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Republic of Ireland victorious after beating Uruguay in build up to their next qualifier

Monday 5th June 2017
On Sunday, Republic of Ireland pitted themselves up against Uruguay in a friendly match up. It would be a true test for Martin O'Neill's side against the 16th best team in the world. There were a couple of changes made to the squad after a 3-1 defeat against Mexico.

Before their friendlies, Ireland has had a successful campaign in their European World Cup Qualifying so far. Their road to Russia has been a promising one, to say the least. The first game was a 2-2 draw against Serbia before beating Georgia 1-0 in Dublin. Wins against Moldova and Austria meant that Ireland started to look confident in Group D.
Their most recent qualifier was against Wales which ended 0-0. Although they would have preferred a win, a draw isn't a bad result. At the moment, ROI are 4 points ahead of Wales and Austria and sit in a playoff place. However, they will be wanting to guarantee the top spot and secure their place in Russia for the World Cup final stages.

Martin O'Neill made eight changes in what looked to be a strengthened side for the game against Uruguay. With the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady and Jon Walters being recalled, ROI's team sheet looked more promising for a result.

Jonathan Walters got Ireland off to a great start with a sublime finish in the 28th minute. Uruguay was caught off guard and their keeper, Esteban Conde was well beaten by the Irish forward.
Just 11 minutes later Uruguay equalised through Jose Gimenez. Ireland keeper, Darren Randolph misjudged a free kick before Gimenez caught a looping header on the ball to make it one a piece.

On 51 minutes Cyrus Christie made it 2-1 with a left footed shot on the right-hand side of the box. The ball was placed with precision into the far corner to take Ireland back into the lead.

James McClean finished the game off by punishing the Uruguay defence. Some woeful defending led to McClean stealing possession of the ball and charging down the left wing. He then made his way into the box smashing the ball in the bottom right corner to make it 3-1. This would be the final result and what a result it meant for Ireland.
It couldn't have gone any better for them with the upcoming game they have for their World Cup Qualifiers. They are 2nd in Group D just behind Serbia on goal difference. They are both on 11 points while Wales are in 3rd on 7 points and Austria in 4th also on 7 points.

ROI will be playing Austria this Sunday but it won't be an easy game. Austria are known to have some quality players and Martin O'Neill will expect a very competitive match up.

If Ireland can get a result against Austria it would put them in a very good position towards qualifying for the World Cup in Russia 2018. Ireland does have a very strong squad and after beating Uruguay 3-1 they look like a very good side.

Against Austria, Ireland will be wary of players such as David Alaba, Marko Arnautovic and Kevin Wimmer. Irish fans will believe that they have enough quality on their side to beat Austria in their upcoming fixture. It will definitely be an interesting game to watch from a neutral point of view.
With the game being played in Dublin there will no doubt be a supportive home crowd cheering them on. The Aviva Stadium is expected to be packed out and there will be much expectancy of an exciting match up.

After they play Austria, Ireland will have to play every other team in the group. The following game is against Georgia in Tbilisi. After that, they return back to Dublin to face Serbia before playing again on home turf against Moldova. Their final game of the group will be up against Wales away.

The road to Russia is key for ROI as they will want to succeed in getting to the final stages of the World Cup. But they still have a lot of hard work to do yet as they are only halfway through the group stage of the qualifications.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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