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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.
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