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Johann Closes in on World Cup Place

Clarets' winger scores as Iceland top group as Wales and Ireland face-off

7 October 2017

Johann Berg Gudmundsson put himself and Iceland on the verge of a place at next summer’s World Cup finals.

But Clarets’ team-mates Sam Vokes, Stephen Ward, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Stephen Ward and Kevin Long have been left to scrap it out for the chance to him in Russia.

Gudmundsson slotted home the opening goal in a famous 3-0 win in Turkey, which ended the Turks’ hopes of reaching the finals and put Iceland on top of Group I.

Victory over bottom club Kosovo on Monday will now guarantee Iceland – who reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 - a first appearance in a World Cup finals.

Meanwhile, Vokes helped Wales win 1-0 in Georgia to remain second to Serbia in Group D.

Ireland, with Hendrick and Ward starting, beat Moldova 2-0 in Dublin to set up Monday night’s decider at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Ireland need to win to deny Wales second place and a likely play-off spot and will have Brady back from suspension.

Serbia are at home to winless Georgia, knowing just a point will almost certainly guarantee them top spot.

Elsewhere, Chris Wood was again on target for New Zealand.

The Clarets’ striker scored his 24th goal in 54 games for his country with a header in a 2-1 defeat to Japan as the All Whites warm up for their inter-continental play-off next month.

As it stands, New Zealand would face Peru in a two-legged tie for a place in the finals after Peru’s 0-0 draw in Argentina knocked the two-time winners out of a possible qualification spot.

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