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Gareth Bale at crossroads after Wales heartbreak

Gareth Bale at crossroads after Wales heartbreak

The draw will take place on Tuesday October 17th with no time yet confirmed.

It was a bitter blow for men in red who had started the evening still chasing an automatic ticket to the finals in Russian Federation next summer, although Serbia's 1-0 victory over Georgia confirmed them as Group D winners.

Croatia managed to secure a spot in the play-offs after recording a 2-0 win away to Ukraine.

"We are a good away team but it may benefit us to play the second game at home".

But, following the Republic's 1-0 win over Wales and Monday night's other results, the play-off permutations for both teams are a lot simpler.

Ireland dug out a victory in Cardiff to get themselves into the playoffs to try earn a place at the World Cup next summer.

He said: "Right now all I can think about, picture in my mind, is the faces of the players in the dressing room and the disappointment".

"We just came up a bit short tonight", Coleman said.

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Italy battled to a 1-0 win over Albania with a late Antonio Candreva goal as the struggling Group G runners-up head for the playoffs in a bid to reach next year's World Cup. Without Allen to link everything up, Wales couldn't control the game and the Irish lads sensed the play turning in their direction.

Without Gareth Bale though, Wales struggled against Ireland, and ultimately fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium thanks to James McClean's second-half victor.

Ireland's potential playoff opponents include Italy, Croatia, Denmark and Switzerland or Portugal.

John Hartson expects Chris Coleman to conclude his reign as "Wales' most successful manager" after failing to end their long wait for a World Cup finals appearance.

Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey's poor throw-out put Ashley Williams under pressure and the Everton defender was robbed of the ball by Jeff Kendrick on the right touchline. "There have been times when we have been questioned but the hunger is there, you see that in the performances".

It means Wales are still yet to qualify for a World Cup tourmanent since taking part in Sweden in 1958.

The news comes as a serious blow for the Republic, who must beat Wales in Monday night's Group D clash, live on Sky Sports, in order to reach the play-offs for the finals in Russian Federation.