World Cup Heartbreak for Wales
9 October 2017

World Cup Heartbreak for Wales

Wales missed out on possible World Cup qualification with a home defeat to Republic of Ireland on Monday evening.

Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland

2018 FIFA World Cup - European Qualifiers 

  • Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
  • Monday, 9 October 2017
  • More on FA Wales Twitter & Facebook

James McClean’s second-half strike was enough to secure all three points for Republic of Ireland, ending Wales’ dreams of appearing at the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Results elsewhere meant Wales had to win to reach the play-off stage of qualification, but they couldn’t find the goals required despite dominating large spells.

Republic of Ireland head into the play-off round with this victory, finishing second in Group D, behind Serbia who have automatically sealed their place in Russia.

Wales end the World Cup qualifiers in third place in Group D, two points behind Ireland, and two points behind fourth-placed Austria.

Wales dominated the first half of this one, but there was little in the way of clear-cut chances and two organised back-lines certainly played their part in that.

Aaron Ramsey looked lively for the hosts in the early exchanges and he saw his long-range effort deflected over the crossbar.

And it was Shane Duffy who would come closest for Ireland in the opening half-hour, the Brighton defender dragging his effort wide of the far post.

Wales were dealt a big blow on the 35-minute mark when key midfielder Joe Allen was forced off with a head injury, Jonny Williams was sent on as his replacement.

Wales begun the second half with the same intensity as the first and they would come close within the first six minutes when James Chester’s header found the side netting – the wrong side of the post.

The home side came even closer just minutes later when Robson-Kanu met an excellent Jonny Williams cross, but Darren Randolph managed to pull off a superb save in the Ireland goal.

Wales continued to dominate but the Cardiff City Stadium was left stunned on the 57th minute when Ashley Williams was dispossessed in his own half.

Harry Arter then managed to get himself into space down the right, before crossing for James McClean who smashed home with his first touch.

Wales then went on the offensive once more as pressure begun to mount but Ireland had a lead to protect, and they put bodies on the line to do just that.

Coleman’s men failed to create any real chances of note in the dying minutes, despite piling on the pressure and the final whistle signalled celebrations for the visitors, but the end of the road for Wales.

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Davies, Chester, A.Williams, Allen (J.Williams 36’), King (Woodburn 65’), Ledley, Ramsey, Lawrence, Robson-Kanu (Vokes 71’).

Republic of Ireland: Randolph, Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward, Brady, Hendrick, Arter (Whelan 77’), Meyler, McClean, Murphy (Long 90’). Goal: McClean (57’),

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