Ireland secured their place in the next qualifying round, beating Wales at Cardiff City Stadium, according to the Irish Mirror. It was James McClean that netted the decisive goal of the encounter and ultimately shattered Wales' hopes of reaching the World Cup. Needing at least a draw in the match to secure a spot in the playoffs, Wales controlled the game but squandered clear chances they had in front of goal. At the other side, Republic of Ireland barely held possession on the home team's half but were able to convert a goal in the fifty-seventh minute that eventually sends them into the playoffs round courtesy of a James McClean's clinical finish.

Ireland finished second in the group with nineteen points, while Wales ended their campaign in the third spot with seventeen points. Here's an analysis of the match.

Wales outlook

Starting XI and individual performance points: Goalkeeper - Wayne Hennessey (5.95). Defender - Chris Gunter (5.93), James Chester (7.28), Ashley Williams (5.83), Ben Davies (5.91). Midfielder - Andy King (six points), Joe Allen (six points), Joe Ledley (6.59), Tom Lawrence (6.47), Aaron Ramsey (6.87). Forward - Hal Robson-Kanu (6.29). Used substitutes - Jonathan Williams (5.79), Sam Vokes (6.23), Ben Woodburn (5.85).

Team's strength and weakness: Wales often stole the ball from Ireland players and went on to create goal scoring opportunities through individual efforts and set pieces.

Overall, they were weak at finishing.

Style of play: Chris Coleman's side favored long passes and through balls. They played with width.

Republic of Ireland outlook

Starting XI and individual performance points: Goalkeeper - Darren Randolph (7.28). Defender - Cyrus Christie (7.19), Ciaran Clark (7.63), Shane Duffy (8.55), Stephen Ward (7.18).

Midfielder - David Meyler (7.32), Harry Arter (6.37), Jeff Hendrick (seven points). Forward - Robbie Brady (seven points), Daryl Murphy (6.68), James McClean (7.25). Used substitutes - Glenn Whelan (6.25), Kevin Long (six points).

Team's strength and weakness: Martin O'Neill's men had few chances in front of goal from set pieces and counter-attacks.

They were strong at finishing but committed several individual stumbles.

Style of play: Ireland attacked through the flanks, favored long shots and through balls.

Who's the Man of the Match?

Center back Shane Duffy did very well in Ireland's defense. Duffy heroically held the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey to a standstill. The Irish defender made a total of three interceptions and two tackles.