‘WALES CAN STILL MAKE IT’

SIDE

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

SAM VOKES in­sists Wales are still in the hunt for World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion de­spite the Repub­lic of Ire­land tak­ing con­trol of their group. Wales lost the lead for a third suc­ces­sive qual­i­fier against Ser­bia on Satur­day night when Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic can­celled out Gareth Bale’s first-half ef­fort five min­utes from time. The 1-1 draw leaves Wales four points adrift of new Group D lead­ers Ire­land ahead of their visit to Dublin next March. Wales also re­main two points be­hind sec­ond-placed Ser­bia, but Vokes re­mains op­ti­mistic over their chances of reach­ing the 2018 fi­nals in Rus­sia. “It’s early days and we’re still well in this group,” Vokes said. “We’re only four games in, so there’s a lot to play for. But this re­sult does make that Ire­land game more im­por­tant. I wouldn’t say it is must­win, but it is a mas­sive game. If we win there it will open the group right up.” Ire­land’s 1-0 win in Aus­tria ex­tended their ex­cel­lent start as Martin O’Neill’s side made it 10 points from a pos­si­ble 12. They have also played three away games and four of their next five qual­i­fiers are in Dublin.

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