to the second place.
Although Iceland is out, they played well and put up a good fight and the whole nation is proud of them. I watched the game from a park in downtown Reykjavík, called Hljómskálagarður.
It's safe to say that about 99% of Iceland was watching this game, and all of the previous games. It's the first time Iceland participates in the World Cup, but this has shown Icelandic football players and young kids that anything is possible if you work hard and play hard.
And who knows, maybe Iceland will take part in the World Cup again 4 years from now?