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Croatia beats Iceland, qualifies for World Cup

AP - Sports

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.

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