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Category: Republic of Ireland

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World Cup 2018 play-off draw in full – video report

The Republic of Ireland will face Denmark and Northern Ireland will take on Switzerland in the World Cup play-offs after the draw for the games was made on Tuesday. Northern Ireland last qualified in 1986 while the Republic of Ireland last appeared at …

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World Cup 2018 play-offs: how do you rate your team’s chances?

Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece are vying for four places at the World Cup. Who will make it?Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece a…

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World Cup play-offs: Denmark v Rep of Ireland, Northern Ireland v Switzerland

• Four-time winners Italy will face Sweden for place in finals • Croatia will play their first-leg match at home to GreeceThe Republic of Ireland have been drawn against Denmark in the play-offs for the 2018 World Cup while Northern Ireland will face S…

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World Cup 2018 play-off draw – live!

Eight European teams competing for four Russia 2018 placesSwitzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark in Pot 1Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece in Pot 2How Croatia, Italy and Ireland fared in Europe’s first World Cup play-offsEmail d…

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How Croatia, Italy and Ireland fared in Europe’s first World Cup play-offs in 1997

A few of the teams facing play-offs for next summer’s World Cup have been here before. Croatia and Italy qualified 20 years ago … unlike the Republic of IrelandBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkOf the eight …

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Martin O’Neill is in the managerial elite even if a top job eludes him | Daniel Taylor

The Republic of Ireland manager, once the favourite to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is unfortunate never to have had a chance at one of the biggest clubsBlink, and you might have missed the part Shepshed Charterhouse, in the puddles …

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James McClean adds polish to spiky image to reward Martin O’Neill’s faith | Paul Doyle

The combative winger has his detractors on and off the field but he has been the Republic of Ireland’s standout performer in World Cup qualifying, showing finesse as well as tenacity

There was a quirky period in the 1970s and 80s when it seemed that to be a left-winger for the Republic of Ireland, a player also had to be a university graduate in politics or history, as Steve Heighway and Tony Galvin happened to be. The team’s current left-winger, James McClean, did not go to college but he has views on those subjects that have earned him a degree of scorn from people who object simplistically to his refusal to wear a poppy on Remembrance Day.

Another reason some Premier League followers dislike the West Bromwich Albion winger is that his skillset is limited and his tackling does not always recognise the border between full‑blooded and over-the-top. Those are fairer criticisms but, on the other hand, they also allude to the reason why McClean has many admirers: if a footballer plays for years in the Premier League despite not being blessed with much finesse, then he must have exceptional quantities of other qualities, such as energy, moxie and commitment to a cause.

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Republic of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill: ‘We had to come here to win in Cardiff’ – video

The Republic of Ireland beat Wales 1-0 to book their place in the play-offs for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. James McClean scored the only goal to leave Martin O’Neill celebrating one of his more satisfying nights as national team manager. For Wales the wait continues, with defeat ending their bid to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1958.

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Cardiff in full voice but Republic of Ireland fans sing longest and loudest | Stuart James

Republic of Ireland’s fans were outnumbered by 10 to one, but injury to Joe Allen and a goal from James McClean ensured the volume was turned down on Wales

It was billed as the biggest game in this country since 1993 and for Wales the sense of deja vu come the end was suffocating. Once again the World Cup finals will pass them by, just as they did 24 years ago, when Paul Bodin’s penalty kick thudded against the crossbar in their critical qualifier against Romania. This time it was the Republic of Ireland’s turn to spoil the party as Martin O’Neill’s side kept alive their own hopes of travelling to Russia next summer with the sort of victory that has become the manager’s hallmark.

Ireland may not be easy on the eye but there is something to be admired about their uncanny knack for grinding out results when it matters most. There was the victory over Germany in October 2015, the triumph against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Euro 2016 play-offs, and that 1-0 win over Italy to reach the last 16 in that summer’s finals in France. The scalp of Wales, who had not lost a competitive match on home soil for four years, has now been added to the collection.

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Chris Coleman admits facing end as Wales manager after World Cup heartbreak

• ‘There will be a conversation in due course,’ says manager
• Martin O’Neill hails Republic of Ireland after sealing play-off berth

Chris Coleman admitted his time as Wales manager might be coming to an end after the 1-0 win that put the Republic of Ireland into the World Cup play-offs and left his own team reflecting on an agonising end to their bid to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1958.

Coleman’s contract runs out next summer and he has previously indicated this would be his last qualifying programme in charge of the team he led to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

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James McClean stuns Wales and sends Republic of Ireland into play-offs

It was a night of exhilarating joy for the Republic of Ireland and at the final whistle, with players in red shirts collapsing to the ground, excruciating pain for a Wales team whose latest attempt to qualify for a World Cup, desperately wishing to play in their first tournament since 1958, has ended unsuccessfully, once again.

Gareth Bale, like Ryan Giggs, Ian Rush and all those others, will just have to wonder what it is like to play in the world’s biggest international competition, whereas Ireland’s players can start looking forward to the play-offs after one of the more satisfying nights under Martin O’Neill’s management, capped by James McClean’s expertly taken goal 12 minutes into the second half.

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Wales v Republic of Ireland: World Cup 2018 qualifier – live!

7.03pm BST

One change for Wales, who take Vokes out and stick Robson-Kanu in. Ireland make three changes, with Long, O’Dowda and Hoolahan out, and Arter, Brady and McClean in. I’d have thought Hoolahan might have come in handy, but maybe he’s being primed for an impact substitutional role. Here are the teams again in purely text-based form:

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Ashley Williams, Chester, Davies, Allen, King, Ramsey, Lawrence, Ledley, Robson-Kanu. Subs: Maxwell, Taylor, Bradshaw, Brooks, Edwards, Ampadu, Vokes, Lockyer, Jonathan Williams, Woodburn, Hedges, Ward.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Arter, Brady, Meyler, Hendrick, McClean, Murphy. Subs: Doyle, O’Shea, Keogh, Whelan, McGeady, Hogan, O’Dowda, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Maguire, Kevin Long, Elliot.
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).

7.01pm BST

“They’ll concentrate on effecting what is now!” screams Chris Coleman in this motivational video. Nope, me neither.

NOTHING TO FEAR. Stirring words from Chris Coleman. Show us your support across social media. #TheRedWall #TogetherStronger #WALIRL pic.twitter.com/XNAEcw0bOb

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Republic of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill ‘not bothered’ by Wales being favourites

• Manager argues it is ‘all to play for’ in full-blooded World Cup qualifier
• Wales intend O’Neill’s players to face the music in Cardiff

It is up for grabs now. Wales host the Republic of Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadiumon Monday with each set of supporters still a little dizzy after several days’ performing needless mental acrobatics in a bid to understand the permutations required for their side either to qualify for Russia as group winners or to make the play-offs as one of the eight top second-placed sides.

Scotland’s draw against Slovenia means those furrowed brows, pub arguments and spreadsheets were in vain. In a group led by Serbia, with Wales in second place and the Republic third, things could scarcely be more simple: victory for either side in Cardiff will guarantee them at least a play-off place, while a draw could still be enough for Wales depending on Croatia’s result in Ukraine. Should Serbia lose against Georgia in Belgrade, the victors in Cardiff will top Group D and qualify automatically for Russia. Defeat is unthinkable.

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Wales and Ireland prepare for decisive World Cup qualifier – video

Wales and Ireland meet in Cardiff on Monday night knowing that a World Cup play-off place awaits the winning side. Wales last appeared at the 1958 finals while Ireland most recently qualified 2002. The two teams played a goalless draw in the return fixture earlier this year

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Martin O’Neill’s odd gumption could be key to beating Wales in Cardiff

The Republic of Ireland manager is not cowed by doom-or-glory scenarios, and his players will need similar resilience to triumph in crucial World Cup qualifier

If Bear Grylls ever decides to stop making TV shows, perhaps Martin O’Neill could replace him. The Northern Irishman might not be able to tell viewers which plants to eat or how to make a bivouac from turtle faeces – in fact, his methods might remain unclear throughout the entire series – but he would probably survive and thrive, nonetheless.

It is a rare and fascinating quality that O’Neill has, some kind of gumption that means he and anyone he leads regularly finds a way to prevail in awkward environments, including messes of their own creation. He appears to revel in doom-or-glory scenarios. Which is why Monday’s World Cup qualification showdown between the Republic of Ireland and Wales in Cardiff is right up his street. There is no danger of him playing down the significance of the match to his players.

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Wales’s Chris Coleman braced for ‘hell of a game’ against Ireland in pivotal match

• Wales manager says Seamus Coleman injury controversy will not affect team
• Chris Coleman: team must show ‘same hunger and desire as we’ve always had’

Chris Coleman expects a physical game against the Republic of Ireland but is adamant that the bitter fall-out from the goalless draw in Dublin in March, when Seamus Coleman suffered a broken leg following a reckless challenge from Neil Taylor, will not affect Wales’s approach to Monday’s pivotal World Cup qualifier.

With Wales and Ireland both in with a chance of qualifying for the finals automatically after Serbia lost against Austria on Friday, the stakes could not be higher for what promises to be a highly charged occasion. Wales are second in Group D, one point ahead of Ireland, and the fractious nature of their meeting at the Aviva Stadium adds to the tension around what is in effect a winner-takes-all encounter.

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Ireland’s Daryl Murphy keeps World Cup hopes alive in win against Moldova

Brace yourselves for a roaring climax in Cardiff. This victory means the Republic of Ireland will travel to Wales knowing that, if either side wins Monday’s feverishly anticipated Celtic duel, it will be certain of finishing in second place, at least, in Group D. Top spot will be up for grabs in the unlikely event of the leaders, Serbia, stumbling at home to Georgia. “It’s there for us,” said Martin O’Neill. “Let’s go for it.”

Daryl Murphy made sure there was no spoilsport deviation from that script by scoring twice here to dispatch the group’s bottom side. Murphy and Callum O’Dowda, in particular, made strong cases for roles in Monday’s match and eased criticism of O’Neill in advance of a much fiercer test.

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Republic of Ireland v Moldova, Spain v Albania: World Cup qualifiers – live!

8.11pm BST

The Real Madrid playmaker, who’s having a fine season, doubles Spain’s lead in Alicante. And what’s this?

8.10pm BST

Israel can’t qualify but a goal’s a goal.

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Sean Maguire: ‘If you take that second touch, defenders are going to go through you’

The Preston striker is in the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time and is confident his experiences in the Championship have prepared him for international football

The Republic of Ireland need events to take an extraordinary turn over the next week if Martin O’Neill’s men are to secure a World Cup play-off spot. Not only must they beat Moldova in Dublin on Friday but they must then win in Wales and hope other results go in their favour. And they have to do all that with a depleted team. What they need, then, is a new hero to step forward. Is this Sean Maguire’s time?

“If the opportunity arises for myself, I’d be very confident I can step up,” says the Preston North End forward, who has made the final cut for his country’s squad for the first time.

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Gareth Bale ruled out of Wales’ World Cup qualifiers with calf injury

• Bale will miss crunch games with Georgia and Republic of Ireland
• Real forward was injured in Champions League match last week

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales’ final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

Bale’s fitness has been a source of concern since he suffered a calf muscle strain playing for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.

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