O'Shea: 'Magnet-like' Duffy will continue to be a big player for us
John O'Shea's Ireland brief nowadays is very much a watching one and while it goes without saying that he would like more of an involvement on the pitch, observing performances like Ciaran Clark's and in particular Shane Duffy's in Cardiff will go some way to easing whatever frustrations may exist.
O'Shea (36) has been long been a reliable stalwart for his country but Duffy and Clark have taken over the mantle to good effect.
At the other end of the pitch, the changing of the guard from Robbie Keane hasn't quite been as seamless but Martin O'Neill's first choice centre-back partnership, as well as Darren Randolph, repaid the faith that the manager has shown in them.
Duffy's raw power has been evident from a young age but he has had to work on eradicating the sloppy errors from his game.
Against Wales, he came of age with a towering display that was full of the kind of leadership that this Ireland team craves. The 25-year-old led from the front and was noticeably very vocal.
"He was like a magnet," O'Shea said of Duffy.
coming "Incredible, we know it has been in there. It's been coming. He's shown in for Brighton and long may it continue because he's going to be a big, big player in the future for Ireland, as he is now.
"You have to produce it in the big games, this was a huge game and he was incredible. A magnet."
Playing regularly in the Premier League has undoubtedly helped Duffy's development but so too has the faith that Chris Hughton and O'Neill have shown in him.
"It's a super feeling," Duffy reflected.
"Maybe it was just my night and I felt I stepped up. It wasn't just me. I had so much protection. The lads in front of me were outstanding and Randolph pulled off a great save. That's what it's all about. We're together. We always get written off but we always come back."
- Read more: From the fringes of the squad to Ireland's man of the match in Cardiff - Shane Duffy's incredible rise
Welsh reaction to Ireland victory
Chris Wathan, Chief Football Writer, Wales Online:
"And it will jar those from the Red Wall who will watch them there. They know they are not a better side, that they won't light up Russia if they make it there as Wales had done in France.
"But, ultimately, they bettered Wales here by claiming the one goal, pouncing on their one opening and stealing that one last shot at finals glory... As the final whistle blew, perhaps the Irish couldn't have believed their luck."
"McClean's deliberate nudge into the back of the Stoke midfielder and David Meyler's follow through left Wales without one of their two key creators."
Robbie Savage (Twitter, @RobbieSavage8)
"Gutted for Chris, team gave him everything over the campaign but must say well done to Martin o Neil and his team got it spot on tonight !"
"I was in Ireland a few weeks back and people hammering Martin o Neil , wonder what they will say tonight"
Paul Abbandonato, Wales Online
"We had Austria, the best possible side to pull from pot two of seeds, Ireland, eminently beatable, Moldova and Georgia. Serbia were a tough side to get from pot three, but generally you would have taken that group every single day of the week.
"It was the 'easiest' draw Wales have had since the 2002 qualifiers, when Mark Hughes' team were pitched in with Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia.
"Trouble is there were too many draws early on and ultimately we couldn't get over the line at the final hurdle."