Wales and the Republic of Ireland meet in Cardiff on Monday evening with the prospect of a trip to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia dangling tantalisingly before them.
Here, we take a look at some of the more memorable previous encounters between the nations.
Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1 (Friendly, Lansdowne Road, March 26, 1986)
Jack Charlton launched his hugely successful 10-year reign as Ireland manager with a 1-0 home defeat by Wales. A World Cup winner with England as a player, his appointment had not met with unanimous approval and his critics were in full voice as Ian Rush’s goal proved decisive. However, Welsh satisfaction was tempered by keeper Neville Southall’s misfortune when he suffered a broken ankle after landing awkwardly as he collected a cross.
Republic of Ireland 1 Wales 0 (Euro 2008 qualifier, Croke Park, March 24, 2007)
In the first football match to be played at Croke Park, Dublin’s Gaelic games cathedral, Ireland eased some of the pressure on Charlton’s successor Steve Staunton. Stephen Ireland’s first senior international goal clinched the victory and in the process, all but ended the visitors’ qualification hopes. There were starts for Shay Given, John O’Shea, Kevin Kilbane and Robbie Keane, who each went on to win more than 100 caps for the Republic, against a Welsh side which included a 17-year-old Gareth Bale.
Wales 2 Republic of Ireland 2 (Euro 2008 qualifier, Millennium Stadium, November 17, 2007)
By the time the Irish travelled to Cardiff eight months later, the prospect of either side making it to the finals had evaporated. Nevertheless, they played out an entertaining draw in a game which swung repeatedly. Jason Koumas headed the hosts into a 23rd-minute lead before Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle struck either side of half-time to put Ireland within touching distance of victory until Koumas’ last-gasp penalty.
Republic of Ireland 3 Wales 0 (Nations Cup, Aviva Stadium, February 8, 2011)
Gary Speed’s first game as Wales manager ended in disappointment as they were beaten comprehensively in the short-lived Nations Cup tournament. Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic had to wait until the hour-mark to ease their way in front when midfielder Darron Gibson smashed a shot past keeper Wayne Hennessey. Damien Duff added a second seven minutes later and the game was over when Keith Fahey struck eight minutes from time.
Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 0 (World Cup qualifier, Aviva Stadium, March 24, 2017)
A game which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons ended all-square, which was a source of frustration to Ireland boss Martin O’Neill and satisfaction for opposite number Chris Coleman. The game’s central incident arrived with 21 minutes remaining when Wales full-back Neil Taylor flew into a challenge on Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman which left the Everton man with an horrific double leg fracture from which he is yet to return. Taylor was immediately dismissed by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, but the Republic were unable to make their numerical advantage tell.
Source: By PA Sport Staff