Republic of Ireland beat Wales to reach World Cup play-offs

Republic of Ireland beat Wales to reach World Cup play-offs

Shane Duffy is confident that the Republic of Ireland can get the job done in Cardiff tonight and earn a World Cup play-off spot.

1853: Wales manager Chris Coleman arriving at the Cardiff City Stadium.

If they slip up, Wales (who won 1-0 away in Georgia) and Republic of Ireland (who won 2-0 at home to Macedonia) could take top spot. With Robbie Brady and James McClean back from suspension, both players were restored to the team. Wales could finish top in Group D - and book an automatic spot at Russian Federation 2018 - if leaders Serbia slip up at home to Georgia.

He will be hoping Wales can win and other results go the right way to secure his first appearance at the World Cup finals.

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. Martin O'Neill said in the build up that we need to be clinical in front of goal when the chances came.

We compiled an exhaustive list of permutations last week when every team still had two games left to play.

Northern Ireland, who qualified for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1986 when they reached Euro 2016, slipped up in Oslo after Chris Brunt's second-half own goal handed Norway victory, but they remain on course for Russian Federation 2018.

Both teams are strong, primarily in counterattacking.

Gareth Southgate leads England through to 2018 World Cup
When he was substituted at Huddersfield, the home fans gave him a round of applause, despite scoring twice against the Terriers. England dragged themselves over the finish line with a 93rd-minute victor by in-form striker Harry Kane .

Allen was replaced by Jonny Williams in the 37th minute after taking a blow to the head from Meyler as he leapt to challenge for a high ball and Wales struggled to create anything further before the break, Ireland looking comfortable as they sat back.

"The players have proven this is a golden era", Coleman said at his press conference ahead of the Cardiff clash.

"We changed the side to give us energy for a big game in Lille against Italy at the European Championships".

Chris Coleman (Wales): "We're on unsafe ground if we go in with a game plan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes".

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

Wales's 1-0 win in Georgia formally put an end to the already very faint possibility that a draw would have sufficed on Monday.

"They had a couple of long-distance shots, but I felt we were comfortable and we dealt with everything".

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