Wales and Republic of Ireland battle in World Cup qualifier

Josh Magennis celebrates scoring a late goal against Germany
Josh Magennis celebrates scoring a late goal against Germany

10 October, 2017

Going into the final qualifying fixture with third-placed Ireland, who are just a point behind Chris Coleman's side, Wales are on course for a play-off spot - if they are among the eight highest-ranked second-placed teams.

Serbia topped Group D after beating Georgia but Ireland still have a shout of joining them as they take their place among the sides in the play-offs.

A draw would guarantee Wales second place in the group, but that may not be enough for a play-off place.

Serbia lead the group on 18 points but if Georgia can manage a shock win in Belgrade then a win in Cardiff would see Martin O'Neill's men finish in first place on 19 points.

North End have three players involved in tonight's World Cup qualifer between Wales and Republic of Ireland.

A draw could also work for the Welsh depending on other results - but in reality this is a game both sides need to win.

"We played really well in patches and created plenty of chances throughout the game, so we can use that and go forward into the Israel game tomorrow full of confidence".

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Ramsey saw a late strike drift into the arms of Randolph as Wales failed to issue a response and Ireland celebrated getting their name into the hat for next Tuesday's play-off draw. We're still going to be depending on results from Tuesday evening but the certainties are now Italy from Group G and Croatia from I.

"The players have proven this is a golden era", Coleman said at his press conference ahead of the Cardiff clash. He has 26 goals in 68 global appearances, including key strikes against Georgia and Serbia in the current campaign which should have put Wales on the road to Russian Federation.

Should Serbia lose, that will open the door to Wales and Ireland to possibly jump into the top-spot. We'll go and attack, go and score goals.

"We know they're top seeds and it's going to be a tough game but we're not afraid of anyone".

The 1958 tournament in Sweden was the only previous time that Wales have reached the World Cup finals, making it all the way to the quarter-finals before losing 1-0 to Brazil.

After the ninth round of games, only three groups outside of our own remain of interest to us.

But a win for Croatia or Ukraine would scupper Wales.

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