Wales' National Anthem Ahead Of Ireland Clash Was Ultra Special

10 October, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Gordon Strachan in Ljubljana ahead of Scotland's game with Slovenia

Although here in the three last victories over Moldova 2-0, Georgia 1-0 and Austria 1: 0 just allowed the Welsh to climb to the second line. The current format ranks the nine teams on their records against the first, third, fourth and fifth teams in the group, with the best eight qualifying for the play-offs. Robbie Brady, James McClean and Harry Arter replace Wes Hoolahan, Callum O'Dowda and the injured Shane Long.

Martin O'Neill's side now sit 34th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings (with the potential to move up to 26th after two wins in four days) and it is likely only Greece from Group H will rank lower in the draw.

Having being pushed back by Wales early on, Ireland were now pressing high up the pitch as the home side kept the ball with their back four but rarely got forward.

The first sniff of a chance came with just over two minutes on the clock when Robson-Kanu met Ledley's corner at the near post but couldn't direct his header on target. Wales are keeping the ball easily but only Ramsey's long-range effort has caused problems so far.

Hendrick had another opportunity shortly afterwards when James Chester's headed clearance fell to the Burnley midfielder.

For the Wales goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, however, it was a personal ordeal bearing in mind it started with his throw putting Ashley Williams in trouble.

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Tom Lawrence, who scored the victor for Wales in Tbilisi on Friday, tried once again to open the scoring tonight but his drilled strike was well saved by Randolph. It doesn't bother me if Wales are favourites because they have to win.

After a tense and tight opening to the second half, Wales began to turn the screw and went close to breaking the deadlock on a number of occasions within the space of two minutes. I know it'll turn right if I keep doing the right things.

That was the least of their worries, though, as a resolute Ireland continued to drop deeper, with Wales lacking that creative spark to find a way through.

"McClean deserved it and Martin O'Neill was absolutely correct".

Maxwell was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Georgia on Friday, and with wins for both sides at the weekend, it's all to play for in Cardiff on Monday night.

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