Monday 16 July 2018

What Ireland's victory over Moldova and other results mean for our World Cup hopes

Daryl Murphy, left, of Republic of Ireland celebrates with team-mate Shane Duffy after scoring his side's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Moldova at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daryl Murphy, left, of Republic of Ireland celebrates with team-mate Shane Duffy after scoring his side's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Moldova at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's 2-0 win over Moldova at the Aviva hasn't altered the task facing Martin O'Neill's men on Monday night. We must beat Wales in Cardiff.

Chris Coleman's side did what they needed to do with a 1-0 win in Tbilisi which means that they will go into that crunch tie in three days time with a point to spare over Ireland.

Serbia's 3-2 defeat in Vienna also opens another avenue to Russia.

If Serbia lose at home to Georgia on Monday and Ireland emerge victorious in Wales, Ireland will qualify for the World Cup automatically as group winners.

Even if Ireland win on Monday night, they need results to go their way elsewhere to ensure that they are not the worst runners-up from the nine groups, unless Serbia slip-up spectacularly.

Unfortunately our victory tonight didn't make any difference to our position as results against each groups' bottom side - in our case Moldova - are taken away from each team's final tally and eight runners up from the nine groups will progress to a play-off.

Martin Skrtel's own goal in the dying stages at Hampden Park last night means that if Scotland fail to beat Slovenia away on Sunday, three points against Wales will be enough for Ireland to secure a play-off spot.

Scotland's last-gasp win, coupled with England's similarly dramatic late victory at home to Slovenia, were the best possible results for Martin O'Neill's Ireland in Group F.

Scotland's group now looks the most likely for Ireland to reel in for that coveted top eight runners up spot.

One problem will be Slovenia's motivation going into the Scotland match as even if they win, they are more than likely going to finish in third place in the group as Slovakia face Malta and a win there will see them grab second place if Scotland fail to secure the three points.

The other group Ireland will be keeping a close eye on is Group H.

To finish above the second place team in that group, Bosnia must fail to beat Belgium and Greece need to drop points away to Cyrpus on Saturday.

Lastly, after tonights results in Group I, if Croatia and Ukraine draw on Monday in Kiev, the winner of Monday's game in Cardiff will be guaranteed a play-off place

Here is the second place tables as it stands with the bottom side's results gone.

qualifier.jpg

Image: Wikipedia

Here are fixtures we need to keep an eye on.

GROUP H

FIXTURES

SAT, OCT 7

Bosnia v Belgium

Cyprus v Greece

TUES, OCT 10

Belgium v Cyprus

Estonia v Bosnia

Greece v Gibraltar

WHAT WE NEED

Bosnia take four points from last two games against Belgium and Estonia

Greece drop points against Cyprus

GROUP F:

FIXTURES

SUN, OCT 8

Slovenia v Scotland

WHAT WE NEED

A draw or a win for Slovenia

GROUP I:

FIXTURES

MON, OCT 9

Ukraine v Croatia

WHAT WE NEED

A draw

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