Sport Ireland's World Cup dreams receive huge boost following dramatic finish in Scotland

08:20  06 october  2017
08:20  06 october  2017 Source:   Independent.ie

Slovenia 2 Scotland 2: World Cup dreams ended for Strachan's men

  Slovenia 2 Scotland 2: World Cup dreams ended for Strachan's men Scotland coughed up a first-half lead as their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup ended in a 2-2 draw away to Slovenia.Half-time substitute Roman Bezjak scored twice to deny the visitors the three points they required to book a play-off berth.

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Scotland players celebrates as Martin Skrtel of Slovakia scores an own goal © Provided by Irish Independent Scotland players celebrates as Martin Skrtel of Slovakia scores an own goal Martin Skrtel's own goal in the dying stages at Hampden Park means that if Scotland fail to beat Slovenia away on Sunday, wins against Moldova and Wales will be enough for Ireland to secure a play-off spot.

Scotland's last-gasp win, coupled with England's similarly dramatic late victory at home to Slovenia, were the best possible results for Martin O'Neill's Ireland in Group F.

Scotland's group now looks the most likely for Ireland to reel in for that coveted top eight runners up spot.

One problem will be Slovenia's motivation going into the Scotland match as even if they win, they are more than likely going to finish in third place in the group as Slovakia face Malta and a win there will see them grab second place if Scotland fail to secure the three points.

Rhys McClenaghan narrowly misses out on World Championships final place

  Rhys McClenaghan narrowly misses out on World Championships final place Bangor teenager Rhys McClenaghan came tantalisingly close to booking a final place for Ireland on his World Gymnastics Championships debut in Montreal on Tuesday. The 18-year-old scored 14.300 on his pommel routine to finish in 14th place, just 0.133 of a point behind the eighth and final qualifier, Harutyun Merdinyan of Armenia.It was a composed performance from McClenaghan who had opted to move into the senior ranks this year in order to fast-track his bid to reach the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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The other group Ireland will be keeping a close eye on is Group H.

To finish above the second place team in that group, Bosnia must fail to beat Belgium and Greece need to drop points away to Cyrpus on Saturday.

Confused?

Prepare to have your head spinning even more.

Here is how we can make the play-offs with a draw in Wales!

This scenario comes into play if the Welsh do not win in Georgia tomorrow.

If Bosnia lose to Belgium and fail to beat Estonia (long shot) and Greece lose to Cyprus away, then a win against Moldova and a draw in Wales will secure a play-off spot for Martin O'Neill's Ireland.

Results against each groups' bottom side - in our case Moldova - are taken away from each team's final tally and eight runners up from the nine groups will progress to a play-off.

Burke passed fitness test to join Scotland U21 squad

  Burke passed fitness test to join Scotland U21 squad West Bromwich Albion winger Oliver Burke has been deemed fit to play as he is selected for the Scotland U21 side who prepare to take on rivals England in their Euro 2019 qualifier on Friday, according to a report on the Birmingham Mail. Burke was in action yesterday for the West Brom under-23 side in their 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Shrewsbury Town. The news is a huge boost for Scotland as Burke is a natural leader on the pitch, which is why he is the captain of the side. Burke has featured five times for the senior Scotland squad but has been placed in the youth team as the management believe that it will be beneficial for his development as a player. Burke made a high profile move to the Premier League a few months ago from German Bundesliga club RB Leipzig for £15m and has been tipped to have a great future. The youngster is already the most expensive Scottish player in history but his start to life with the Baggies has been hampered with injury, which has restricted his playing time. However, Burke is now aiming for a run of games with the national team as well as West Brom.

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Here is the second place tables as it stands with the bottom side's results gone.

Here are fixtures we need to keep an eye on.

GROUP H

FIXTURES

SAT, OCT 7

Bosnia v Belgium

Cyprus v Greece

TUES, OCT 10

Belgium v Cyprus

Estonia v Bosnia

Greece v Gibraltar

WHAT WE NEED

Bosnia take four points from last two games in Group H against Belgium and Estonia

Greece drop points in Cyprus in Group H

GROUP F:

FIXTURES

SUN, OCT 8

Slovenia v Scotland

WHAT WE NEED

A draw or a win for Slovenia

Sam Allardyce rules himself out of Scotland job and backs David Moyes for role .
Sam Allardyce has ruled himself out of the running to be the new Scotland manager and has backed David Moyes for the job. Former England boss Allardyce was installed as one of the favourites for the position after it was vacated by Gordon Strachan on Thursday.Allardyce left Crystal Palace of his own accord in the summer after keeping them in the Premier League and has been linked with a number of positions since.But despite Scottish ancestry he says he will not be heading north of the border.

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