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Elation and agony in equal measure for International Royals

Iceland qualify for first ever World Cup but Wales fall to Ireland

10 October 2017

Royals striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson led the line up front as Iceland secured qualification for the World Cup last night, for the first time in the country's history!

In qualifying, Iceland have become the smallest country to ever qualify for football's biggest tournament, with a population of around 330,000, which is just 12,000 more people than Reading!

Böðvarsson pitched in with two vital assists against group rivals Turkey on Friday night as his side earned a comfortable 3-0 victory to take them to the top of their group.

Iceland then sealed qualification with a calm, ruthless performance to beat Kosovo 2-0 following Royals' Academy graduate, Gylfi Sigurðsson's opener.

Böðvarsson (R) joins the celebrations as former Royal, Gylfi Sigurðsson (#10) opens the scoring against Kosovo on Monday night.

Elsewhere, though, it was final-match agony for Chris Gunter, Dave Edwards and Wales, who were defeated 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff courtesy of James McClean's first-time finish from 15 yards.

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Despite Wales' best efforts and effectively camping themselves in the Irish half in the closing stages, Chris Coleman's men could not find a way through the resolute green and white defence as they agonisingly missed out on qualification.

Even though it was an agonising result for Gunter, who was earning his 63rd consecutive cap for his country, and Edwards, who was an unused sub on the night, the packed house in Cardiff still applauded the team off after a hard-fought qualifying campaign.

Gunter and Edwards will now be turning their international attentions to ensuring qualification for Euro 2020.

All three players will now be returning to Reading to begin preparations to face high-flying Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

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