John Hartson thinks Chris Coleman will walk away from Wales job

John Hartson thinks Chris Coleman will walk away from Wales job

ENGLAND have booked their place at next summer's World Cup after an unbeaten qualifying campaign - but who does Ray Wilkins think should start for the Three Lions in Russian Federation?

Wales' wait goes on.

Although Robson-Kanu had a header excellently saved by Randolph shortly before McClean's victor, Wales did not have the creativity or craft to unlock a stubborn visiting defence and Chris Coleman was left to reflect on a heartbreaking end to a campaign he has previously said would be his last as Wales manager. It's scheduled to be at 1 pm Irish time.

Martin O'Neil's side keep their chances of heading to Russian Federation alive by beating Wales 1-0 with McClean netting the only goal of the game just before the hour mark.

Unlike Northern Ireland, the Republic have been poor in front of their own supporters - they only picked up two points against Wales, Austria, and Serbia in Dublin - but they've been magnificent on the road collecting seven points against the same opposition.

With Israel and Albania also in their group, the Italians only managed to see off both by the odd goal to nil and more often than not scoring late on. This was a night of high anxiety where football was always unlikely to flow. That threw the Welsh out of their stride and although Hal Robson-Kanu forced a sharp save from Darren Randolph they rarely threatened their visitors before and after McClean's sweet strike on 57 minutes.

Jeff Hendrick escaped down the right wing, only just keeping the ball in touch. He raced away from the Everton defender and pulled a quality cross back to McClean, who rifled an unerring finish into the bottom-right corner.

After that, it was all about digging in and seeing the game home.

Theoretically, Ireland could have qualified for the playoffs by winning 3-0 in Cardiff even had Scotland won but the result in Ljubljana means any victory will do for Ireland tomorrow. As time ticked on, their dream died though Ireland's lives on. O'Neill must be a great man manager because, since his appointment as Ireland in 2013, he has inflicted a great deal of togetherness, and sometimes that drags you over the line against technically superior opposition.

I can't overstate my admiration for the determination of the players in this game.

But the 27-year-old has suffered professional as well as personal heartache. Robbie Brady and James McClean returned from suspension while Harry Arter was preferred to Wes Hoolahan. Nowadays he happens to be the captain of the senior Ireland football team - but only temporarily, as he was keen to point out with a nod to injured skipper Seamus Coleman. This was a night to recall that famous occasion in Lille, too; McClean's goal came after his team had soaked up Welsh pressure before seizing their chance.

With Bale absent, Wales had to find a way without their talisman.

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