Sunday, October 08, 2017

It breaks down like this

After our 1-0 win in Georgia, Wales remain right in the hunt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As far as our own group is concerned, Wales (on 17 points) remain in second spot after the game in Tbilisi but are now crucially just a point behind leaders Serbia who suffered a 3-2 defeat to Austria in Vienna.

That means we can nick top spot in the final round of fixtures on Monday night if Wales beat Ireland and Serbia fail to beat Georgia in a match that will be played at the same time, though a Serbia win would end any hopes of us  qualifying automatically.

But Wales could even claim top spot with a draw against Ireland, as long as Serbia lose to Georgia by two or more goals.

Had results gone their way on Saturday night, Wales could have gone into Monday's clash knowing a point would be enough for a play-off spot. Now, we have no such luxury - with Greece's win over Cyprus in Group H meaning that the second-place team from that group could still grab a play-off place in the mini league.

In the rather convoluted qualifying system which sees eight of the nine second-place teams go into the play-offs, had Greece failed to win on Saturday night - it would have meant that they could only have matched Wales' mini-league points tally of 11. Now, Wales have to win to overtake Greece in the mini-league.

With only Scotland and Croatia below them on the mini-league table, a draw for Wales would see them rely on Croatia and Ukraine - who are tied on points in Group I - drawing with the same or fewer amount of goals scored on Monday night as Wales.


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