It was heartbreak for Iceland in Zagreb as ten-man Croatia qualified for next summer's World Cup with a 2-0 victory. 

Croatia took the lead in the 27th minute through Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic, who was then sent off just before half-time for a studs up challenge on Johann Gudmundsson.

Captain Darijo Srna doubled Croatia's lead after half time with a tidy finish to wrap it up as Iceland were unable to chase the two goals they needed after a goalless first leg.

Iceland would have been the smallest nation ever to appear at a World Cup with a population of just 320,000 and former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen is proud of his country's efforts.

He said: "Croatia was a better and more experienced opponent and showed its strength. Still, we have to be proud of what we have done in this World Cup campaign."

The closest Iceland came was early on when a Gylfi Sigurdsson effort stung the hands of Pletikosa, but Alfred Finnbogason was well offside when he followed up the rebound.

Croatia's class shone through with a squad containing players with the calibre of Luka Modric, Nikica Jelavic and Vedran Corluka after missing out on the last tournament in South Africa, with coach Niko Kovac pleased with his teams efforts.

He said: "I want to thank [previous coach] Igor Stimac for steering us into the play-offs but most of all I wish to thank the players for leaving it all out there on the pitch tonight, I am very proud of them."

Croatia qualify for their fourth World Cup after becoming an independent state in 1991 and the draw for the group stages of the tournament will be made on December 6.

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