REYKJAVIK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Ten-man Iceland hung on for a heroic 0-0 draw in the first leg of their playoff with Croatia on Friday to keep alive their dream of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time.
Croatia had the upper hand in the opening 20 minutes but the home team dealt with the pressure comfortably before establishing their own more direct passing game as the half went on.
Iceland were then hit by a double blow when forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson went off injured just before halftime and Olafur Skulason received a straight red card five minutes into the second period.
Skulason was dismissed for tangling with Ivan Perisic when the Croatian was through on goal.
The sides meet again in the return leg in Zagreb on Tuesday.