IT WAS a night of mixed World Cup emotions for Reading FC stars with Iceland heading to Russia but Wales missing out.

Royals striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson led the line as Iceland qualified for the finals for the first time in their history after a 2-0 home win over Kosovo last night.

Former Reading ace Gylfi Sigurdsson was among goalscorers as Iceland - population just 330,000 - clinched top spot in their group to become the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup.

Earlier, Bodvarsson claimed two crucial assists last Friday as Iceland toppled Turkey 3-0 to take command of the group.

Reading Chronicle:

Former Reading Academy graduate, Gylfi Sigurdsson. Picture: Getty Images.

But Royals duo Chris Gunter and Dave Edwards will not be joining Bodvarsson in next summer's tournament in Russia after Wales' hopes were extinguished in a 1-0 defeat to Republic of Ireland in Cardiff last night.

Chris Coleman's side were on course to finish in second spot behind group leaders Serbia and secure a play-off spot following a 1-0 win in Georgia last Friday.

But a James McClean goal last night saw Ireland leapfrog Wales and snatch second place.

Full-back Gunter started the match, earning his 82nd cap for Wales on his 63rd consecutive internation appearance, while Edwards was an unused substitute.

And Gunter took to social media to voice his pride in the Welsh flag as their 60-year wait to reach a World Cup finals goes on.

And Edwards also had a message to Wales fans in the wake of last night's defeat in Cardiff.

The trio will be making their way back to Reading in preparation for Saturday's Championship clash at Leeds United.

Jaap Stam's Royals have not won in five league matches, losing three, and will start the day 20th in the table, with Leeds lying in fifth.