Lucky Ireland

World Cup Qualifiers tonight and Ireland just about kept their hopes alive with a lacklustre 1-0 win against Cyprus away. The first half performance was described by Eamon Dunphy as the worst Irish performance in years and few would be fit to disagree with them. Shay Given was the hero of the hour and Stephen Elliot was one of the few outfield players to emerge with any credit. Still a win's a win but Ireland are going to need a huge improvement to have any chance of beating Switzerland on Wednesday and winning a play off to reach the finals in Germany.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland were beaten 3-2 at home by Wales and England secured their finals berth with a 1-0 victory over Austria combined with a Dutch victory in the Czech Republic.

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