The Republic of Ireland secured a place in the World Cup qualifying play-offs at the expense of Wales on Monday, with James McClean scoring the only goal of the game.

In the final group D fixture to be played of the campaign, the match was a winner-takes-all and the Irish rose above their challenges with the West Bromwich Albion winger finding the back of the net just before the hour mark.

The result means Wales will not have any participation at next summer’s tournament in Russia and has led to doubts over Chris Coleman’s future at the helm, despite the loss being their first at home in the last four years.

Martin O’Neill’s side, who have not qualified for the World Cup since Japan and South Korea jointly hosted it back in 2002, will find out who they will have to overcome in a week’s time.

They will have a tough challenge on their hands when it comes to the draw, with the likes of Italy, Portugal, Croatia or Denmark looking to stand in their way of a place in Russia, however, that could all still change.

McClean has been crucial to the Republic of Ireland’s campaign this year, providing four goals during the group stage, including winners against Moldova and Austria.

The winger seized on his only opportunity of the match when Wales captain Ashley Williams lost possession of the ball on the edge of his own area, allowing for Jeff Hendrick to cross the ball for the Baggies man to convert the ball home.

Many of the Ireland fans have taken to social media to praise McClean for his performances during the qualifiers, with many obviously pleased that he scored the goal.

Here are some of the best reactions found on Twitter:


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