Friday 25 May 2018

13 games in a month, 13 brilliant results and what it means for Irish football

Ger Keville

Ger Keville

It was a couple of weeks filled with permutations, prayers, what ifs and, ultimately, ecstasy as Martin O'Neill's Ireland secured a World Cup play-off spot by winning their final two group games.

Ireland's World Cup Group D qualifying campaign culminated in a cauldron of noise and euphoria at Cardiff City Stadium where a James McClean pinpoint pole-driver was enough to seal an historic away win for the Boys In Green.

So off to the play-offs it is and Tuesday's draw when we will find out if it's Italy, Croatia, Switzerland or Denmark who stand between Ireland and a place in the World Cup in Russia next year.

While O'Neill, McClean and co dominated the headlines for their heroics, there was a series of other results in the past month that bode well for the future of football in this country.

In short: Played 13; Won 11; Lost 0; Drew 2; For 30; Against 1

Noel King's Under-21s sit top of Group Five in the European qualifiers as they drew with Norway and beat Israel in the past 10 days to add to previous wins over Kosovo and Azerbaijan.

Elsewhere, the men's under-19s and under-17s have progressed to the eilte stages of the European Championships after impressing in the group stages while the women's senior team got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a fine start with a 2-0 win against Northern Ireland. and the under-17s advanced to the European elite stages.

 

SENIOR MEN'S TEAM

October 9: World Cup qualifier

Wales 0 Ireland 1

October 6: World Cup qualifier

Ireland 2 Moldova 0

WHAT IT MEANS

Martin O’Neill's men secured second place in Group D to qualify for a World Cup play-off.

 

IRELAND UNDER-21s

October 5: Under-21 European Championship qualifier

Ireland 0 Norway 0

October 9: Under-21 European Championship qualifier

Ireland 4 Israel 0

WHAT IT MEANS

Noel King's men are top of their group having won three and drawn one of their first four games.

 

IRELAND UNDER-19S

October 4: European Under-17 Championship qualifier

Ireland U19 0 Azerbaijan 0

October 8: Under-19 UEFA European Championship Elite Round

Ireland 5 Cyprus 0

October 10: Under-19 UEFA European Championship Elite Round

Ireland 2 Serbia 1

WHAT IT MEANS

The talented young side topped their group and progressed to the elite stage of the European Championship.

 

IRELAND UNDER-17S

October 10: European Under-17 Championship qualifier

Ireland U17 6 Azerbaijan 0

October 14: European Under-17 Championship qualifier

Bulgaria 0 Ireland 3

Colin O'Brien's side have qualified for the elite stages of the European Championships.

 

IRELAND SENIOR WOMEN

September 19: 2019 World Cup qualifier

Ireland 2 Northern Ireland 0

WHAT IT MEANS

It's the perfect start for the Girls in Green in their qualifying group for the World Cup.

 

IRELAND UNDER-17S WOMEN

September 24: European Championship qualifier

Bosnia 0 Ireland 0

September 27: European Championship qualifier

Romania 0 Ireland 2

September 30: European Championship qualifier

Ireland 2 Greece 0

WHAT IT MEANS

The 17s now progress to the elite phase of the European Championships where 28 teams will battle it out for next year's tournament in Lithuania.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport