Here is what all of last night's Group D results mean for Ireland's World Cup qualification prospects
Published 07/10/2016 | 08:55
Martin O’Neill admitted his Ireland side “must do better” after their uninspiring 1-0 win against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium - but they are still well placed to make a push for World Cup qualification as Group D favourites Austria and Wales played out a 2-2 draw in Vienna last night.
Austria came from behind on two occasions to claim a deserved point against Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales, on a night when the home side had 62 per-cent possession and created the best of the chances.
“This is a very difficult place to come but we ground out a 2-2 draw,” stated Wales talisman Gareth Bale. “Austria will beat a lot of teams here, a point is positive.”
Wales boss Chris Coleman offered up an honest appraisal of the game, as he suggested his side were fortunate to escape with a point.
“We have to be honest and say we’ll take that point tonight,” stated Coleman. “It wasn’t our best performance, we know that but Austria are a very good team at home.
“To take three points we needed to be at our very best in every department but we weren’t. We found a way though, by hook or by crook, and we rode our luck at times.
“If you can get something when you are not at your best it is a good sign. We made trouble for ourselves, that’s not like us. We can play a lot better but we can’t fight any harder than that. They never shied away from a challenge.”
Meanwhile, Serbia bounced back from the disappointment of conceding a late goal in their tense battle with Ireland last month to secure a convincing 3-0 win against Moldova.
Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Southampton’s Dusan Tadic were on the scoresheet in a win that leaves the Serbs in second position in Group D ahead of their home match against Austria on Sunday.
Wales will look to beat Georgia with a little more conviction than Ireland managed in their next match, while O’Neill’s injury hit squad will be striving to get the win they need against Moldova on Sunday.
Here is the Group D table as it stands:
Last night's result in Austria bodes well for Ireland's aspirations of topping the table, with Martin O'Neill's men now level on points with all of their qualification rivals.
They will be hoping that Serbia and Austria play out a draw in Belgrade on Sunday night, so that none of the bigger teams in the group get a decisive advantage as of yet.
With Ireland set to travel to Vienna next month for a vital qualifier, a win against Moldova is paramount for the team to keep pace with their rivals.
UPDATED GROUP D ODDS