Wales and the Republic Of Ireland have set up a grandstand finish to Group D of the World Cup Qualifying European section after both picking up all important wins on Friday night. Not only that but they still have a chance of topping the group after Austria did them a huge favour.
For Wales the question was always going to be whether or not they could come away from Tbilisi with all three points without the talents of their talisman Gareth Bale. Friday evening saw them face Georgia in their capital city and Tom Lawrence was the hero of the hour.
The Derby County midfielder’s second half strike from outside the box would prove to be the difference as it was the only goal of the game but there is no underestimating it’s importance. With Wales earning victory it put the pressure onto the Republic.
They knew that defeat would see them pass up the opportunity to finish in the top two of Group D but they need not have worried due to the fact that they made easy work of Moldova in Dublin at The Aviva Stadium. Daryl Murphy scored twice early in the first half to assure victory as the second half fizzled out in terms of a contest.
This now means that it is almost a winner takes all clash on Monday night, although Chris Coleman’s men can secure second place with a draw. However they could do with a win to make sure that they are not the worst ranked runners up and therefore not able to progress to the play-offs.
Not only that but if Serbia fail to win at home to Georgia and Wales win in Cardiff they would top the group and qualify straight to the finals. That dream is still alive thanks to Austria scoring a late winner over the current table toppers to earn a 3-2 home victory.
Here are all the goals from Friday night
Georgia vs Wales
Republic of Ireland vs Moldova
Austria vs Serbia