Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Republic Of Ireland Beat Wales To Reach World Cup Play-Offs

Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history after dispatching Kosovo 2-0 on Monday night.

Wales, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Greece and Slovakia and Croatia now occupy the runners-up places, but only eight of those nine teams will progress to the play-off stage.

Despite guiding the nation to an unprecedented semi-final at Euro 2016, failure to earn a place in Russian Federation has forced the 47-year-old contemplates his next move. The dressing room's full of devastated players and staff.

"I know why they're like that, but they should feel very proud with what they've done".

Reflecting on four years in charge, Coleman added: "I just reminded the players that four years ago we were playing here against Macedonia in front of eight thousand people, playing for nothing".

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After a series of defensive errors from Chris Coleman's side allowed the West Brom attacker the opportunity to score a well-taken goal, the Welsh failed to craft many opportunities against Martin O'Neill's resilient team.

"We're on unsafe ground if we go in with a game plan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes", said Coleman, who will be without his attacking talisman Gareth Bale due to injury. Absolutely delighted. When the draw was made I thought we had a very hard group. "We might lack a few things but courage is not one of them".

"They hit us the counter-attack, a sucker punch, so hats off to them".

"We had a bit of energy and we did great".

The dream is still alive for the Republic of Ireland.

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We have to give Martin O'Neill a huge pat on the back, the Republic of Ireland had a game plan and it worked.

'Joe has concussion, he took a whack, ' said Coleman. "My players have given everything but it wasn't enough in the end to get over the line... what we have done is another campaign where we have taken it right to the wire".

"I can not ask for anymore".

O'Neill was handed a new contract ahead of this month's double header and that decision looked justified by the results against Moldova and Wales - even if the Boys in Green rode their luck at times, particularly in the first half against the Welsh.

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