Croatia beats Iceland, qualifies for World Cup
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia ended Iceland’s bid to become the nation with the smallest population to reach a World Cup, winning 2-0 Tuesday night following a 0-0 tie last week in the first leg of their European playoff.
Mario Mandzukic scored in the 22nd minute, then was given a red card nine minutes later for a studs-up tackle against Johann Gudmundsson. Mandzukic’s goal came after Ivan Rakitic’s cross was deflected into the penalty area by Ivan Perisic.
Darijo Srna added a goal in the 47th for Croatia, which won the home-and-home, total-goals series 2-0 and qualified for its fourth World Cup since becoming an independent state in 1991.
Iceland has a population of about 320,000.