Ten-man Iceland drew against Croatia in the first leg of their play-off to keep alive their hopes of becoming the smallest nation to reach a World Cup.

The home side twice went close, with Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Alfred Finnbogason wasting good opportunities.

Midfielder Ivan Perisic had the best chance for Croatia when he fired a shot narrowly wide late in the game.

By that stage, Iceland had been reduced to 10 men when Olafur Skulason was shown red after he had impeded Perisic.

Minnows Iceland still dreaming

Iceland could become the first country with fewer than a million people to reach the World Cup.

With a population of 320,000, they would beat Trinidad & Tobago's record of the smallest country to reach a World Cup by more than one million.

That was the second blow suffered by Lars Lagerback's side, who prior to the break were weakened when Ajax striker Sigthorsson came off injured.

"The players did a fantastic job but the referee [Alberto Undiano] didn't have his best day," Lagerback told Icelandic television. "I'm not satisfied.

"Someone watched the replay on TV and they said it [the red card] was very, very questionable, but it wasn't just that. In many situations the referee didn't know if he should blow or not.

"To defend for almost 45 minutes with one less man on the pitch - I can't describe in words what these players have done."

The second leg takes place in Zagreb on Tuesday which will determine who goes through to the World Cup finals in Brazil in June.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (5)

Iceland

  • 12 Halldórsson
  • 16 Skulason Dismissed
  • 23 Skúlason
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 14 Arnason
  • 06 Sigurdsson
  • 07 Gudmundsson
  • 10 Sigurdsson
  • 09 Sigthorsson (Gudjohnsen - 45' )
  • 11 Finnbogason (Gislason - 64' )
  • 08 Bjarnason

Substitutes

  • 01 Gunnleifsson
  • 02 Jonsson
  • 03 Jónasson
  • 04 Jónsson
  • 05 Ottesen
  • 13 Pálsson
  • 15 Danielsson
  • 18 Smárason
  • 19 Gislason
  • 20 Bjornsson
  • 21 Hallfredsson
  • 22 Gudjohnsen

Croatia

  • 01 Pletikosa
  • 11 Srna
  • 21 Pranjic
  • 10 Modric
  • 05 Corluka
  • 03 Simunic
  • 15 Ilicevic (Olic - 45' )
  • 07 Rakitic
  • 17 Mandzukic (Benko - 87' )
  • 22 Eduardo (Rebic - 72' )
  • 04 Perisic

Substitutes

  • 02 Vrsaljko
  • 06 Lovren
  • 08 Males
  • 09 Rebic
  • 12 Kalinic
  • 13 Schildenfeld
  • 14 Benko
  • 16 Badelj
  • 18 Olic
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 20 Kovacic
  • 23 Subasic
Ref: Alberto Undiano Mallenco

Match Stats

Shots

4 14

On target

0 6

Corners

3 4

Fouls

18 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Iceland 0, Croatia 0.

90:00 +2:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Iceland 0, Croatia 0.

90:00 +0:36

Attempt missed. Luka Modric (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ante Rebic.

89:11

Attempt missed. Ante Rebic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

86:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Leon Benko replaces Mario Mandzukic.

85:38

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

85:38

Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:46

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic with a headed pass.

81:56

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:56

Foul by Eidur Gudjohnsen (Iceland).

81:22

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

81:22

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:28

Ante Rebic (Croatia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

80:28

Foul by Rurik Gislason (Iceland).

79:47

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Mario Mandzukic.

78:43

Foul by Danijel Pranjic (Croatia).

78:43

Rurik Gislason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:37

Attempt blocked. Rurik Gislason (Iceland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

77:50

Offside, Croatia. Ante Rebic tries a through ball, but Ivica Olic is caught offside.

75:01

Attempt blocked. Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

74:11

Ante Rebic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:11

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

72:55

Dangerous play by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

72:55

Kári Arnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:14

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:14

Foul by Ari Freyr Skúlason (Iceland).

71:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Ante Rebic replaces Eduardo.

71:21

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

71:21

Rurik Gislason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:35

Attempt saved. Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Modric.

68:32

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:32

Foul by Rurik Gislason (Iceland).

67:51

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

67:51

Kári Arnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:47

Attempt blocked. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

67:03

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Birkir Bjarnason.

66:12

Attempt saved. Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

65:41

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Ari Freyr Skúlason.

64:24

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:24

Foul by Rurik Gislason (Iceland).

63:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Rurik Gislason replaces Alfred Finnbogason.

62:33

Foul by Darijo Srna (Croatia).

62:33

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:55

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:55

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

55:31

Hand ball by Ivan Rakitic (Croatia).

54:40

Offside, Croatia. Eduardo tries a through ball, but Ivica Olic is caught offside.

53:17

Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Danijel Pranjic with a cross.

52:33

Attempt saved. Ivica Olic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Ivan Perisic.

50:57

Attempt blocked. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

50:52

Attempt saved. Darijo Srna (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

49:32 Dismissal

Dismissal Olafur Skulason (Iceland) is shown the red card.

49:27

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:27

Foul by Olafur Skulason (Iceland).

48:47

Ivica Olic (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

48:47

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

47:44

Attempt missed. Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Eidur Gudjohnsen.

45:30

Darijo Srna (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:30

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

45:00

Second Half begins Iceland 0, Croatia 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Ivica Olic replaces Ivo Ilicevic.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Eidur Gudjohnsen replaces Kolbeinn Sigthorsson because of an injury.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Iceland 0, Croatia 0.

45:00 +0:58

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:58

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

45:00 +0:07

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

45:00 +0:07

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:21

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

43:36

Delay in match Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland) because of an injury.

40:57

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:57

Foul by Ari Freyr Skúlason (Iceland).

39:50

Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eduardo.

35:51

Foul by Eduardo (Croatia).

35:51

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:28

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

35:00

Delay in match Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) because of an injury.

33:02

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:02

Foul by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland).

30:53

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:53

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

29:57

Foul by Eduardo (Croatia).

29:57

Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

27:27

Attempt missed. Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Ari Freyr Skúlason with a cross.

26:00

Hand ball by Luka Modric (Croatia).

22:18

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:18

Foul by Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland).

21:06

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:06

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

20:12

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic with a headed pass.

17:52

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Olafur Skulason.

16:52

Foul by Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

16:52

Olafur Skulason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:15

Foul by Ivo Ilicevic (Croatia).

16:15

Ari Freyr Skúlason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:33

Foul by Ivo Ilicevic (Croatia).

13:33

Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:02

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:02

Foul by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland).

7:34

Foul by Danijel Pranjic (Croatia).

7:34

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

5:40

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Danijel Pranjic.

4:24

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Olafur Skulason.

3:53

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

3:53

Foul by Olafur Skulason (Iceland).

1:56

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Josip Simunic.

1:55

Attempt blocked. Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Birkir Bjarnason with a through ball.

1:01

Attempt missed. Eduardo (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic with a through ball.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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