Soccer

Iceland draws Croatia in opening World Cup playoff leg

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The Canadian Press
11/15/2013 4:11:41 PM
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Iceland overcame the second-half sending-off of Olafur Skulason to hold on for a 0-0 draw against Croatia in the first leg of their World Cup playoff on Friday, keeping the tiny Nordic nation in contention for a place at a first major tournament.

After a tight first half, the Croatians took command in Reykjavik after Skulason was dismissed for a professional foul in the 51st minute, but couldn't find a way past Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson and his packed defence.

Eduardo had a weak shot cleared away from near the goalline after barely a minute for Croatia, whose substitute Ivica Olic forced a fine reaction save from Halldorsson in the 55th.

The second leg is in Zagreb on Tuesday, with Iceland -- with a population of around 320,000 -- looking to become the least populous country to play at a World Cup.

Alfred Finnbogason Luka Modric (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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