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Ireland’s crucial World Cup play-off will be on RTE – here is all you need to know

Vera Pauw’s Girls in Green will have to overcome Scotland to remain on course for an historic World Cup qualification

Ireland play Scotland in Hampden Park on Tuesday© SPORTSFILE

Sports staffIndependent.ie

RTE will show Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Hampden Park next Tuesday.

Vera Pauw’s Girls in Green will have to overcome Scotland to remain on course for an historic World Cup qualification after the Scots emerged from a titanic 120-minute tussle against Austria on Thursday night

RTE have confirmed the crucial match will be shown live on RTE 2 with coverage starting at 7.45pm, directly after Manchester City’s Champions League clash away to Copenhagen.

Here is everything you need to know

Ireland’s World Cup journey – what happens next?

On Tuesday there will be three final round European qualification play-offs:

Portugal v Iceland

Switzerland v Wales

Scotland v Ireland

Ties go to ET and Penalties to determine winner.

ONLY TWO best ranked winners – based on qualification record – will proceed directly to the World Cup.

The third winner qualifies for an Inter-confederation play-off early next year.

If Ireland win, they will be hoping for either Portugal or Wales to win their ties too.

That’s because Switzerland (19) and Iceland (18) are currently ranked ahead of Ireland (17). Should all three sides get the three points for their play-off win, Ireland would not qualify automatically. (Number in brackets is final points tally from groups).

But under play-off rules, if a tie goes to penalties, that only earns a country one point.

In this case, countries could finish up level so goal difference and other factors come into play; Ireland are level with Iceland on goal difference and three up on Switzerland.

A key point is that Ireland will know the results of the other play-offs by the time they reach half-time in Hampden Park – this may prove to be a crucial advantage in knowing what they need to do.

On the other hand, it may also confirm that even a win might still condemn them to another round of play-offs in early 2023.

These are also complicated but involve lesser nations, with Ireland (26) ranked superior to all of Chinese Taipei (38), Chile (39), Thailand (41), Papua New Guinea (49), Paraguay (51), Haiti (56), Panama (57), Cameroon (59) and Senegal (84).

These ten teams will be split into three groups, two of three teams and one of four, with seeding decided by FIFA ranking.

All three groups will be played as separate knockout competitions with the winner of each qualifying for the finals.

In the two three-team groups, the seeded team will go straight to the final (after playing a friendly against New Zealand or another guest nation) and meet the winner of a semi-final between the other two nations. Still with us? Hopefully Ireland will be too. There are a few twists to navigate yet.


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