Where are the new Roys in green?

So even if Wales draw with Georgia and Ireland overtake them into second place with a win over Moldova, Ireland would still have just 10 points in that second-place table.

It probably should not have been a win to snaffle a play-off place.

MARTIN O'NEILL will remain in charge of Ireland for the Euro 2020 campaign.

It was 2-0 in the 21st minute when Sandro Wanger received Thomas Muller's pass at the top of the box, turned and fired the ball past goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

"We got off to a great start with a goal early on", O'Neill told Sky Sports News. Moldova offered little going forward, but in attack Ireland showed that if Wales can maintain their defensive discipline they should be able to keep them at arm's length.

"Of course they will miss having Bale out there with them, but they will still believe in themselves". We couldn't be thinking about any other game but now we can turn our attention to the next one. The goal was made possible only because of the careful delivery afforded to the cross by Stephen Ward after Hoolahan opened up the play by spraying a cross field pass.

Either Scott Hogan or Sean Maguire were expected to start but instead it's Daryl Murphy who will lead the line.

"It will help us, of course, but it is not the be-all and end-all".

"We always knew that we needed to win this and we look forward to the next one", said the Nottingham Forest striker. "We went to Lille knowing that we had to beat Italy to get through to the last 16", he recalled.

"This is it: we must win tomorrow night".

He said: "I don't think you can describe that feeling".

The result leaves Gareth Southgate's men six points ahead of Scotland in second place with only one more qualifying game to play. Iceland7+3135. Slovakia7+6126. Sweden6+3107. Montenegro6+3108. The Republic will come to party, they won't fear us. He does not care about that now. "We have to win a game in Cardiff and the chances are there for us", O'Neill said.

They next face the Republic on Monday in Cardiff, with the runners-up spot and a potential play-off to reach Russian Federation next year may be on the line. Since then, the Republic have won three and drawn four of their seven meetings. I don't think they were half chances, they were excellent chances.

One thing did continue in nearly copycat form from the first half was Shane Long's peroformance.

"We got in some great situations that we didn't capitalise on but overall the commitment and the desire from our lads is incredible". "A lack of concentration really cost us with Serbia's late equaliser in Cardiff, for example".

Preceding a notable victory away to Austria, tonight's tie may well have been seen as a means to consolidate Ireland's hold on the group from that vantage point.

The FAI have officially confirmed the news on the eve of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Moldova at the Aviva Stadium.

"The lads are in good fettle and ready for the game on Monday night".

  • Julie Sanders