Wales And ROI Set For Cardiff Showdown

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Ashley Williams captained Wales to a vital 1-0 win in Georgia as Republic of Ireland defeated Moldova to set up a crunch World Cup qualification showdown in Cardiff on Monday.

The centre-back played the full 90 minutes in Tbilisi, where Tom Lawrence’s 49th-minute thunderbolt was enough to secure the three points that leave Wales second in Group D.

Chris Coleman's side sit a point ahead of the Republic, who earned a 2-0 victory in Dublin in front of injured Everton duo Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy courtesy of Daryl Murphy’s first-half brace.

Wales and Ireland will now meet in three days’ time in a battle to step closer to next summer’s tournament in Russia.

Both nations could still finish top and progress automatically after group leaders Serbia, who entertain Georgia in their final match, suffered a 3-2 reverse in Austria that narrowed their advantage over Wales to a single point.

Should either Wales or the Republic of Ireland end up in second, they will need to avoid finishing as the lowest ranked runners-up in all nine European qualification groups to guarantee a place in next month’s play-offs.

Elsewhere, Gylfi Sigurdsson also played the full match as Iceland eased to a 3-0 success in Turkey to go two points clear at the summit of Group I and ensure that a home victory over bottom side Kosovo on Monday will secure their first ever World Cup finals appearance.

Goals from Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason and Kari Arnason gave Heimir Hallgrímsson’s side their comprehensive win.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the only one of Everton’s five England Under-21s to start the Young Lions’ 3-1 triumph over Scotland at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman came off the bench to play 20 and six minutes respectively, while Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell were unused substitutes in the north east.

A stunning Josh Onomah volley gave Aidy Boothroyd’s charges the lead, before Tammy Abraham netted a penalty and Dominic Solanke struck either side of Chris Cadden’s consolation.

Meanwhile, Morgan Feeney and Dennis Adeniran featured as England Under-19s were beaten 1-0 by Czech Republic in Znojmo. The Blues duo managed 90 minutes and 76 minutes respectively.

Look out on evertonfc.com over the weekend for more international updates.

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