Iceland 0-0 KazakhstanThe result was a disappointment, but the match was soon forgotten as Iceland celebrated reaching their first major finals.
Article top media content
- Iceland confirm a UEFA EURO 2016 place with two games remaining
- Point against Kazakhstan means third-ranked Turkey cannot catch them
- Red card for Aron Gunnarsson takes little gloss off achievement
- Torrential rain in Reykjavik cannot dampen party mood
- Next games: Iceland v Latvia, Kazakhstan v Netherlands (10 October)
A goalless draw against Kazakhstan in heavy rain in Reykjavik was soon forgotten as Iceland fans celebrated the national team making it to their first major final tournament as one of the top two in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group A.
Knowing that a draw was all that was required to secure a first major success in 11 qualifying campaigns may have influenced Iceland's tactics in weather conditions which hardly encouraged flowing football at Laugardalsvöllur. Iceland did not manage to get a meaningful shot on target in the first 35 minutes, finally warming to their task at the close of the first half as Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kári Árnason had efforts blocked in quick succession.
The pressure from Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson's team was more sustained after the interval, though there was still little threat to Stas Pokatilov's goal, with Kazakhstan menacing on the counterattack. Jón Dadi Bödvarsson passed up a decent chance to finish things off with just under 20 minutes remaining, but as the rain intensified, Iceland were dealt an unexpected blow, reliable captain Aron Gunnarsson dismissed for a second bookable offence.
However, the quality of the spectacle on offer could be consigned to memory in an instant as the final whistle blew, the Iceland players gathering to revel in the greatest achievement in the nation's footballing history.