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International review: Wales and Ireland earn valuable points

11 June 2017

IRELAND and Wales both drew 1-1 to pick up crucial points in their World Cup qualification matches.

At the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Jonathan Walters rescued a draw for Ireland with an 85th-minute equaliser against Austria in Group D.

Wes Hoolahan came on as a 71st-minute substitute to win his 40th international cap, with Ireland trailing to a first-half Martin Hinteregger goal. Within a minute of his introduction, Hoolahan almost conjured an equaliser with a terrific left-footed cross into the box.

Ireland didn’t have to wait long for their goal, Walters chasing down a lost cause to win the ball on the edge of the area before coolly volleying into the far corner.

Ireland’s point lifted them to the top of their group after six matches, but it was a brief stay at the summit. Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic’s equaliser against Wales – cancelling out Aaron Ramsey’s 35th-minute penalty – took them above Ireland on goal difference, with both teams level on 12 points.

Wales are four points behind in third after their fifth successive draw.

City’s new signing Marley Watkins, hoping to make his international debut, was an unused substitute for Wales.

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