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Watch: Reykjavik in party mood as Iceland reach first World Cup

Iceland’s soccer supporters were in raptures on Monday as they celebrated in the capital and across the country after the national team qualified for their first World Cup.

Iceland, the smallest country ever to reach the finals, booked their ticket to next year’s tournament in Russia by beating Kosovo 2-0 to top their European qualifying group.

“Are you kidding! We are going to the World Cup!” the local TV commentator screamed as the final whistle blew and fireworks erupted over the Laugardalsvollur national stadium.

Crowds of people waited at Ingolfstorg in downtown Reykjavik for the Iceland players to arrive by bus and when their heroes appeared on stage there was a deafening roar.

Emmsje Gauti, one of Iceland’ most famous rappers, joined in the celebrations with the national team, who jumped around in delight, amd sang ‘Reykjavík er okkar’, ‘Reykjavik is ours’.

At the American Bar, the biggest sports bar in downtown Reykjavík, the cry was: “Iceland to the World Cup”. Outside the rain came down but inside nothing could dampen the spirits.

“The smallest country to get to the World Cup by far, this is surreal,” supporter Gunnar Atli Thorodssen said on a busy Monday night. “I have to book my ticket to Russia immediately.”

Iceland has a population of about 350,000 while the previous smallest country to have reached a World Cup was Trinidad & Tobago, in 2006, which had 1.3 million people.

Earlier, team captain Aron Gunnarsson could be seen joining in with the stadium crowd’s now-famous traditional Viking clap.

The crowd in the bar watching on TV clapped along with the primal chant, which is sure to be a feature in Russia next year, as it was at the European Championship in France last year whereI celand beat Austria and England to reach the last eight.

 

Iceland players celebrate their qualification to the World Cup.Iceland players celebrate their qualification to the World Cup.

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