Group I of the World Cup Qualifying (European Section) will go down to the wire as the all important top two slots will be competed for by three nations. Currently sitting top of the tree and securing themselves at least a play-off spot are Iceland after their efforts on Friday night.
They traveled to Turkey and came away with a 3-0 win that sees them two points clear at the top of Group I but also subsequently knocking out the hosts of the qualification process. Iceland were 2-0 nil up before the break and killed off any hopes that Turkey had on the night and overall just five minutes after the restart when they made it 3-0.
A job well done and now they will look to complete the task when they play host to Kosovo tomorrow evening. They currently find themselves two points clear of Croatia in second who dropped that same amount of points on Friday night at home to Finland.
Mario Mandzukic’s goal on 57 minutes looked as if it would be enough for Croatia to not only pick up all three points but also stay top of the group. But they were dealt a huge hammer blow in the final minute when Pyry Soiri scored to snatch an unlikely point for the Finns.
Croatia now find themselves level with the Ukraine who earned a 2-0 win in Kosovo. An own goal on the hour by Leart Paqarada but the away side ahead and the Borussia Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko doubled their lead with two minutes remaining.
Iceland may only be two points clear of both Croatia and the Ukraine but the latter two nations face each other in Kiev on Monday night and therefore they obviously both cannot pick up a win meaning that qualification is very much in Iceland’s hands. A draw in Kiev would see them qualify regardless as Iceland are just one game away from their first ever World Cup Finals.
Here are all the goals from Friday night
Turkey vs Iceland
Croatia vs Finland
Kosovo vs Ukraine