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United stars closing in on World Cup

Written by Dan King

Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot's hopes of playing at next summer's World Cup are still very much alive after the Republic of Ireland beat Georgia 2-0 on Friday.

Clark played the full 90 minutes while Elliot was an unused substitute in Dublin.

And it was former Newcastle man Daryl Murphy who scored both goals for Martin O'Neill's men, who know that victory against Wales on Monday night will see them finish at least second in their group.

They could still win the group after Aleksandar Mitrovic's Serbia suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat in Austria. Mitrovic played the whole game but - unusually in this qualifying campaign - was not on the scoresheet.

However, victory for Serbia against Georgia on Monday will guarantee their place at the finals in Russia.

The USA are also closing in on qualification after a 4-0 home win against Panama on Saturday. DeAndre Yedlin played the full game and is likely to be involved again when his country take on Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday. 

However, Scotland can no longer reach the finals after a 2-2 draw with Slovenia. Matt Ritchie was not part of the squad which failed to get the win they needed, having withdrawn last week. 

DR Congo beat Libya 2-1 on Saturday, with Chancel Mbemba playing the whole match, while on Friday night, Freddie Woodman was an unused substitute as England's under-21s beat their Scottish counterparts 3-1 at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

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