Ireland came into their clash with Moldova on Friday night knowing they had to win to have any chance of qualifying from Group D.
With Wales beating Georgia away from home earlier in the evening, the pressure was intensified but the Boys in Green brilliantly stepped up to the plate, albeit against a much lesser opposition.
Two goals inside 20 minutes essentially sealed the deal for Martin O’Neill’s men with Moldova having nothing but pride to play for in the group anyway.
In the first half it was, unsurprisingly, this man who was singled out by fans and neutrals alike.
Hoolahan to Ward and then to Daryl Murphy – a masterclass from the League of Ireland class of 2004
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) October 6, 2017
Daryl Murphy has trebled his senior international goals tally inside 20 minutes.
— Damian Spellman (@DamianSpellman) October 6, 2017
— Graham Hickey (@Graizer_H) October 6, 2017
Harry Kane has posters of Daryl Murphy in his bedroom #fact
— Harry (@HarrySaxtonn) October 6, 2017
Daryl Murphy MIGHT be the greatest striker of all time.
— Randall Bell (@randallbell) October 6, 2017
The second half didn’t pack as much of a punch but the result was realistically all that mattered on a night like Friday. Following the game, Ireland fans were pretty happy to take the result and run ahead of the biggest match for the Boys in Green since their last 16 clash with France at Euro 2016 on Monday night versus Wales.
With Serbia losing to Austria, the group is also now that bit more undecided than it was previously going into the final night.
Job done , bring on the Dragon.
— James OSullivan (@zerospaceie) October 6, 2017
— Nial O'Farrell (@NialOFarrell) October 6, 2017
Wales and Ireland win while Serbia lose pic.twitter.com/3KEWd5A6HJ
— Jack Evans (@Jevski7) October 6, 2017
– Wales win: ✅
– Ireland win: ✅
– Serbia lose: ✅
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) October 6, 2017
Decent result for Ireland tonight, all to play for now on Monday ?? #COYBIG
— Walter Burke (@walterburkeiv) October 6, 2017
There was also a couple of mentions for Sean Maguire following the qualifier. The Preston North End man was making his first appearance for his country at this level.
Last time I saw Sean Maguire he was getting milk in my local village where he was living. Now he's playing for Ireland ?
— Brendan cronin (@bwcronin) October 6, 2017
Sean Maguire. At long (no pun intended) last. #COYBIG
— PJ (@patcomey) October 6, 2017
— Denise Ní Gafraidh (@Neecy_pie) October 6, 2017
— colin nolan (@cwnolan15) October 6, 2017
Ireland take on Wales next at the Cardiff City Stadium on Monday night knowing they could still potentially top the group. Kick-off is at 7:45pm.