How to watch crunch World Cup clash

Barcelona's Pique was jeered by Spain fans. Pic Getty

Barcelona's Pique was jeered by Spain fans. Pic Getty

Victory for Wales would guarantee a place in next month's play-offs as one of the eight best group runners-up. I want to score goals for my country but I'll keep believing and it will come.

Ireland now knew they just needed to see the game out while Wales, who knew a draw might be enough soon found out it would not as results elsewhere went against them.

Wales host Republic of Ireland in a vital World Cup qualifier this evening.

They enjoyed a flawless start to their campaign with back-to-back victories over Kosovo and the Azerbaijanis, but saw two points slip from their grasp on Thursday when Norway left Tallaght with a 0-0 draw. But it is Rambo, not Bale, who the army of Wales fans are grateful to have leading them into battle tonight.

He scored once and delivered three assists in France last summer and his absence in the semi-final against Portugal proved too much to overcome.

A damaging run of five successive draws appeared to have ended their qualification hopes, but consecutive wins - and clean sheets - against Austria, Moldova and Georgia have got them back on track.

Duffy played a key role for the Republic on Friday night, playing his part in the opening goal for Daryl Murphy after just two minutes.

"It's that feeling. The big nights we had in the recent past are fresh in the memory of the players", said the Irish boss.

"They were labelled the golden bunch of players before we qualified for the Euros".

Two points separated the top four teams and I wrote we had to hope Turkey somehow beat Iceland and then tripped up away to Finland.

It's enough to give even the most hardened statistician a headache.

"We look at the opposition, we get a game-plan and that changes, whether he's in the team or not".

However, Long has never been the most prolific of strikers and a 25 game goalless streak bares that fact in brutal fashion - West Ham, then, won't be cursing their failure to get a deal done.

Wales dominated possession from the outset and kept their opponents penned into their own half early on, as Ireland struggled to lay a glove on the home side. Of course the connections are always going to be there.