News Worms
News Worms

Ireland stun Wales to seal World Cup playoff spot

Second-placed Wales can still win Group D - and automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation - if they beat the Republic of Ireland and leaders Serbia fail to beat Georgia tonight.

They're facing each other at the City Stadium in Cardiff - and it's a big match for both teams. With Robbie Brady and James McClean back from suspension, both players were restored to the team.

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

Should Wales win and Serbia fail to beat Georgia, Coleman's men would qualify automatically for Russian Federation 2018.

Ireland now sit top of Group 5, but just a point clear of Germany, who have played a game fewer and who trounced Azerbaijan 6-1 in Cottbus at the weekend.

The Southampton striker trained with the rest of the Irish players last night but is set to miss the win-or-bust clash after picking up an injury.

Hal Robson-Kanu of Wales tries to control the ball as the Republic of Ireland's David Meyler moves in to challenge.

'What happened to Seamus was unfortunate but I don't think it will have a bearing on this game, ' said Coleman. The midfielder powered down the touchline and pulled the ball back to James McClean before the left winger connected beautifully after a Harry Arter dummy to fire Ireland into the lead and a potential play-off spot.

"There is nothing for the players to fear", said Coleman.

They would secure top spot if they draw and Serbia lose by two goals.

"Big nights that we have had in the past - and in the recent past - it's fresh in the memory".

Martin O'Neill's team must win to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russian Federation next summer. The Dragons are coming from a slim 1-0 away win against Georgia, where a goal by Tom Lawrence led the team with the three points from the game.

Wales are now in second and a draw could see them overtake Serbia, should they lose by two - but no matter what the Welsh need to avoid defeat. In four matches, Martin O'Neal's wards defeated Austria 1-0 and Moldova 3: 1, and also ended the draw with Serbia 2: 2 and Wales 0-0.


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