Austria 0-1 Scotland, France 2-0 Finland: World Cup qualifying – as it happened

By Luke McLaughlin
Republic of Ireland’s defenders John Egan (L) and Shane Duffy (2L) celebrate after Serbia’s defender Nikola Milenkovic scored an own goal.
Republic of Ireland’s defenders John Egan (L) and Shane Duffy (2L) celebrate after Serbia’s defender Nikola Milenkovic scored an own goal. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

John McGinn ‘couldn’t be prouder’:

(And quite right too.)

And that’s all from me. Thanks for reading. Much excitement over on the US Open tennis blog, where Elina Svitolina and Leylah Fernandez are deep into a deciding set:

Bye!

Updated

As Paul Doyle points out, Ireland’s late equaliser via an own goal keeps alive their faint hopes of qualification for Qatar in 2022:

Updated

Andy Hunter’s match report is here after a heartening and important win for Scotland against Austria:

Updated

Lyndon Dykes, Scotland’s match winner, talks: “It was a massive win. We came here to win the game, and we done that, so we should be proud ... We’ve been together, we’re always a tight group ... we’ve always, each camp, got stronger and stronger ... another game tonight, it was tough, it was long, we held out to the end of the game, and that shows the togetherness we’ve got.

“We always defend from the front, and defend as a team ... they’re a really good side, they’ve got good players ... we held on from there [after the goal] and it was a good night. I was aiming [the penalty] for where it went... I was just happy to see it hit the back of the net ... it wasn’t one of my best ones, but at the end of the night, it went in, and it was 1-0 at the end of the night, so I’ll take that.”

Somewhat unpleasant scenes in the stadium in Vienna: Alaba and Arnautovic have gone over the Austria fans, many of whom look very angry with the result and performance. Shouting matches all round. A few minutes ago there was a lingering shot of an Austria fan making a well-known rude gesture from the stands, for which the Sky Sports presenter Eilidh Barbour apologised.

Updated

Craig Gordon. the Scotland goalie, speaks to Sky Sports: “That was huge for us. A great performance away from home ... we knew we needed to take something from the game, but to get the three points is huge for us, in this group. I felt comfortable all night, the guys in front of me were absolutely superb all night, chucking their bodies in front of things, we defended the box really well when we had to, and limited them to very few opportunities. The one that came through, I managed to keep out, but I’ve got to give huge credit to the guys in front of me who were outstanding all night ... On another night we could have got a few more goals, but we kept a clean sheet ... there wasn’t a single man who let us down and that’s what we need to get points away from home.”

Nice words, and even nicer performance.

Updated

“Always trust the Love Hearts. They knew all right,” roars Scotland fan Simon McMahon on email. “I love you, Scotland. Be mine!”

Hug me!

Scotland’s Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry.
Scotland’s Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry. Photograph: Florian Schrotter/PA

Updated

Baktiyor Zainutdinov grabbed the late leveller for Kazakhstan against Bosnia & Herzegovina in a 2-2 draw. He and the team celebrated accordingly:

Kazakhstan celebrate.
Kazakhstan celebrate. Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters

The Euros may ultimately have been a bit disappointing, but that result tonight is ample proof of all the progress Scotland are making under Steve Clark. A really professional, composed win – solid in defence and, crucially, clinical in attack when it counted (even if nit-pickers might have asked for a 2-0 or 3-0 win given the chances Scotland created).

Updated

In all the excitement, I missed that Kazakhstan grabbed a late equaliser in Group D v Bosnia-Herzegovina, and drew 2-2. Croatia also scored a third in a 3-0 win against Slovenia and Turkey nabbed a consolation in a 6-1 mauling by the Netherlands.

Final scores

Group A
Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal
Ireland 1-1 Serbia

Group D
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-2 Kazakhstan
France 2-0 Finland

Group F
Austria 0-1 Scotland
Denmark 5-0 Israel
Faroe Islands 2-1 Moldova

Group G
Montenegro 0-0 Latvia
Netherlands 6-1 Turkey
Norway 5-1 Gibraltar

Group H
Croatia 3-0 Slovenia
Russia 2-0 Malta
Slovakia 2-0 Cyprus

Full-time! Austria 0-1 Scotland!

That is a very, very impressive win. What a night for Scotland.

“This is big! This is huge! This is massive!” yells the commentator. He’s not wrong.

Such an accomplished performance from Scotland tonight, who might have won by two or three. They will go second in Group F, and face a big/huge/massive match against Israel at Hampden Park next month. Austria’s hopes of qualification look all but gone.

Scotland’s manager Steve Clarke (L) celebrates with his players.
Scotland’s manager Steve Clarke (L) celebrates with his players. Photograph: Christian Bruna/EPA

Updated

Alaba, mercifully from a Scotland point of view, curls that free-kick over the bar.

GOAL! Denmark 5-0 Israel (Cornelius 90)

Denmark join Netherlands and Norway in crushing this evening’s opponents by five goals or more.

Austria have the ball in Scotland’s net! But it’s ruled out for offside! Four mins of stoppages to play, one of which has gone already. And now Scotland cough up a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area for handball, by Ferguson. Looked harsh, but there it is.

Updated

GOAL! Norway 5-1 Gibraltar (Haaland 90)

A hat-trick for the big, blonde goal machine.

GOAL! Netherlands 6-0 Turkey (Malen 90)

Sixes, if not sevens, for Turkey who have collapsed in some style against Louis van Gaal’s team. Netherlands will be riding high at the top of Group G.

Updated

Scotland are two minutes plus stoppages away from a sizeable win.

GOAL! Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 Kazakhstan (Menalo 85)

Bosnia-Herzegovina battle back from a goal down and look on course for a late win in the basement battle in Group D.

GOAL! Ireland 1-1 Serbia (Milenkovia OG 86)

Late drama in Dublin and Stephen Kenny’s side are level! The nay-sayers silenced? Ireland are on track for their second point of the campaign.

Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, second left, and his teammates react after scoring an own goal late in the game.
Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, second left, and his teammates react after scoring an own goal late in the game. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP
Republic of Ireland’s Shane Duffy, right, and John Egan celebrate after Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored an own goal.
Republic of Ireland’s Shane Duffy, right, and John Egan celebrate after Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored an own goal. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP

Updated

GOAL! Netherlands 5-0 Turkey (Til 80)

Turkey are at sixes and sevens. Nearly.

GOAL! Russia 2-0 Malta (Bakaev pen 84)

And that should be that in Moscow in Group H.

GOAL! Faroe Islands 2-1 Moldova (Milinceanu 84)

Moldova right back in it! But really, they are.

Wow! All happening in Vienna. Craig Gordon makes a belting save from point-blank range. Scotland stream down to the other end and Adams angles a shot just wide of the far post! So close!

GOAL! Slovakia 2-0 Cyprus 0 (Koscelnik 77)

Yes, this goal was already in the latest scores posted below, as the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted.

GOAL! Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-1 Kazakhstan 1 (Pjanic pen 74)

The Barcelona man (currently on loan at Besiktas) is on the spot to level for the hosts.

Updated

Latest scores

Group A
Ireland 0-1 Serbia

Group D
Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-1 Kazakhstan
France 2-0 Finland

Group F
Austria 0-1 Scotland
Denmark 4-0 Israel
Faroe Islands 2-0 Moldova

Group G
Montenegro 0-0 Latvia
Netherlands 4-0 Turkey
Norway 4-1 Gibraltar

Group H
Croatia 2-0 Slovenia
Russia 1-0 Malta
Slovakia 2-0 Cyprus

In Vienna, O’Donnell just burst through one-on-one with Bachmann. He took his shot early - maybe a touch too early - but forced a decent save from the Austrian gloveman.

GOAL! Faroe Islands 2-0 Moldova (Vatnsdal 71)

This is happening! Faroe Islands are in dreamland. According to Wikipedia my records, their previous competitive victory came over Malta in 2019, 1-0 at home in qualifying for Euro 2020.

Updated

GOAL! Faroe Islands 1-0 Moldova (Olsen 68)

Dancing in the streets of Tórshavn tonight? Faroe Islands lead Moldova in Group F!

GOAL! Croatia 2-0 Slovenia (Pasalic 66)

Croatia and Russia, who were locked on 10 points apiece at the top of Group H before tonight’s matches, both look set to win. After which they’ll be locked at 13 points apiece at the top of Group H.

Memphis Depay celebrates his hat-trick goal for Netherlands v Turkey by nicking the match ball. He’s gone a bit early there, what with it being the 54th minute.

Memphis Depay celebrates.
Memphis Depay celebrates. Photograph: Peter de Jong/AP

Meanwhile, in Vienna: half an hour to go and Scotland continue to lead by a goal to nil.

GOAL! Denmark 4-0 Israel (Delaney)

Israel are simply not coping in Copenhagen.

GOAL! Norway 4-1 Gibraltar (Sorloth 59)

Gibraltar have been rocked by a fourth for Norway. Norway and Netherlands, as stated, will both overtake Turkey. Netherlands have far superior goal difference even before tonight v Norway, +11 to +3.

GOAL! Slovakia 1-0 Cyprus (Schranz 55)

Deadlock-breaking occurs in Bratislava.

GOAL! Netherlands 4-0 Turkey (Depay 54)

That is a hat-trick for the irrepressible Memphis Depay. Ten-man Turkey are staring down the barrel of a good old-fashioned trouncing. They were riding high with three wins from five and topping Group G before tonight. But Norway and Netherlands are going to overtake them by the end of the night.

Updated

GOAL! Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-1 Kazakhstan (Kuat 51)

It’s raining goals again.

Updated

GOAL! France 2-0 Finland (Griezmann 53)

France strengthen their grip on Group D with another goal from Barcelona man, who’s now on loan at Atlético Madrid.

France’s Antoine Griezman scores his side’s second goal past Finland’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.
France’s Antoine Griezman scores his side’s second goal past Finland’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Photograph: Laurent Cipriani/AP

Updated

Outside of Europe: Iran have beaten Iraq 3-0 away from home. Iran top their qualifying group with two wins from two matches.

Second half kick-off!

The second period begins in Vienna, and indeed elsewhere. Can Scotland extend this lead?

Austria fans are out in force in Vienna.
Austria fans are out in force in Vienna. Photograph: Guenther Iby/Getty Images

Updated

Phew. Half-time scores below. Scotland have turned in a superb performance in Vienna in the first half and lead Austria 1-0. With Denmark 3-0 up against Israel, Scotland know that if they can win this, they will move second in Group F.

Ireland trail Serbia, France lead Finland, and 10-man Turkey are 3-0 behind against Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands outfit. See you in a few minutes for more.

Updated

Half-time scores

Group A
Ireland 0-1 Serbia

Group D
Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-0 Kazakhstan
France 1-0 Finland

Group F
Austria 0-1 Scotland
Denmark 3-0 Israel
Faroe Islands 0-0 Moldova

Group G
Montenegro 0-0 Latvia
Netherlands 3-0 Turkey
Norway 3-1 Gibraltar

Group H
Croatia 1-0 Slovenia
Russia 1-0 Malta
Slovakia 0-0 Cyprus

RED CARD! Turkey's Çağlar Söyüncü sent off

So Turkey are 3-0 down against Netherlands, and down to 10 men. Söyüncü of Leicester has had a difficult few weeks.

Updated

GOAL! Norway 3-1 Gibraltar (Styche 43)

Gibraltar are right back in it! Well, realistically not, I just thought it would sound dramatic.

Updated

GOAL! Denmark 3-0 Israel (Olsen 41)

Goodnight Vienna. Albeit in Copenhagen.

GOAL! Norway 3-0 Gibraltar (Haaland 39)

And another in Oslo!

Erling Braut Haaland of Norway reacts after making it 3-0.
Erling Braut Haaland of Norway reacts after making it 3-0. Photograph: Lise Åserud/EPA

Updated

GOAL! Netherlands 3 -0 Turkey (Depay pen 38)

The goalie has football De-pay all over his shirt.

I should have mentioned that the Scotland penalty came via a VAR check.

Hinteregger had already been booked, and he hauled down Adams in the penalty area with the Scotland forward looking to shoot, so surely he should have been sent off?

VAR-disliking Scotland fans suddenly like VAR, anyway:

Updated

Two in two for Lyndon Dykes. Here’s the penalty which he smashed low, hard and central, under Bachmann.

Updated

GOAL! Croatia 1-0 Slovenia (Livaja 33)

ANOTHER GOAL!

“Evening Luke. My pre-match packet of Love Hearts advised me to both ‘stay cool’ and ‘cheer up’,” writes Simon McMahon. “They know how this Scotland game is going to pan out, don’t they?”

I’m not sure I get that, but I like it.

GOAL! Denmark 2-0 Israel (Kjaer 31)

Denmark haven’t conceded a goal in the group yet. It would be truly astonishing if they failed to win from two up. Can Scotland win in Vienna? They’ve made a damned good start.

“I’m afraid Gibraltar find themselves between a rock and a Haaland place,” chips in Peter Oh.

GOAL! Austria 0-1 Scotland (Dykes)

It’s in there! Scotland lead after 29 minutes! Che Adams was hauled down in the penalty area by Hinteregger. Dykes smashed the pen low and hard and Scotland are in front!

Lyndon Dykes of Scotland scores from the spot.
Lyndon Dykes of Scotland scores from the spot. Photograph: Christian Hofer/Getty Images

Updated

GOAL! Denmark 1-0 Israel (Poulsen)

Good news for Scotland.

GOAL! France 1-0 Finland (Griezmann)

It really is raining goals everywhere!

Scotland have a penalty!

Drama in Vienna after Che Adams is fouled in the penalty area.

Updated

GOAL! Norway 1-0 Gibraltar (Haaland)

Raining goals in Oslo, it’s the Dortmund forward Haaland with the second.

Updated

GOAL! Norway 1-0 Gibraltar (Thorstvedt)

Can you smell what The Rock aren’t cooking? Gibraltar trail in Oslo.

Before that goal for Serbia, Justin Kavanagh had emailed with this:

“Luke, can I ask you the favour of refraining from mentioning the Ireland score or the final result? It’s not that I’m recording it for later in the day or anything like that. I’d just like you — PLEASE — to refrain from mentioning the Ireland result.”

I can’t promise anything I’m afraid, Justin.

Serbia took the lead with 20 minutes gone when midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic got across his man at the near post to glance Dusan Tadic’s driven corner past Gavin Bazunu, who got a hand to the ball, but could not keep it out of his net. (PA)

GOAL! Ireland 0-1 Serbia (Milinkovic-Savic)

After 20 minutes in Dublin, Ireland are behind, and any slim hopes they had appear to be slipping away.

Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu concedes a goal to Sergej Milinkovic-­Savic of Serbia.
Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu concedes a goal to Sergej Milinkovic-­Savic of Serbia. Photograph: László Gecző/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock

Updated

“Given what Austria are wearing, one imagines that Steve Clarke won’t have had much to say before kick-off than “Lads, it’s Arsenal”,” observes Charles Antaki. That would have been an interesting psychological ploy.

Austria’s Konrad Laimer in their slightly Arsenal-esque kit.
Austria’s Konrad Laimer in their slightly Arsenal-esque kit. Photograph: Matthias Schräder/AP

GOAL! Netherlands 2-0 Turkey (Depay)

Goals De-pay the rent, and Memphis gets his share.

In Group G, Turkey are top going into tonight’s matches on 11 points. Netherlands and Norway are hot on their tails, with 10 points apiece. So Louis van Gaal’s team look well set to hit the top of the group.

Updated

“The France-Finland match is quite intriguing in that Finland, having only played three matches, is in control of their destiny,” emails Matt Burtz. “If they win all their games, they finish on 20 points, which would also involve beating France twice. So actually, one win and one draw against France also puts them in a very good position, and even one win and one loss wouldn’t be crippling, because then France could only finish on 15 points, and Finland would have four other games in which to amass eight points to get to 16. As you can see, I’ve thought too much about this.”

I warmly welcome such deep thinking on group permutations, Matt. Thanks.

Goal! Russia 1 Malta 0 (Smolov)

The hosts move ahead early doors in Moscow.

“I’m afraid I didn’t get the Eilidh Barbour reference about Good Night Vienna,” emails Robin Hazlehurst. “This means nothing to me.”

In Vienna, Lyndon Dykes leaps like a salmon and powers a header goalwards, but it’s beaten out by Bachmann. In keeping with the match so far Austria stream down to the other end immediately. It’s very, very lively.

Goal! Netherlands 1-0 Turkey (Davy Klaassen)

First blood to the Dutch.

Updated

A high-octane start in Vienna. Austria enjoy a short spell of possession, pressing Scotland back, before a storming run from John McGinn takes the visitors down to the other end of the pitch. He loses control of the ball just outside the area and the move comes to nothing. Positive signs, it seems, but Austria immediately stream down to the other end and Alaba has a sight of goal, but hesitates, and the chance is gone. End to end.

Updated

First half kick-off!

The match begins in Vienna, and indeed across the venues for tonight’s World Cup qualifiers on the road to Qatar 2022.

The players are literally out on the pitch at the Ernst Happel Stadion, and we are being treated to a blast of ‘Flower of Scotland’ right now. Alaba and McGinn, the respective captains, toss a coin, bump fists and exchange flags. We’re ready to go.

I will be focusing on Austria v Scotland in this ’ere clockwatch but will of course endeavour to bring you goal updates from all tonight’s matches.

Updated

Alireza Jahanbakhsh – formerly of Brighton, now of Feyenoord in the Eredivisie – has just put Iran 1-0 up away against Iraq, after just three minutes.

“Scotland are looking for a good night in Vienna,” says the Sky presenter Eilidh Barbour. I see what she did there! Like it.

The Scotland manager Steve Clark speaks to Sky, pitch side in Vienna: “We have a good team on the pitch ... we need a good performance and with that hopefully will come a good result. We’ve got to relax on the finish and make sure we take some [chances] tonight.

“I believe if we get a good performance we can get a result tonight ... when we have the ball, play on the front foot, be aggressive and try to create chances.”

Kick off in tonight’s 12 matches is 15 minutes away.

Don’t forget, you can get in touch with me by email or Twitter if you so desire.

You can keep an eye on all the live scores here.

France v Finland teams

In Group D, France lead the way with nine points from five matches. Finland are their closest challengers, along with Ukraine, both on five points.

France: Lloris, Zouma, Varane, Kimpembe, Dubois, Pogba, Rabiot, Hernandez, Griezmann, Martial, Benzema. Subs: Lemar, Veretout, Digne, Mukiele, Tchouameni, Maignan, Diaby, Lenglet, Mandanda, Guendouzi, Ben Yedder.

Finland: Hradecky, Alho, Vaisanen, Arajuuri, O’Shaughnessy, Uronen, Nissila, Schuller, Kamara, Pohjanpalo, Pukki. Subs: Raitala, Toivio, Taylor, Eriksson, Jensen, Soiri, Forss, Valakari, Sparv, Joronen, Kairinen, Ivanov.

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)

Updated

Denmark v Israel teams

This is another key match in Group F tonight. Denmark are yet to concede a goal in qualifying, so it would be a surprise if Israel take anything from it.

Denmark: Schmeichel, Wass, Andersen, Kjaer, Maehle, Hojbjerg, Christensen, Delaney, Damsgaard, Poulsen, Skov Olsen. Subs: Ronnow, Daramy, Maxso, Wind, Lindstrom, Norgaard, Jensen, Stryger Larsen, Hansen, Nelsson, Bruun Larsen, Cornelius.

Israel: Marciano, Dasa, Dgani, Tibi, Elhamed, Menachem, Glazer, Natcho, Solomon, Weissman, Zahavi. Subs: Abu Hanna, Nitzan, Bitton, Abu Fani, Abaid, Haziza, Abada, Dabbur, Harush, Atzili, Kinda, Davidadze.

Referee: Tobias Stieler (Germany)

If you missed it, here’s Paul Doyle’s report from Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan on Saturday:

Ireland v Serbia teams

Ireland: Bazunu, Omobamidele, Duffy, Egan, Doherty, McGrath, Cullen, Hendrick, McClean, Browne, Idah. Subs: Horgan, Molumby, Arter, Robinson, Parrott, Manning, Kelleher, Hourihane, James Collins, Talbot, Christie, Scales.

Serbia: Rajkovic, Milenkovic, Veljkovic, Pavlovic, Djuricic, Tadic, Gudelj, Milinkovic-Savic, Kostic, Vlahovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic. Subs: Stefan Mitrovic, Jovic, Racic, Ivan Ilic, Ristic, Maksimovic, Lukic, Mladenovic, Radonjic, Dmitrovic, Svilar.

Referee: José María Sánchez (Spain)

Steve Clark speaks to Sky Sports in a pre-recorded interview: “It’s been difficult ... the introduction to the week with the Covid issues and the injuries ... it hasn’t been an easy camp ... we had to beat Moldova at home, we’ve done that, we need to get a positive result against Austria. It’s going to be another interesting day in the life of this group.”

“It would have been nice to get the second goal the other night and see if we could relax on the third and fourth finish ... but when the game’s tight like that, you can tighten up a little bit, and I think that’s what we’re doing ... they just need to go into the game and relax a little bit. When a chance comes along, just relax, and hopefully we can score a few more goals.”

Updated

Austria v Scotland teams

Three changes for Scotland from the win against Moldova, with Stephen O’Donnell, Callum McGregor and Che Adams coming in.

Austria: Bachmann, Trimmel, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba, Laimer, Grillitsch, Ilsanker, Schaub, Baumgartner, Arnautovic. Subs: Mwene, Lindner, Gregoritsch, Schlager, Ulmer, Posch, Kara, Lienhart, Kainz, Schopf, Ljubicic, Demir.

Scotland: Gordon, Hendry, Hanley, Tierney, O’Donnell, Gilmour, McGregor, Robertson, John McGinn, Adams, Dykes. Subs: Turnbull, McKenna, Ferguson, Nisbet, Paul McGinn, Clark, Gallagher, Kelly, Christie, Cooper.

Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)

Updated

And here’s Andy Hunter’s match report from Scotland’s 1-0 win against Moldova on Saturday:

Here is Andy Hunter previewing Scotland’s potentially crucial match in Vienna:

Tonight’s fixtures

Group A
Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal (FT)
Ireland vs Serbia

Group D
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Kazakhstan
France vs Finland

Group F
Austria vs Scotland
Denmark vs Israel
Faroe Islands vs Moldova

Group G
Montenegro vs Latvia
Netherlands vs Turkey
Norway vs Gibraltar

Group H
Croatia vs Slovenia
Russia vs Malta
Slovakia vs Cyprus

All kick off at 19.45 UK time, aside from Azerbaijan v Portugal, which as we have established finished 3-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal.

Updated

Full-time: Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal

In today’s early kick-off, Portugal have just wrapped up a 3-0 away win in Baku. Bernando Silva, André Silva and Diogo Jota got the goals. That puts Portugal top of Group A on 13 points, with Serbia, on 10, in action in Dublin a little later.

It seems as if some home fans were trying to get on to the pitch when the whistle blew a few seconds ago, but all seems to have calmed down now.

Updated

Preamble

History was made during this international break when the lousy pen-pushers from the Brazilian health authorities entered the pitch on Sunday in São Paulo, in order to apprehend four Argentina players accused of flouting the country’s Covid-19 quarantine regulations.

We are presumably unlikely to witness anything so dramatic – or farcical – this evening but there is plenty at stake on a busy evening of qualifying ties for Qatar 2022, with Scotland heading to Vienna to take on Austria in Group F. Ireland host Serbia in Dublin in Group A, while the current world champions and Group D leaders France face second-placed Finland at home. Croatia, losing finalists in 2018, are joint-top of Group H with Russia and meet third-placed Slovenia.

Scotland tasted action at a major tournament for the first time since 1998 at Euro 2020 several weeks back and they have a decent chance of repeating the trick and making it to Qatar: they sit third in Group F on eight points, two behind Israel. If Denmark (who top the group with 15 points from five matches) beat Israel tonight and Steve Clark’s men win, they will be up to second and in line for a play-off berth. Clark says Israel’s visit to Hampden Park next month is the crunch game but added that ‘every game is important now’.

Mathematically speaking Ireland still have a chance of qualifying but they will need to win their remaining matches and hope other results go their way. They have only won one game under the current manager Stephen Kenny, so a positive performance and a victory would certainly not go amiss regardless of any faint hopes of qualification. Team news, pre-match reading and much more coming right up.


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