GOALS RE­QUIRED — BUT WHO CAN HIT THE TAR­GET AGAINST WALES?

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

THE Repub­lic of Ire­land head into to­mor­row’s must-win World Cup show­down with Wales hav­ing scored just 11 goals in their nine Group D matches to date. With 68-goal record scorer Rob­bie Keane now re­tired, the onus is on the cur­rent crop to step up.

DARYL MUR­PHY

Not­ting­ham For­est striker Mur­phy scored his first se­nior in­ter­na­tional goal at the 24th time of ask­ing when he snatched a 2-2 draw in Ser­bia last Septem­ber. He marked his 30th cap with a dou­ble against Moldova on Fri­day evening and heads into the Wales game in good form for both club and coun­try.

SHANE LONG

Long (right) has gone 24 games with­out a goal for ei­ther Southamp­ton or the Repub­lic since he reg­is­tered in a Premier League game at Sun­der­land on Fe­bru­ary 11. He has struck 17 times for the Repub­lic, in­clud­ing a fa­mous win­ner against world cham­pi­ons Ger­many in Oc­to­ber 2015, but passed up three glo­ri­ous chances against Moldova.

JAMES McCLEAN

McClean has risen to the fore dur­ing the cam­paign, scor­ing twice in a 3-1 win in Moldova and then the only goal as Ire­land tri­umphed in Aus­tria. He was sus­pended for the Moldova home game on Fri­day and will be des­per­ate to make up for lost time in Cardiff.

ROB­BIE BRADY

Like McClean, Brady was banned against Moldova, in his case for the sec­ond time in this cam­paign, but his abil­ity from set-pieces in par­tic­u­lar could prove a ma­jor weapon. It was he who fa­mously headed Ire­land to vic­tory over Italy at Euro 2016 and then con­verted the penalty which stunned hosts France in the last 16.

WES HOOLA­HAN

Re­garded more as a sup­plier than a fin­isher, Hoola­han nev­er­the­less has the abil­ity to get among the goals. He last scored for his coun­try in the 1-1 draw with Swe­den which opened their Euro 2016 fi­nals cam­paign and there could be no bet­ter time for him to end his drought.

SCOTT HO­GAN

O’Neill played a wild card when he handed winger Cal­lum O’Dowda a start against Moldova, and As­ton Villa striker Scott Ho­gan could yet find him­self win­ning a first cap in Wales if a late as­sault is re­quired. Hav­ing scored freely for Brent­ford, Ho­gan has man­aged just four goals since join­ing Villa in Jan­uary, but is des­per­ate for a chance to prove he has what it takes at in­ter­na­tional level.

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