McClean strike breaks Welsh World Cup dream

Wales v Republic of Ireland- 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying- Group D- Cardiff City Stadium

Wales v Republic of Ireland- 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying- Group D- Cardiff City Stadium

"To win on their territory was a great result for us", he told Sky Sports News.

While James McCarthy is ruled out for the crucial game, Ireland will be grateful to see the return of Robbie Brady and James McClean who are both back from suspension.

Wales manager Chris Coleman insists his players have nothing to fear as their World Cup campaign finishes with a winner-takes-all decider against the Republic of Ireland. His current Wales contract expires in the summer, after the World Cup takes place.

The World Cup qualifiers are very almost over and most of the lucky nine teams from Europe have secured their place at next summer's tournament in Russian Federation.

Gylfi Sigurdsson opened the scoring five minutes before halftime, while Johann Gudmundsson sealed the match eight minutes after the hour mark.

But a win for Croatia or Ukraine would scupper Wales.

"We look forward to these games because I've been in positions where I didn't know if I'd still be in a job if I'd lost that next game".

The hosts continued to dominate possession but Ireland held firm to ensure it was they who finished as runners-up to automatic qualifiers Serbia in Group D.

A win guarantees second place in the group and a place in the play-offs. When we get off to a decent start (in qualifying), the mindset changes a little bit in terms of points.

"We will enjoy tonight".

"They were labelled this "golden" bunch of players before we qualified [for Euro 2016] and I fought against that, because they had not earned that tag".

"It was just one of them where we had to concentrate", he admitted.

"His energy - when you see James getting exhausted in a game with 10 minutes to go, you realise the rest of the players must be really exhausted because James just keeps going". If Serbia lose at home to Georgia - unlikely but possible - then we go through automatically. They are inconsolable at the moment but they should feel very proud.

"When the ball was coming to me, I was just thinking, "take your time, make sure you get it under control" and thankfully it hit the back of the net".

He didn't complain about losing Joe Allen to concussion late in the first half which altered the momentum of the game.

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