Iceland held by last-gasp Qatar

PHOTO_WEB_ICELAND_SOCCER_091017

Icelands Kari Arnason celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates, Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup qualifications - Europe - Turkey vs Iceland - New Eskisehir Stadium, Eskisehir, Turkey - October 6, 2017.

Icelands Kari Arnason celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates, Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup qualifications - Europe - Turkey vs Iceland - New Eskisehir Stadium, Eskisehir, Turkey - October 6, 2017.

PHOTO_WEB_ICELAND_SOCCER_091017

Icelands Kari Arnason celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates, Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup qualifications - Europe - Turkey vs Iceland - New Eskisehir Stadium, Eskisehir, Turkey - October 6, 2017.

Icelands Kari Arnason celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates, Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup qualifications - Europe - Turkey vs Iceland - New Eskisehir Stadium, Eskisehir, Turkey - October 6, 2017.

DOHA - A last-minute equaliser from Qatar&39;s Mohammed Muntari meant Iceland warmed up for their World Cup finals debut in Russia next year without a win in two friendly matches in Doha.

The 1-1 draw on Tuesday followed up their 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic in Qatar last week.

Muntari slammed home from close distance to force a deserved draw for the World Cup 2022 hosts following a laboured performance by Iceland.

And it could have been even worse for the Europeans as Qatar&39;s Ahmed Mohamed even had a chance to win the game very late on.

Iceland had looked set for a routine victory after Vidar Orn Kjartansson scored the game&39;s opening goal in the 26th minute after being put through by skipper Gylfi Sigurdsson, who pounced on a mistake by the Qatari defence.

But they were unable to see off a youthful Qatari side -- whose average age was just 24 -- and who did not qualify for next year&39;s finals.

Qatar enjoyed lots of possession though, in truth, rarely threatened the Iceland goal.

When they did it was usually through the captain Hasan al-Haydos, whose 11th minute 20-yard shot, superbly saved by Ogmundur Kristinsson was the closest they came to scoring.

Qatar&39;s Abdelkarim Hassan also forced a fine save late on from a free kick.

Iceland, with a population of just 330,000, is the smallest nation to have qualified for a World Cup.

Dentist-turned-international football coach Heimir Hallgrimsson fielded a makeshift side, and made several changes throughout the game, though Everton&39;s Sigurdsson played the full 90 minutes.

Iceland, who qualified for Russia in style in a group containing Croatia, Turkey and  Ukraine, were more subdued in Doha.

They also threatened rarely in a scrappy game and were hanging on by the end of the match as Qatar pressed for the equaliser.

Just 2,758 people watched the game in Doha&39;s Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.