WC Qualifiers: Wales vs Republic of Ireland UEFA

Josh Magennis celebrates scoring a late goal against Germany

Randolph was having his best game for Ireland as he coolly caught every cross that was whipped in as the Ireland back line dropped deeper and deeper.

Standing in their way are a Wales team that are unbeaten in their last nine global games (they also haven't lost at home in four years). "We have 90 minutes to try to get a goal, and I think the approach will be similar to the one against Italy in Lille".

"The job was to get the three points [against Moldova] no matter what and now we are fully focused and hopefully there will be a big crowd from Ireland".

Hello and welcome to our live online coverage and score from Cardiff as Martin O' Neil takes his Republic of Ireland side to Wales in a crucial win-or-bust closing game of the 2018 Road to Russian Federation campaign.

He assumes more of an attacking role for Wales, given license to roam as opposed to the withdrawn role he often plays in the holding two at club level, where Arsene Wenger is spoilt for choice in attack with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to call upon.

The big talking point from the Wales camp is that they are missing their world-class superstar Gareth Bale.

"It was between us and Wales for the last place in Pot five and six". You can look back and say, "We've never done this or never done that". And they certainly made up for lost time with a stunning performance that saw them reach the semi-finals.

"It is a golden era because they proved that".

The ploy paid of swiftly and handsomely as 34-year-old Murphy poked home a second-minute opener and then helped himself to a second with an expertly-directed header with just 20 minutes gone, and that proved enough to send his side to Cardiff with everything still to play for.

Until that point, it was the team in red who had showed more guile, even hampered by the absence of the injured Bale. When we get off to a decent start (in qualifying), the mindset changes a little bit in terms of points. The Green Army is coming off a 2-0 win against Moldova but this match will be a much tougher task.

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.

"It comes with being a striker - you're always going to be judged on goals".

"We're going head-to-head with the Republic of Ireland and if it's not us and it's the Republic... of course I want it to be us, 100 per cent, but it would be nice to see another home nation at the World Cup".

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