Serbia qualifies for World Cup, Ireland into playoffs

by Olga Hunt October 10, 2017, 0:27
Serbia qualifies for World Cup, Ireland into playoffs

A draw would guarantee Wales second place in the group, and could even be enough for them to go top in the event of an unlikely Serbian defeat.

The winners in Cardiff will guarantee at least second in Group D, with a draw enough for Wales to end up in that position and, potentially, claim a play-off spot 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.

Duffy played a key role for the Republic on Friday night, playing his part in the opening goal for Daryl Murphy after just two minutes. With only eight of the nine group runners-up going through to the elimination round the result in Cardiff could be pivotal for both sides. "You can say what you like about the tactics and how good it is to watch and how entertaining it is, but you can't question the commitment of these players".

But it is more likely Wales, without injured talisman Gareth Bale, and the Republic will be contesting second spot and the right to feature in next month's play-offs. I want to score goals for my country but I'll keep believing and it will come.

We'll get up tomorrow, start watching the Wales game and prepare for Monday.

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After a sensational run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, elimination will come as a bitter blow for Wales, whose wait to reach a World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 continues.

Wales are slight favourites for the win with the draw priced at 2/1.

Speaking ahead of the game O'Neill said "I genuinely feel, if you look over the last three years of competitive football, in big, big matches we have taken a lot of risks".

O'Neill added: "We've put ourselves in a position where we have to win the game and Wales probably the same".

Before a ball was kicked this week, Portugal were already assured of a playoff spot at worst and may yet overhaul 100 percenters Switzerland at the top of the Group B table if they beat them in Lisbon on Tuesday.

A draw in the Serbia-Georgia game and Ireland would need to win 5-0 in Cardiff.

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