I hope we can celebrate like this tonight!

Will Iceland's Football Team Make it to the World Cup?!

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Tonight Iceland will meet Kosovo in a football game on Iceland's home turf, at Laugardalsvöllur. The game starts at 18:45 local time, and if Iceland wins, the Icelandic national team will go through to the World Cup - for the first time in history!

Anyone that follows football - and even those who don't follow football - will remember the 'fairytale' story of how Iceland made it to the quarter finals in UEFA EURO in 2016, the first major tournament Iceland's national football team ever participated in.

Iceland tied with Portugal (that ended up being the champions), beat England's team 2-1 and then lost to the host country France in the quarter finals. But nonetheless, this was the best result an Icelandic football team has ever gotten, and the team members were hailed as heroes in Iceland - the smallest country ever to enter a large tournament such as this one.

Iceland's victory at UEFA EURO 2016

2016 Sports Photo of the Year (Iceland) by Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Iceland's highest ranking ever on the FIFA world ranking list was number 18, in July just after the UEFA EURO. Currently Iceland is ranking at number 22. Iceland's lowest ranking on FIFA however was at number 131 in 2012 - so the team has shot up that list fast!

Currently, Iceland is competing in the qualifiers for the World Cup, taking place in Russia in 2018. Tonight's game with Kosovo is the last game in the qualification - and at the moment Iceland is on top with 19 points. Croatia and Ukraine come second with 17 points currently.

Previous games in this 2018 World Cup qualifying round have been:

  • 5th of September 2016: Ukraine - Iceland. 1-1 tie.
  • 6th of October 2016: Iceland - Finland. 3-2 win for Iceland.
  • 9th of October 2016: Iceland - Turkey. 2-0 win for Iceland.
  • 12th of November 2016: Croatia - Iceland. 2-0 win for Croatia.
  • 24th of March 2017: Kosovo - Iceland. 1-2 win for Iceland.
  • 11th of June 2017: Iceland - Croatia. 1-0 win for Iceland.
  • 2nd of September 2017: Finland - Iceland. 0-1 win for Finland.
  • 5th of September 2017: Iceland - Ukraine. 2-0 win for Iceland.
  • 6th of October 2017: Turkey - Iceland. 0-3 win for Iceland.
  • 9th of October 2017: Iceland - Kosovo. ????

I hope we can celebrate like this tonight!

So if Iceland wins the game agains Kosovo, then Iceland is definitely taking part in the World Cup in 2018. If there is a tie, or Iceland loses, then there is still a chance, as the results depend on how other games go in the qualifying round.

If Iceland makes it to the World Cup, it will be the smallest nation (in population) by far to have entered it. Currently the smallest nation to have taken part in the World Cup is Trinidad and Tobago, that qualified in 2006. Trinidad and Tobago's population is 1.3 million people. Iceland's population is 350 thousand people.

It's safe to say, the atmosphere in Reykjavík is electric tonight - and if you're in town (you won't be able to get a ticket to the live game, it's completely sold out) - but find a TV and cheer with the locals!

Iceland beat Kosovo before 2-1, we can do it again! Come on World Cup - ÁFRAM ÍSLAND!

It's easy to support Iceland, just do the Viking Chant HÚH!

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