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Irish 2018 World Cup Qualification Campaign - Group D
The Republic of Ireland was drawn as a fourth seed in Group D of the World Cup 2018 qualification competition. The finals will be held in Russia and the Irish will have to overcome top seeds Wales, as well as Serbia, Austria, Moldova, and Georgia, to qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup.
A strong second place finish will lead to a two-leg play-off against another second placed team from another group.
The group was generally considered to be as good as could have been expected. Although top seeds Wales were ranked number 10 in the FIFA rankings the Irish were relieved to have avoided one of the European super powers of football. Ireland had only met Wales once before in competitive matches - during the Euro 2008 qualifiers when the Irish garnered four points from a possible six. The first time the Republic of Ireland played an international match at Croke Park was against Wales in March 2007 when Stephen Ireland scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. The return match in Wales ended 2-2 with the Irish goals coming from Kevin Doyle and Robbie Keane.
On the day (25 July 2015) of the World Cup draw for the 2018 World Cup qualification groups the World rankings of the teams drawn in Group D were as follows:
Ireland's Fixtures for World Cup 2018 Qualification
World Cup 2018 Qualifying Campaign - Group Table
Serbia v Republic of Ireland - 5 September 2016
Usually a point away from home in a World Cup qualifier would be considered a good outcome however Irish fans were left concerned and a bit frustrated after Ireland’s 2-2 draw against Serbia in Belgrade on a wet Monday night.
A deflected Jeff Hendrick goal gave the Irish the lead with just three minutes gone before Serbia hit back through Filip Kostic and a very dubious Dusan Tadic penalty.
had never scored for Ireland
the introduction of Daryl Murphy with 15 minutes of the
proved vital though as the Newcastle striker scored with a
powerful header within
minutes to secure the all-important equaliser.
1 Predrag RAJKOVIC (GK) 2 Antonio RUKAVINA 4
Nemanja GUDELJ 5 Matija NASTASIC 6 Branislav IVANOVIC (C) 9 Aleksandar
MITROVIC 10 Dusan TADIC 14 Filip MLADENOVIC 16 Luka MILIVOJEVIC 17 Filip
KOSTIC 21 Jagos VUKOVIC. Subs: Andrija PAVLOVIC 59' (for
Motrovic) Dusko TOSIC 77' (for Mladenovic) Aleksandar KATAI 82' (for
Republic of Ireland v Georgia - 6 October 2016
It took a highly unusual goal from the Irish captain, Coleman, to secure the points for a stangely lacklustre Irish team. In a poor performance throughout the entire Irish side it appeared that the Irish might even be lucky to earn a draw. Ten moinutes into the second have Coleman picked up the ball just inside the Georgian half. He ran down the touch line and then across the bye line into the box following a couple of richochets Ireland's captain found himself with a simple tap-in on the Georgian goal line.
A downside of the night was a
booking for Jeff Hendrick, ruling him out of the next match, and a
sickening head injury to Robbie Brady in the 80th minute.
Rep of Ireland: Randolph, Coleman, Clark, Duffy, Ward, McCarthy, Hendrick, Brady
(Whelan 80'), McClean, Walters, Long (O’Shea 95')
Moldova v Republic of Ireland - 9 October 2016
Ireland's first ever meeting with Moldova couldn't have gotten off to a better start. After just two minutes Shane Long slotted home after Wes Hoolahan found him with a beautiful slide-rule pass. Unfortunately the Irish failed to press home the advantage and allowed the Moldovans to equalise just on half time through Igor Bugaiov.
Fortunately for Ireland James
McClean popped up with a brace of goals in the second half to secure full
points for the away team. It was a less than convincing performance but
after the third round of group matches the Irish were in second place in
the group level on points with leader Serbia.
Moldova: Calancea; Bordian, Posmac, Armas, Bolohan; Cojocari, Gatcan; Andronic, Zasavitchi, Dedov; Bugaiov.
Subs: Golovatenco for Armas (36 mins),Cebotaru for Zasavitchi (62 mins), Sidorenco for Andronic (83 mins)
Austria v Republic of Ireland - 12 November 2016
Ireland's record against Austria, particularly away from home, was not inspiing ahead of the meeting of the two teams in November 2016. In seven previous matches in Vienna the best result that the Irish had achieved was a 0-0 draw back in 1963.
Furthermore Martin O'Neill's team
took to the field without a recognised out-and-out striker due to
injuries. Nevertheless Ireland eked out a historic 1-0 win courtesy of a smart
strike from wide man James McClean. The Derryman latched on to a precise
pass from Wes Hoolahan and drove the ball home through the Austrian
keeper's legs. A draw between Wales and Serbia on the same night left
Ireland sitting on top of Group D with 10 points from four matches.
Austria: Ozcan (Bayer Leverkusen); Klein (VfB Stuttgart), Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen), Hinteregger (Augsburg), Wimmer (Tottenham); Baumgartlinger (Bayer Leverkusen), Alaba (Bayern Munich); Sabitzer (RB Leipzig), Schopf (Schalke), Arnautovic (Stoke City); Janko (Basel).
Subs: Schaub for Schopf (57 mins), Harnik for Sabitzer
(73 mins), Ilsanker for Wimmer (78 mins)
Republic of Ireland V Wales - 24 March 2017
Ireland's had the opportunity to effectively end Welsh hopes of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russia by inflicting a defeat on the Wlsh at the Aviva Stadium. Itish manager, Martin O'Neill, had bee badly impacted by a spate of injuries and a suspension of Robbie Brady.
In that context Irish supporters
were happy to accept a scoreless draw that kept ireland joint top of the
table with Serbia. There was one major negative from the match and that
was a horresduous leg break on Seamus Coleman. In a rash challenge that
saw Neil Taylor receive a straight red card The Irish captain had two
bones in his leg broken. It was an injury that see Coleman embark upon a
very long road to recovery.
Republic of Ireland V Austria - 2 June 2017
With a very disorganised Austrian set-up coming to the Aviva and a number of potential starters absent there was a general optimism that Ireland could take a major step towards qualification for Russia in 2018. Unfortunately no-one had told the Austrians that they were expected to roll-over for the Irish. A lacklustre Irish performance was punished when the Austrians grabbed a first half lead through Martin Hinterigger.
As the match wore on the Austrians
fell deeper and deeper allowing the Irish to impose their game a bit more.
Eventually Jon Walters smashed the equaliser home with five minutes to go.
Despite further pressure from the Irish a winner wasn't forthcoming. As
the other two games in the group also ended in draws it was
as-you-were after this round of matches.
Georgia V Republic of Ireland - 2 September 2017
A hugely disappointing performance from Ireland saw them effectively drop two points in Tblisii. Indeed the Irish were lucky to escape with a draw as the Georgians dominated throughout the entire match. This was despite an encouraging start with Shane Duffy scoring his first international goal after just three minutes. Following the goal the Irish conceded possession and territory to Georgia. Defending deep the Irish players seemed to be content to just clear their lines and give possession back to the skillful Georgians.
Almost inevitably Georgia scored an
equaliser in the 34th minute as they picked their way through the Irish
defence. Jano Ananidze, who was the best player on the field and bossed
the midfield despite his small stature, set up Valeri Kaziashvili for a
cool finish. The Irish did manage to create a couple of half chances
however the Georgians, who had 79% possession, deserved the vicory that
frustratingly eluded them.
Republic of Ireland V Serbia - 5 September 2017
Ireland went into this match
against table toppers Serbia knowing that a win would send the Irish to
the top of table D. At the final whistle Ireland was in third place
having been leapfrogged by Wales. Despite a greatly improved performance
from three days previously the Irish succumbed to a well-taken goal by
Kolarov in the second half. Even with the Serbs reduced to ten men late in
the match Ireland could not find the way through the Serbian defence. A
night that started with so much promise ended in bitter disappointment as
Ireland's hopes of qualification for the World Cup finals in Russia in
2018 looked to be doomed.
Serbia: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Maksimovic, Vukovic, Rukavina, Milojevic, Matic, Tadic (Gudelj 81), Kolarov, Kostic (S.Mitrovic 72), A.Mitrovic (Prijovic 79). Booked: Stojkovic, Rukavina. Sent off: Maksimovic.
Referee: C.Cakir (Turkey)
Republic of Ireland V Moldova - 6 October 2017
Ireland won this match as expected
against the whipping boys of the group. Two first half goals from Daryl
Murphy sealed the victory and the three points to keep Ireland's interest
in the group alive into the last match of the group against Wales.
Moldova:Cebanu, Epureanu,Racu, Bordian, Rozgoniuc, Anton, Gaţcan, Ioniţă, Gînsari, Dedov (Cociuc 55'), Plătică (Ambros 79'). Booked: Rozgoniuc. Sent off: Gaţcan.
Referee: Nijhuis Bas (Ned)
Wales V Republic of Ireland - 9 October 2017
Ireland produced a performance of
real determination in Cardiff to beat Wales 1-0. It was a tight and tense
affair and it took James McClean's 57th minute strike to earn Ireland a
crucial three points. The goal followied a superb run down the wing by
Jeff Hendrick. At the endline, he whipped in an inviting ball into the
box. Harry Arter produced a smart stepover to leave James McClean free to
bury the ball past Wayne Hennessey in the Welsh goal. Man of the Match
Shane Duffy put in a towering performance to keep the Welsh at bay. This
win allied to results in other qualifying groups meant that Ireland had
made the World Cup play offs.
Wales: Wayne HENNESSEY, Chris GUNTER, Ben DAVIES, James CHESTER, Ashley WILLIAMS, (C), Joe ALLEN (Jonathan Williams 37'), Andrew KING (Benjamin WOODBURN 68'), Hal ROBSON-KANU (Sam VOKES 71'), Aaron RAMSEY, Joseph LEDLEY, Tom LAWRENCE. Booked: Allen.
Referee: Damir Skomina
World Cup 2018 Qualifying Campaign Results
Number of Appearances and Goals Scored in Irish World Cup Qualifying Campaigns
Number of Appearances and Goals Scored in Irish Euro Championship Finals Qualifying Campaigns