Croatia manager Niko Kovac stepped in for the World Cup qualifying playoffs and guided his side to Brazil after defeating Iceland in a two-leg playoff.
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

ZAGREB, Croatia — 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.

Dario 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.

WILSON: Kovac completes Croatia mission

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.