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Wales and Ireland set up World Cup showdown

Wales secured a vital 1-0 victory in Georgia to keep their hopes of automatic World Cup qualification alive ahead of the huge game with Ireland on Monday.

By Jon Francis | Published: 7th October 2017 Sport

Tom Lawrence lashed home right-footed from just outside the area in the 49th minute to earn Wales only their fourth victory in nine qualifying games and put them clear in second spot in Group D with 17 points, a point behind leaders Serbia who suffered a shock 3-2 loss at fourth-placed Austria.

Serbia are still favourites to win the group with a final home game against Georgia on Monday, while Wales play third-placed Ireland in what looks like becoming a shoot-out to see who finishes as runners-up to claim a probable playoff spot.

Ireland, who beat Moldova 2-0 on Friday, have 16 points.

Wales, bidding to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958, would be guaranteed at least runners-up spot in the group providing they avoid defeat against Ireland.

However victory for either side would see them top the group if Serbia lost their final game.