Hallgrimsson hails Iceland success

Iceland head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson was a happy man after seeing his side continue their rise by qualifying for the World Cup finals next summer.

A 2-0 victory at home to Kosovo was enough to secure top spot in qualifying Group I, as the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists saw off the challenges of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey to seal automatic qualification for Russia.

And Hallgrimsson hailed the efforts of his players, who he was worried would find it difficult to build on their success just over a year ago.

He told reporters: "The first beer after a party is not the best. The hardest thing was to get going again after our massive party in France.

"And what's more we are in a group contested between Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine and Finland, who are much better than their position in the group would have you believe.

"The success is not an end in itself, but a long journey towards a final destination."

Hallgrimsson also admitted that qualifying was made all the sweeter for having finished ahead of Croatia, who defeated Iceland in a World Cup qualifying play-off in 2014.

He added: "After we lost against Croatia we aimed at qualifying next time.

"In my opinion we were in the most difficult group, but we decided that we were just going to finish this. We had no interest in some sort of play-off bother."

Iceland are now available at 150/1 to win the World Cup next summer, while they are priced at 150/1 to triumph at Euro 2020.

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