Shane Duffy's World Cup dream is still alive as Albion's defensive rock prepares for a reunion with Everton and rematch against Ashley Williams.

A towering display by Duffy helped the Republic of Ireland to a 1-0 win in their all-or-nothing showdown with Wales in Cardiff tonight.

The result secured a spot for Ireland in the play-offs for the finals in Russia next summer and knocked Wales out.

Duffy, dominant in the air, almost broke the deadlock in the first half with a shot across the face of goal.

Williams, the Everton captain, played an unfortunate part in James McClean's decisive 56th minute strike for the Irish.

Williams was dispossessed by Jeff Hendrick when a risky throw-out from keeper Wayne Hennessey put him under pressure.

Hendrick advanced and crossed for West Brom winger McClean to drive home and keep Martin O'Neill's side in the hunt for a place in the finals.


The wait goes on for Wales, who have failed to qualify since 1958.

Duffy will now be in good heart for the visit by his first club Everton and rival central defender Williams to the Amex on Sunday (1.30pm).

Former Blackburn Rovers stopper Duffy made a handful of Premier League appearances for the Goodison Park outfit five seasons ago alongside their current stand-in skipper Leighton Baines.

Elsewhere, Albion striker Tomer Hemed, suspended for Everton's visit, spearheaded the Israel attack in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of a much-changed Spain in Jerusalem.

Albion No.1 Mathew Ryan is in goal for Australia in tomorrow morning's World Cup qualifying play-off second leg against Syria in Sydney.