Coach Andriy Shevchenko reasonably refused to use the nominal forward released in the starting lineup Marlos, and the role of the Central striker alternately played Yarmolenko and Garmash. The previous smallest country to have reached the finals was Trinidad & Tobago in 2006, with 1.3 million people.

Less than 18 months after sensationally knocking England out of Euro 2016, Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time on Monday (Oct 9) following a 2-0 win over Kosovo.

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.

The Irish are looking to qualify for the World Cup for a fourth time, and first since 2002.

In Belgrade, Serbia qualified after a 1-0 home win over Georgia, courtesy of a 74th-minute strike by substitute Aleksandar Prijovic which enabled the Balkan nation to finish top of Group D with 21 points from 10 games. Goals by Evertonian Gylfi Sigurðsson and Burnley player Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson secured the victory. The team managed to make it to the quarter-finals of the tournament, beating the likes of England on their way there.

According to the regulations of selection, only one team from the group goes directly to the world Cup.