Spain beats Albania to score World Cup berth

Adjust Comment Print

Experienced Ireland striker Shane Long will miss his side's crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales in Cardiff on Monday due to a hip injury, the team said.

Serbia topped Group D after beating Georgia but Ireland still have a shout of joining them as they take their place among the sides in the play-offs.

Needing victory to ensure top spot in European qualifying Group I, goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson ensured Iceland would be on the plane to Russian Federation 2018.

He will be hoping Wales can win and other results go the right way to secure his first appearance at the World Cup finals.


- Wales have won just one of their last 11 matches against the Republic of Ireland (W1 D4 L6) and none of the last eight. There's no doubt they will travel in their thousands and as I say, it's going to be like a cup final, we need to go there and win and we will be looking to do that.

"It will very be similar to the game in Dublin where two sets of committed players were locking horns".

Northern Ireland, who qualified for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1986 when they reached Euro 2016, slipped up in Oslo after Chris Brunt's second-half own goal handed Norway victory, but they remain on course for Russian Federation 2018.

"What happened to Seamus was unfortunate, but I don't think it will have a bearing on this game", Coleman said.


Wales has been a very solid team in these qualifiers, now second in Group D with 17 points. In the run-up to the round, the Irish home lost to Serbia 0: 1, reducing the opportunity to qualify.

"The longer we stay in the game the better it is".

"We have to try and contain our excitement because we've always wanted to be in these games where everything is on it". However, a 3-0 win (highly unlikely, admittedly) would leave us in an identical position to Greece in the second place table with the same number of goals scored and conceded.

Martin O'Neill's team must win to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russian Federation next summer.


Chris Coleman, who saw his Wales side win 1-0 in Georgia three days ago, made just one personnel adjustment, with Hal Robson-Kanu being preferred to Sam Vokes up front.

Comments