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2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Aron Gunnarsson (89')

Iceland seal historic qualification for Euro 2016 with win vs. Kazakhstan

Iceland became the smallest nation to qualify for the finals of the European Championship thanks to a point from a goalless draw with Kazakhstan.

The Nordic island nation boasts an estimated population of around 329,100 people, and 23 of their number will be selected to compete at Euro 2016 in France next summer.

Six wins from their previous seven games proved to be a more than solid foundation and a further Group A point, secured against Kazakhstan in Reykjavik, got Iceland over the line.

They appeared nervy in the opening exchanges and failed to threaten the Kazakh goal until the 33rd minute, when Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's effort was blocked by Yuri Logvinenko.

They turned the screw in the minutes leading up to half-time, though, with the ball improbably staying out of the visitors' net during a frantic goalmouth scramble.

Sigthorsson blasted over the crossbar just before the break, and it was time to put heads together and devise an alternative strategy.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson went closer when play resumed, slamming the ball into Stas Pokatilov's gloves from six yards out, and he would head over the bar on 70 minutes.

Captain Aron Gunnarsson denied himself the ability to celebrate as soon as the final whistle sounded at Laugardalsvollur, as he had only just finished walking down the tunnel having earned a second yellow card for fouling Aleksey Shchetkin.

He raced back onto the pitch to embrace his team-mates when full-time did come, however, as history had just been made on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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