Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Serbia qualifies for World Cup, Ireland into playoffs

Serbia qualifies for World Cup, Ireland into playoffs

Second-placed Wales can still win Group D - and automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup finals being held in Russian Federation - if they manage to win in Cardiff and leaders Serbia fail to beat Georgia at home, also tonight.

With Ireland likely to play with one up front in Cardiff, Martin O'Neill had a big decision to make between Long and Murphy until the latest injury news.

Both Robbie Brady and James McClean will return for the Cardiff showdown after missing Friday's match due to suspension.

Denmark beat Montenegro in Podgorica on Thursday (we wanted the opposite result) and now sit on 13 points in the runners-up table with a goal difference which Ireland realistically can't top.

Alan McLoughlin has spoken about his famous goal that sent Ireland to the World Cup in 1994.

"Bring it on", he said.

However, Long has never been the most prolific of strikers and a 25 game goalless streak bares that fact in brutal fashion - West Ham, then, won't be cursing their failure to get a deal done. Monday - it's a cup final feel, victor takes all.

That dream looked over last month after the defeat to Serbia left Ireland needing to win their two November games and hope that results in other groups fell their way.

More news: NYCC 2017: Amazon Releases 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' Trailer

"It will very be similar to the game in Dublin where two sets of committed players were locking horns". From that moment on it was all about focus for the hosts. "For all the possession they had, they didn't really cut us open". The thinking is that as a result of the tune being stopped, the Red wall of supporters would create a lovely a cappella version of the song that would really get the player's up for the occasion. That was the most important thing.

"We had a bit of energy and we did great. We were huffing and puffing but it just didn't come but we saw it out well in the end and it was comfortable". We have to do that - it's our strength."A point may be OK, but we'll go for three points". It was all about remaining professional, according to Duffy.

It's enough to give even the most hardened statistician a headache.

"He's a top manager and I'm delighted he's staying", he explained.

He is a warrior in the red of his country - living up to the "Rambo" moniker bestowed upon him, made famous by the Sylvester Stallone 1980s film franchise.

"The longer we stay in the game the better it is. It's not just him but the backroom staff now, and everyone sticks together here".

Republic of Ireland travel to Wales tonight for a crucial World Cup qualifier.

It should be a tense night for all involved tonight. But listen, whoever plays on the day are still good players who are playing well in the Premier League.

Like this: