Iceland battled to a 0-0 draw despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half of their World Cup play-off first leg with Croatia in Reykjavik on Friday.
Olafur Skulason pulled back Ivan Perisic when the winger was clean through on goal and was given his marching orders, but Lars Lagerback's side - roared on by a vociferous home support - ensured they remain very much in the tie against a Croatia team still low on confidence.
After an even first half, in which chances were at a premium, the game was turned on its head by the dismissal.
Croatia, under the guidance of coach Niko Kovac for the first time, began to enjoy the majority of possession but they were they unable to beat Hannes Halldorsson in the Iceland goal.
The 29-year-old made a string of second-half saves to deny Ivica Olic, Eduardo and Ivan Perisic to keep his side in the tie ahead of the second leg in Zagreb on Tuesday.
Iceland coach Lars Lagerback made two changes to the side that drew with Norway last month, while there were six new faces for Croatia as Eduardo partnered Mario Mandzukic in attack.
And the Brazilian-born forward almost broke the deadlock in the second minute.
The 30-year-old worked his way into the penalty area and, although his scuffed shot beat Halldorsson, it was cleared off the line by Ragnar Sigurdsson.
Alfred Finnbogason offered a prompt response from the hosts, controlling a cross from the left on his chest before seeing his shot well blocked by Vedran Corluka.
Kovac's side began to dominate possession, with Luka Modric pulling the strings, but clear-cut chances remained few and far between.
After wasting an opportunity midway through the half, Perisic brought the first save from Halldorsson shortly before the break, but his long-range effort was straightforward for the goalkeeper.
Iceland's chances were dealt a massive blow five minutes into the second half as Skulason saw red following a tussle with Perisic.
The Croatian got in front of his marker to try and get onto Rakitic's throughball but he was pulled down 20 yards from goal, and the defender was shown a straight red card.
Substitute Olic then forced a fine save from Halldorsson in the 55th minute as Croatia began to dominate. The striker slid in to meet an Eduardo cross but was denied by an excellent reflex stop.
Perisic had a final chance to win the game with seven minutes to play, but he wasted the opportunity as he volleyed wide of goal, with Modric's wild late drive from distance the only remaining chance the visitors could muster as both sides prepare for the second leg next week with everything to play for.
|Coach: L. Lagerbäck|
for K. Sigþórsson 46'
for A. Finnbogason 63'
|Chile, Argentina deserve final spots - Mena|
|Ramos keen on United switch - Calderon|
|B36 1 The New Saints 2: Wilde leaves it late to secure advantage|
|Sevilla agree deal for Rami|
|Celtic snap up United teenager Janko|
|Beauvue passes Lyon medical|
|Roma bring in Falque|
|Coates completes permanent Sunderland switch|
|Vallecano to make charity donations from shirt sales|
|Angella commits to Watford|
|Gundogan pens new Dortmund deal|
|Juve reject €80million Barca offer for Pogba, says Marotta|
|Ruiz seals permanent Villarreal move|
|Mourinho respects Cech´s decision to quit Chelsea|
|Claridge excited by potential Pearson successors|
|Miranda completes Inter switch|
|Blind takes over as Netherlands coach|
|Mourinho: Premier League tougher to win than ever|
|Hamburg make Holtby move permanent|
|Southampton terminate Osvaldo contract|
|BREAKING NEWS: Swansea swoop for Eder|
|Abbiati extends Milan stay|
|Cruyff: Barcelona have lost their values|
|Vydra seals Watford move|
|Ambitious Clyne targets trophy haul with Liverpool|
|Claridge: Off-field incidents cost Pearson his job|
|Clyne becomes Liverpool´s sixth close-season signing|
|Imbula leaves Marseille for Porto|
|FIFA chief Blatter challenges critics to prove corruption claims|
|Distin joins Bournemouth|
|Bayern seal Costa deal|
|Arsenal confirm Diaby departure|
|Blatter to miss Women´s World Cup final|
|Bogdan sets sights on being Liverpool number one|
|Danilo eager to get started at Real Madrid|
|Leicester´s Wood joins Leeds|
|Porto confirm Atletico move for Martinez|
|Lloyd: Repetition key to netting penalty|
|Sheffield Wednesday job a ´dream´ for Carvalhal|
|´We played a complete game´ - Messi|
|Diaz upbeat despite heavy Copa loss to Argentina|
|Martino lauds Messi for selfless performance|
|Viviani makes surprise Verona switch|
|Estonian team wins cup match 31-0|
|No meeting with Arsenal has occurred - Vidal´s agent|
|United States 2 Germany 0: Ellis´ team reach World Cup final|
|Argentina 6 Paraguay 1: Messi leads Martino´s men to Copa final|
|UEFA Europa League Review: FK Zeljeznicar and FC Dacia Chisinau open with wins|
|UEFA Champions League Review: FC Pyunik make winning start|
|Sweden U21 0 Portugal U21 0 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Carlgren the hero as Swedes claim Euro glory|
|Frankfurt capture Castaignos|
|Bastia face relegation over debt|
|Bahlouli makes Monaco switch|
|Pearson sacked by Leicester|
|Rekik set for Marseille switch|
|Ranocchia and Carrizo sign new Inter deals|
|Crespo handed Modena role|
|Cech reveals work permit prevented past Arsenal move|
|Ivory Coast cut coaching shortlist down to five|
|McCarthy satisfied with Mings sale|
|Heaton commits to Burnley|
|Bowyer: Rhodes and Gestede will not come cheap|
|Burton and Day depart West Brom|
|Mendilibar makes Eibar return|
|Milan agree to terminate Muntari contract|
|Copa final a dream come true for Sampaoli|
|CSKA Sofia demoted due to financial crisis|
|Wolfsburg warn off De Bruyne suitors|
|Kone: I want to prove I can cut it at Everton|
|West Ham v Lusitans: Bilic set for first game in charge|
|Millennium Stadium to host 2017 UEFA Champions League final|
|Ronaldo a ´possibility´ for Portugal´s Olympics squad|
|Liverpool should get rid of Sterling - Grobbelaar|
|Miranda arrives for Inter medical|
|Arsenal can challenge the best - Cech|
|Real star Bale can be better than Ronaldo, says Keegan|
|UEFA approves changes to FFP rules|
|Honduras v Mexico: Moreno´s injury may force Mexican rethink pre-Gold Cup|
|Hiddink was the wrong man for Netherlands - De Boer|
|Vargas: I was scoring with every shot at training|
|Zambrano red rocked Peru - Gareca|
|Paraguay to change tack against Argentina|
|Sampaoli thrilled with substitutes´ influence, applauds Peru|
|Martino rues Copa America date with former side Paraguay|
|Former Birmingham City player Thwaites among Tunisia victims|
|Chile 2 Peru 1: Zambrano´s red card helps hosts into Copa final|
|Thiago Silva: ´I didn´t even know the ball had hit my hand´|
|Ronaldinho set to sign for Antalyaspor|